PM Influencer Series: V. Lee Henson

In our series, The Aha Moment, we chat with influencers in the project management space and get to know them better. We are asking a bunch of questions, some biz related and some not so biz related, in order to understand what makes them tick and find their aha moment.

This month’s Q&A is with V. Lee Henson. You may know Lee is the founder of AgileDad, certified scrum trainer and keynote speaker. What you may not know about Lee is that he grew up in New Orleans and played Division One College Football at Tulane University.

Let’s get to know even more about Lee…

Q: In your experience, why do projects fail or fail to meet their deadlines?

A: Projects miss deadlines mostly because organizations do not honor WIP limits at the product or project level. Trying to have too many things in flight will certainly result in missed deadlines. Projects fail for three key reasons.

1) No clear vision and strategy in place at the organizational and product level.

2) No clear definition, or delineation of Agile roles and responsibilities.

3) The inability of the product owner to break down work so that it is easy to understand and small enough to be consumed in a single sprint.

Q: Have you read any books, articles or other resources that changed your perspective on project management?

A: Yes. MANY… Essential Scrum by Ken Rubin is a staple. Of course the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team MUST be on this short list.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about project management? Least favorite?

A: Favorite – working with SUPER smart people who are energized to create some of the best products and services.

Least Favorite – working with companies that say they want change but continue to do the same things over and over expecting different results. This is the way we have always done it…

Q: Is there any one thing you’d like to remove from your daily routine?

A: Interruptions – We get so much more accomplished when we can enter hyperfocus. My routine is different each day, I am not even certain it should be called a routine.

Q: What’s the best professional advice you were ever given?

A: “While perception can be an important window for insight, you cannot let others perceptions drive your reality. Only you can make lasting change that becomes a force for good.” – Bob Iger

Q: If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be?

A:  Happiness – no material thing could ever replace happiness. With happiness you can earn everything else you need.

Q: What is your favorite cereal?

A: Honeycombs – I eat cereal DRY and these have the right texture, flavor, and they are not overly sweet.

Q: What is your go-to Karaoke song?

A: One Week – Barenaked Ladies – I really like the fast parts!

Q: Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

A: Brad Pitt – I am after all the Brad Pitt of Agile… (Go ahead and Google it)

Q: Do you love or hate roller coasters?

A: I LOVE Roller Coasters! Especially the first time riding them when you have no idea of what is coming next and you get that pure adrenaline reaction to the thrill of the ride.   

Q: If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

A: Space Travel – 100%! I would just love to go out into space and do a space walk.

If you want to learn more about Lee or get in touch – you can find him here on LinkedIn. Thank you Lee for spending time with us.