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…

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…

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…

Why Spotify’s agile patterns work and why you shouldn’t copy them

There is no Spotify agile model. But lots of people from Spotify keep talking about how their system of people and processes operates. It all sounds very good. It’s like showing people a chocolate cake, telling them how good it is to eat, and then saying “don’t eat chocolate cake”. There’s a very good reason…