The first project in histrory / Tarihteki ilk proje

The oldest known project example is in our country: Göbeklitepe
The buildings, dating back 12,000 years, are the largest and oldest places of worship of mankind. For the first time, humanity, living in small groups of hunter-gatherers, worked in teams of hundreds.


Bilinen en eski proje örneği ülkemizdedir: Göbeklitepe
İnşası 12.000 yıl önceye uzanan yapılar, insanlığın en büyük ve eski ibadet merkezidir. Avcı-toplayıcı küçük gruplar halinde yaşayan insanlığın, ilk defa yüzlerce kişilik ekipler halinde yıllarca çalışmışlardır.

Agile Days Presentation / Çevik Günler Sunumu

On April 4, 2019, I made a presentation on "Organizational Agility" at the conference "Agile Days" (, where international speakers and participants took part.

I thank Süha Selçuk ( and his team for this great conference, in İstanbul.

In my presentation, I explained the reasons why today's organizations should be agile with global theories and examples, and presented my organizational practices.

You can reach the summary video about my presentation and other videos about the event from the links below.


04 Nisan 2019'da uluslararası konuşmacı ve katılımcıların yer aldığı "Agile Days" ( konferansında "Organizasyonel Çeviklik" konulu sunumu gerçekleştirdim. 

Türkiye'ye bu güzel organizasyonu kazandıran Süha Selçuk ( ve ekibine teşekkür ederim.

Kendi sunumumda, günümüzde organizasyonların neden çevik olmasının gerektiğini global teori ve örnekler ile anlatıp, sonrasında da kendi kurumumuzdaki pratiklerden örnekler ile açıkladım. 

Sunumum ile ilgili özet video'yaya ve etkinlikle ilgili diğer videolara aşağıdaki linklerden ulaşabilirsiniz.

Never Aging "The New New Product Development Game"

I present the summary of "The New New Product Development Game" that was published in 1986 by Takeuchi and Nonaka; the most referenced paper for agile product development. When I first read the paper, I thought it was written 30 days ago - not 30 years - so, let's look at what you feel.

PMI TR Event Presentation / PMI Türkiye Gelişim Aktivitesi

I spoke at PMI Turkey Event  "Role of PMO's in Agile Transformation" on 13rd of Marh.


13 Mart tarihinde PMI etkinliğinde konuştum: "Çevik Dönüşümde PMO'nun Rolü"

Genchi Genbutsu

Genchi Genbutsu (現地現物) means "Go and See”, suggests that in order to truly understand a situation one needs to go to genba (the real place) where work is done. It is a key principle of the Toyota Production System. 

Genchi Genbutsu is a key approach in problem solving. If the problem exists on the shop floor then it needs to be understood and solved at the shop floor

"Genba attitude" reflects the idea that whatever reports, measures and ideas are transmitted to management are only an abstraction of what is actually going on in the genba to create value. Metrics and reports will reflect the attitudes of the management questioner and the workplace responder as well as how the responder views the questioner. It also increases the chance that actual issues and unplanned events will be observed first hand and can be managed immediately; this includes issues that are not apparent to the genba workforce.

Masaaki Imai, a Japanese management writer who introduced the West to the idea of kaizen, wrote a book called “Gemba Kaizen”. This combined the concept of gradual improvement (kaizen) with an on-the-spot presence (gemba)—being there in order to spot any opportunity for improvement. Imai says there are five golden rules of what he calls gemba management:

• When a problem arises, go to the gemba first—don't try to make a diagnosis on the phone.

• Check the genbutsu—the relevant objects—because “seeing is believing”.

• Take temporary counter-measures on the spot to resolve the problem.

• Then find the root cause of the problem.

• Lastly, standardise procedures to avoid a recurrence.

An article in 2004 in the Chicago Sun-Times gave a vivid example of the principle in action inside the company. Yuji Yokoya, a Toyota engineer, was given responsibility for re-engineering a new generation of the Toyota Sienna minivan for the North American market. So he drove one more than 53,000 miles across America, from Anchorage to the Mexican border and from Florida to California. As the paper described :

Crossing the Mississippi River by bridge, Yokoya noted that the Sienna's crosswind stability needed improvement. He observed excessive steering drift while traversing gravel roads in Alaska, and the need for a tighter turning radius along the crowded streets in Santa Fe... Finally, he decided that the new Sienna would have to be a minivan that families, and especially kids, could live in for extended periods of time. Upgrading seat quality became a priority, along with “kid friendly” features such as a roll-down window for second-row passengers, an optional DVD entertainment centre and a conversation mirror so parents could monitor what was going on in the back seat.

PMI Pulse Report & Executive Roundtable

While I was at PMI Global Congress in Rome, I was invited to join the executive roundtable to discuss last Pulse Report.
This year’s Pulse of the Profession® that organizations are making progress as they are experiencing more success with implementing strategic initiatives. For the first time in the last five years of this research, it is seen that more projects are meeting original goals and business intent and being completed within budget.
At the same time, the definition of success is evolving. The traditional measures of scope, time, and cost are no longer sufficient in today’s competitive environment. The ability of projects to deliver what they set out to do—the expected benefits—is just as important. These findings suggest that organizations are becoming more mature with their project management practices and are investing in the following factors that distinguish more successful project performance:
  • Talent: Developing the technical, leadership, and business management skills of project professionals continues to receive significant attention. 32% of survey respondents consider both technical and leadership skills a high priority.
  • Benefits: There’s growing attention to benefits realization management, which is the collective process of identifying benefits at the outset of a project and ensuring, through purposeful actions during implementation, that the benefits are realized and sustained once the project ends. 31% of organizations report high benefits realization maturity.
  • PMOs and Strategic EPMOs: Organizations can bridge the chasm between high-level strategic vision and implementation with a project management office (PMO). Among organizations in our survey that have a PMO, half report having an enterprise project management office (EPMO). And those that align their EPMO to strategy (i.e., have a strategic EPMO), report 38 percent more projects meet original goals and business intent and 33 percent fewer projects are deemed failures
  • Executive Sponsorship: Actively engaged executive sponsors continue to be the top driver of projects - with 62% - meet their original goals and business intent.
  • Agile: Organizations increasingly embrace agile as a technique for managing projects. 41% of organizations report using agile approaches for their projects sometimes or more frequently.
Related to feedbacks of the roundtable participants:
  • Hybrid approaches, a mix of Agile & Waterfall techniques, are popular. Project managers need to be agile. It would be interesting for PMI to track the evolution of Agile approach.
  • Agile methodologies are simple to apply in solution based organizations.
  • Agile has proven to improve results and increase customer satisfaction with Agile PM’s using Scrum Master techniques.
  • Some PMO’s have transformed into hybrid Agile PMOs and Agile CoEs. It is important to tailor each Project Management phase/context.
  • PMI is currently working on a Project Management Agile Practice Guide.

Aziz Sancar and Nobel Story / Aziz Sancar ve Nobel'in Öyküsü

"Taking Nobel is good but, the road and discoveries to there were better than that." Aziz Sancar

Aziz Sancar's life, that began in Mardin, rural part of Turkey, and continued in İstanbul Medicine Faculty and later United States, to Nobel Chemistry Prize in 2015, is inspiring.

His life story shows us what hardworking  people can do when they are given good education and necessary chances. Three very important stories that especially interested me in his life were:

- When Aziz Sancar came to the US in 1971 to John Hopkins University, only foreign language he could speak was French, that he had learnt in high school. He solved his language problem in one year, besides his heavy academic studies. To overcome that, he was working 7 days a week, 18 hours a day. On the other hand, related to this very challenging studies, he had no time for socialization. As a result in 1972, he returned to Turkey, to take depression therapy. After, one year when he got better, he returned to the US for a second try.

- This time he came to Texas in order to study on a certain subject. But the university told him that they could not offer a salary for him. He told them this was not important and started his job in the lab. When everybody went home, he was sleeping in the office and showering with a water hose. One day security discovered that he was living in the lab, so university management had to offer a salary for this hardworking academic.

- Five years later, he finished the PhD and dissertation. At that time he thought that he could go any university he wanted. But, no one returned to his applications. One day, when Standford declined him, he bought six beers, went home and drank all of them watching cowboy films. After 18 hours of sleep, he went on his applications. Some time later, Yale offered him a job, but not as a researcher, as a technical operator.

After these difficulties and much more, related to his hard work and discoveries, Aziz Sancar was given Nobel Chemistry Prize. Many of us would quit because of the three situations above, but he kept on walking alone in a foreign country.


"Nobel almak güzel ama ondan da güzel şey Nobel'i almaya giden yol ve yapılan keşilerdir."
Aziz Sancar

Aziz Sancar'ın Mardin'de başlayan, oradan İstanbul Tıp Fakültesi'nde devam eden ve sonrasında da Amerika'da devam ederek, 2015 yılında Nobel Kimya Ödülü ile doruk noktasına ulaşan akademik hayatı gerçekten ibretlik.

Hayat hikayesi, düzgün eğitim alma şansı ve fırsat eşitliği bulduğunda çalışkan ve azimli birinin neler başarabileceğini bizlere özetliyor. Bu hikayede en çok aklımda kalan üç dönüm noktası ise şunlar:

- Aziz Sancar, ilk defa 1971 yılında Amerika John Hopkins Üniversitesi'ne geldiğinde yabancı dil olarak sadece lisede öğrendiği Fransızca'yı konuşabilmektedir. Buna rağmen bir yıl içerisinde yoğun akademik çalışmaların yanı sıra İngilizce sorununu da çözer. Fakat, haftada 7 gün, günde 18 saat çalıştığı bu bir yıl boyunca, çalışmaktan sosyalleşemeyerek yalnızlık ve depresyona sürüklenir. Bunun üzerine 1972 yılında kendini toparlamak üzere Ankara'ya döner ve bir süre depresyon tedavisi de görür. Kendine geldikten sonra tekrar Amerika'ya geri döner.

- Bu sefer rotası ilgi duyduğu konudaki araştırmaları yapmak üzere Teksas'dır. Orada ise kendisine, bütçe ve maaş veremeyeceklerini belirtirler. Kendisi bunun önemli olmadığını söyleyerek laboratuarda çalışmalara başlar. Akşamları herkes eve giderken ise o laboratuarda uyur, gerektiğinde hortum ile duş alır. Bir süre bu şekilde yaşadıktan sonra güvenliklere yakalanır, bunun üzerine üniversite bu çalışkan araştırmacıya destek olmak zorunda kalır.

- 5 yıllık yoğun çalışmanın ardından doktorası ve tezini tamamlar. Çalışmaları sırasında adını duyurduğu için istediği üniversitenin kadrosuna gireceğini düşünmektedir. Buna göre başvurularını yapmaya başlar fakat, hiç birinden kabul gelmez. En son Standford'dan da red geldiğinde, unutamayacağı bir hayal kırıklığı yaşar. Altılı bira seti alarak dairesine gider, bunları içerek kovboy filmleri izler ve 18 saat uyanmamak üzere sızar. Fakat tekrar toparlanarak, ısrarlı başvuruları sonucu Yale'den araştırmacı olarak değil "teknisyen" olarak bir kadro koparır.

Bu zorlukların ertesi ise tarihtir.. Aziz Sancar, sıkı çalışmalarının doğal sonucu olan keşiflere bir bir ulaşarak geçtiğimiz yıl Kimya Nobel Ödülü'nü almaya hak kazanır. Bir çok insan yukarıdaki üç olay ya da kitapta geçen daha basit olaylardan herhangi biri nedeniyle hedeflerinden vazgeçebilecekken, kendisi bunların hepsini ülkesinden çok uzakta tek başına azim aşarak hayallerini gerçekleştirerek, tüm insanlara ilham kaynağı olmuştur.