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An Exciting Benefit of Agile Transformation

A few months ago I had a conversation with a development manager whose teams had transitioned to Scrum earlier in the year. The development manager said he was really happy with the transition to Scrum and how productive, transparent and collaborative the teams had become. Then almost as an afterthought, he mentioned another benefit of Agile Transformation that excited me.

How Slack Time, Experimentation & Learning Grow High Performing Teams

One question that I get frequently from leaders during Agile training is about how to make sure everyone is busy. How do we make sure that we are getting the most out of every person? They have a seemingly perverse focus on individual efficiency rather than on team effectiveness and throughput. Rather than focusing on creating an environment for high performing teams, they try to make sure that everyone is busy all the time. This is another form of local optimization.

Scrum Teams Aren't Chickens and Pigs

People don't use the pigs and chicken metaphor in the Scrum Framework much anymore. I tend to agree with the reasons for avoiding it - it tends to create an Us vs. Them mentality. 

Us is the Scrum Team, or the pigs. The "committed" individuals who are responsible for delivering the solution. "Them" is anyone else - the chickens. The chickens are only involved and not committed like the pigs.

How Important is it to Co-Locate Agile Teams?

I've been an advocate for co-located teams for quite some time.  However, I seem to be in the minority when pushing for co-location.  Am I crazy for thinking that if we put people together, we will get better results?  Am I the only one who believes that co-location is an essential ingredient to high performing teams?

Agile Teams: Deciding What to Measure

In my previous post, I talked about some of the ways that Agile leaders foster incorrect behaviors by measuring the wrong things. The recent shenanigans at Wells Fargo serve as a great example of what can go wrong when measurements are set up poorly.

Planning Your Agile Transformation - 5 Questions to Ask When Forming Teams

A key part of an Agile Transformation for an organization is forming the Scrum teams. The starting point for most organizations is typically a functional organization such as developers, business analysts, and testers who report to their respective managers.  It is common for each person to be assigned to multiple projects. So how do we go from that to having dedicated team members on cross-functional teams?