I frequently meet with managers of software development teams to talk about Agile. They get excited when I talk about Agile and Scrum and how they might improve their software development processes and team productivity.  When I describe the rigor and discipline of Scrum teams and the mindset change required to support empowered and self-organizing teams, they tend to bristle. Letting go of... Read Full Post

Imagine that you have a favorite restaurant and that you go there all the time. The restaurant's specialty is the veal chop. You love the restaurant and the veal and you recommend it to everyone.  You have a good friend who visits your restaurant based on your recommendation. But rather than getting the veal, she orders the spaghetti and meatballs. Her husband orders the vegan burger, which... Read Full Post

I work with a lot of teams and help them to adopt Agile thinking and methods.  While I am pretty passionate about Agile and many of the team members are as well, I work with many team members who are afraid of Agile.  Why would people fear Agile if it is such a great thing?  Perhaps it isn't viewed as such a great thing by everyone.  Here are some reasons why they might fear agile and 'being... Read Full Post

Are you coaching uphill?

January 1 is a time that many people make resolutions about the new year. Lose weight. Work out more often. Eat more kale. Read more books. Be nicer to people. Don't kick the dog as much. And those are just a few of the things I had on my list.

Statistics show that nearly... Read Full Post

Have you ever wondered how to undermine change and thwart progress in organizations?  One of my agile coaching colleagues recently shared a link to the Simple Sabotage Field Manual, a document published during WWII by the Strategic Services, the precursor to... Read Full Post

Is your organization undermining the benefits of Scrum without even knowing it? As an agile coach, I find that many of my clients today are trying to improve on their use of Scrum. Scrum is a simple agile framework that can be difficult to implement. For some, it is difficult because people continue to do things the same way with Scrum as they had done previously. Or they misunderstand or... Read Full Post

In my previous post on High-Performance Teams, I shared a framework for team maturity from the Jon Katzenbach book, The Wisdom of Teams.  That post outlined 5 levels of team maturity and performance, with High-Performance... Read Full Post

If your goal was to create a high-performance team, would you keep changing the team members or would you keep the team members stable?

Most organizations take the former approach. They move people around from one team to another without much consideration for the impact on team performance. Or they assign the same person to multiple teams. They don't treat teams as more than the sum of... Read Full Post

This month I’ve been writing about the reasons that various organizations have found that Agile didn’t work for them.  I explored culture change and ... Read Full Post

I was working with an Agile Coaching client in Chicago this week.  Even though they are a large and conservative firm, they want their technology teams to become more Agile.  They have just a few Scrum teams at this time representing perhaps 20% of their IT portfolio.

I was meeting with the PMO to review the required documentation for the Scrum Teams.  The PMO produced a spreadsheet... Read Full Post