Agile Strategic Planning

Can you predict the future? Can it be planned in the 21st century? In the face of relentless technological change, disruptive forces in industry after industry, global competition, and so on, planning often seems like pointless wishful thinking. And yet, planning is clearly essential for any company of any size. For those teams who have…

What does a Product Owner do and who should fulfil this role?

What does a Product Owner do? Is it a full time job? Are they the customer? Are they the owner of the product? It’s been over 15 years since the Agile Manifesto was signed and a new era heralded with a focus on working products over (but not to the exclusion of) documentation. Schwaber and…

Executive Agility

Many people are starting to recognise that agile has a lot to offer outside software development, but where do you start? Leadership support is critical to the success of agile initiatives, without their support, agile will likely fail [1]. However, many executives have not been schooled in agile frameworks — their education often comes from…

Strategic Planning in Agile

What does strategic planning in agile look like? Do we need to fully understand and agree on a strategy before we proceed to deliver new products and outcomes? Traditional strategic planning is very wasteful Gartner [1] notes that while traditional portfolio strategic planning “sounds simple enough: Define the organization’s strategy and make resource allocation decisions…

Is a self-organising agile team a self-managing agile team?

The Agile Manifesto highlights that “the best architectures, requirements and designs emerge from self-organising teams”.  Scrum also reinforces that the Development Team (the people developing the Increment) are also self-organising: “Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team” I’ve heard many Scrum Masters reinforce the…

Estimating without a baseline

Agile Teams tend to use relative estimation rather than creating tasks, estimating hours, and then adding up all the hours. Adding up hours it fundamentally flawed. Relative estimation tends to be much more accurate as teams are instead attempting to compare new work with previous work. Agile Teams will ask questions like: Which item is…

Sizing and Cycle Time

Mike Cohn is quite explicit when he says Story Points reflect the effort required to get a Story to “Done”: In a class a few years back, I was given a wonderful example of this. Suppose a team consists of a little kid and a brain surgeon. Their product backlog includes two items: lick 1,000…

Psychological Safety: Patterns from Child Psychology to Build Safety in Teams

In this presentation, ZXM’s Partner for Agile Enterprise Transformation, Matthew Hodgson, looks at psychological safety through the lens of a psychological, research-based approach to creating psychological safety – and an example of its use to deal with Agile team dysfunction, strengthen trust and help build a learning culture in teams. Click to view Matthew’s presentation…