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

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?  Some will even ask about how to make sure everyone is giving 100%, or 110%.

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I recently had a participant tell me that my agile training class was 1,000% better than he expected. Which I took as a great compliment, even though I noted the hyperbole.  When pressed to explain why, he said that his previous Agile training had been horrible.  Which got me wondering if I was that much better, or if the expectations were simply low.
 
Training should never be... Read Full Post

I have a client that has been using Agile for the last 3 years.  Let me restate that, this client has been using A.I.N.O. for the last 3 years.  I am working with him to implement Scrum.  With him and his team I have to refer to this as implementing a "more disciplined Scrum" because unfortunately, everyone believes they were already doing Scrum. 
 
Anyway, the client is having... Read Full Post

As an Agile Trainer and Coach, I find an interesting paradox.  Most people will state that they already know all about Agile.  And if asked, most organizations will say that they are already using Agile, even if it is A.I.N.O. (Agile in Name Only). Or they will describe what they are doing as "agilish".  I am pretty sure that "agilish" in this context means that they aren't following Agile... Read Full Post

The 5th Agile Principle says to hire motivated people and empower and trust them. The opposite of this would be to hire unmotivated people and to disempower and micromanage them.  Is it just me or is that what happens quite frequently in organizations?

In a recent training class, I had 3 new Scrum teams and their managers in the room.  I had to ask the managers to... Read Full Post

Being a Scrum Master or Agile Coach is a challenging job!  We've created this page to help you to grow so that you can improve the productivity and effectiveness of your team.  Whether it is deepening your understanding of the rules of Scrum, improving your ability to lead scrum events skillfully, or simply hearing stories about coaching that didn't work, we hope you will find the resources on... Read Full Post

I always thought that crew looked like a cool sport and I've admired crew teams. In crew, team members in lightweight boats race to go as fast as possible. It is hard work! I think the crew team is a useful metaphor for Scrum teams. 

Crew teams strive for speed so they keep everything as light as possible by eliminating anything heavy or unecessary. The more strong people that are... Read Full Post

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to teach 3 classes in a row, 2 for clients and one at Northwestern University.  In those classes, I learned a few things from the attendees.  These were challenges that the participants saw to implementing Agile in their organization.  They were often stated as objections or ways in which they did not think Agile would work for them. 
 
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I met with some of the key internal champions for Agile at a client recently and they asked for my help.  They have been trying to grow the agile teams in the organization and mature their practices and they found that their teams had hit a wall and were not progressing.  It was as if they had run into a brick wall.  

That brick wall was the executive leadership team.  The leadership... Read Full Post