Why 'Being Agile' Scares People

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

Succeed with Scrum; Don't Break these 7 Rules

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

Scrum Teams Aren't Chickens and Pigs

People don't use the pigs and chicken metaphor in Scrum 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... Read Full Post

Tips for an Effective Daily Scrum Meeting

I am working closely with some distributed Scrum Teams and seeing some challenges with the daily Scrum Meeting.  They are probably typical challenges for all new Scrum teams and include some habits developed over years of using other processes.  These habits are harder to break because these teams are distributed and reliant on phones or Skype to communicate.

The key person to help the... Read Full Post

Hey Mersino, You're Not Their Jira Lackey!

A few years back my son was playing as the catcher for his high school baseball team. There had just been a close play at first base, and my son was picking up the bat for the opposing team and returning it to their dugout. It seemed like a nice thing to do, so I was surprised and won't soon forget when his coach yelled out "Hey Mersino, you're not their bat boy".  The coaches... Read Full Post

Should You Include or Exclude the Agile Product Owner when Estimating?

Earlier this week I was facilitating a discussion on agile estimating at a Meetup. A question came up about whether or not the product owner of a scrum team should participate in team estimation via planning poker. The majority of the people felt that the PO should not be included. A minority of the people felt that it was OK to include them, and I agreed. What do you think? Do you include or... Read Full Post

Leading Agile Teams with Emotional Intelligence

The second edition of my emotional intelligence book includes a new chapter, Success with Agile Teams. Anyone who has used Agile methods though will attest to the fact that leading Agile teams is not the same as leading traditional teams. Agile teams are expected to be self-organizing. This doesn’t mean there are no leaders, but it... Read Full Post