How Do You Motivate Agile Teams to Become High Performing Teams?

Most people have no idea what motivates teams or creates high-performing teams. And even if you tell them, they don't seem to remember or care.

I've had more than a few conversations over the last few years that led me to this conclusion, and I have heard some pretty outlandish and offensive things.

  • "the teams are lazy"
  • "I know I would treat this with more urgency... Read Full Post
5 Key Differences Between Agile Adoption and Agile Transformation

A common question I get during my Agile training courses is what is the difference between Agile Adoption and Agile Transformation. It's a great question. I see five key differences worth talking about.

 

But first let's agree on our terminology. These are my working definitions for these two terms though I realize that people don't use these two terms consistently.

Agile... Read Full Post

Best Size for My Agile Team? High Performing Teams' Magic Number

I recently compiled a list of all the Agile teams I had trained and coached since I began coaching in 2012. Turns out that I have helped nearly 100 teams from 20 companies so far. Wow! Even I had not realized the number was so high.

The teams I trained or coached vary in many ways - technology, industry, company size, and product just to name a few. The culture and diversity of the... Read Full Post

Agile and Scrum Tip Sheet

During training courses, I often think it would be helpful to have all of Scrum and Agile summarized on one page.  It’s actually not so easy!  Even though the Agile Manifesto is just 4 values and 12 principles, and the Scrum Guide is 17 pages, it is still hard to summarize all that on one slide.  We’ve tried anyway, and I am interested in your opinion on our efforts. 
 
Please... Read Full Post

Why 'Going Agile' Can Scare People In An Agile Transformation or Agile Adoption

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, Scrum and the... Read Full Post

When to Hire an Agile Coach

How does an organization decide it is time to hire an Agile Coach? What are the indications that coaching is needed?

Last week I wrote about exit criteria for Agile Coaching - how to know when you no longer need a coach. Thanks to those of you who shared your insights! This week I am looking at 'entrance criteria' for coaching. That is, how would an organization know that they needed a... Read Full Post

Things to Consider When Planning a Scrum Pilot or Agile Transformation

As we work with clients who are exploring how to get started with Agile and Scrum, we find ourselves asking many of the same questions.  The questions help us to create an initial plan for success with Agile and avoid some of the problems that teams encounter when trying to adopt something new.

To address this need and help clients think broadly about the change, we developed a... Read Full Post

Trying to be Indispensable?  Stop it!

I received an email last week that had the subject line, "Become Indispensable to Your Organization”.

It bothered me all week.

Why did it bother me? Did they really mean indispensable?

in·dis·pen·sa·ble
adjective

1. absolutely necessary.

... 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

FASTER!  A Guide to Speeding Up Your Next Retrospective

Most people are aware of the retrospective meeting that is part of the Scrum Framework. It is a key improvement activity used by Agile and Scrum teams at the end of each sprint or iteration.  This past week I was coaching a Scrum team and I witnessed one of the fastest retrospectives ever.  The entire meeting lasted 13 minutes and there were 9 participants. Fast? Hell yes! Efficient? Perhaps... Read Full Post