What do you do when the business imposes an arbitrary deadline?

My business stakeholders wanted the product launch to align with a major event in the political calendar – happens to have been the state opening of British parliament. The product was all about politics so launching simultaneously with a major political event made perfect sense to the business folk. The trouble was that this was just an arbitrary date as far as the development team was concerned. What do you do when the business imposes an arbitrary deadline?
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Agile has Lists but isn’t Lists

Andrew Vos tweeted (@AndrewVos, 15 Nov 2012):

Hey, guys! Guys. Listen. I found this new agile tool! It’s called “writing stuff down in a list, then doing them one by one”1

Andrew is right, the core of Agile planning is a list. Actually several lists. The product backlog is just a list of high level requirements. A sprint backlog is just a list of tasks to do during the sprint. And, more or less, the team does them one by one from the top priority to lowest priority.

But I disagree with the colleague of mine who said to me a couple of years back “Agile is just managing lists.”
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Lean-Agile is micromanagement but not in an excessive way

Is Lean-Agile micromanagement? Mike Cohn says “yes” but Mike’s use of the term excludes the “excessive” aspect of the conventional definition. An attention to detail is a good thing, making for better management, and Lean-Agile has the tools to make the detail transparent. Excessive attention to detail leads to the Fallacy of Control and horror – I don’t see this in Lean-Agile teams.
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Three Amigos Meeting – Agree the tests before development starts

“Three Amigos” is what Matt Wynne calls the meeting to discuss the Gherkin scenarios before development starts. The Three Amigos involves the business, development and testing voices. However who turns up, where they meet, what they produce in the meeting, the homework to complete after the meeting, and who does that homework can all vary depending on the particular team.
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No need for a PM for a team of one. Professionals manage their own time

What do you do when you’re asked to project manage a team of one? Personally I say “okay” then do nothing. I believe the smaller the team the lighter the process necessary to run the team. When project management merges into time management you don’t need the project manager any more. Professionals manage their own time. I manage teams.
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