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…

Evidenced Based Management – Measuring value to enable improvement and Business Agility

Organisations invest in agile processes, tools, training, and coaching, but how much are they getting back? Has product delivery improved? How much happier are users and the business customers? Are employees empowered and enabled? Traditional metrics might give you insight into improvements of operational efficiency, but the real conversation is about the value created for your organisation by…

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…

What makes a good coach?

Agile coaching is not for the faint hearted. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very rewarding, but sometimes its difficult when there is a lot of organisational and individual resistance.  A common frustration I hear among my agile coaching peers is that their teams aren’t listening to them. The coach says they have been pretty clear about…

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…

ZXM named in Top 10 Innovative Agile Solution Providers

Insights Success magazine recently release its Sept issue featuring the 10 Most innovative Agile Solution providers. Very excited that ZXM was named as one of these companies and recognised for leading large organisations with Business Agility.  We have had an interesting Journey ZXM started with a focus primarily on customer experience, and digital product design and…

Accelerate Through Retrospectives

I had been sitting in a few team retrospectives and hearing the same old tired pattern of “what went well, what didn’t, what can we improve”. The teams were bored, i was bored, they were just doing mechanical scrum. Retrospectives are such a powerful tool to drive continuous improvement, but what i was seeing was…

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…