Process Improvement doesn’t happen by Magic

Background Agile and Scrum has many upsides over waterfall.  Focus on the backlog, customer involvement, ability to change, and team synergy are among the list of improvements that Agile brings to the table.  Unfortunately, Agile does have a few dark sides.  I mentioned the potential testing issues in a previous article, but there is another. […]

Do Your Teams Thrive on Chaos?

Politics and power struggles are unfortunately a way of life in large organizations.  Anything that threatens the existing power structure can become a focal point for this energy.   Agile and lean development represent those threatening changes for many people. While there are hundreds of potential reasons that someone may resist Agile development, I think the most common […]

Brooks’ Law and Kanban

Fred Brooks wrote a seminal book titled “The Mythical Man Month” in the 1960s.  This book chronicled the challenges that IBM faced developing the operating system for their 360 family of computers.  In simple form, Brooks’ law is: “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later” – Fred Brooks Many managers, frustrated by […]

Planning an Agile Migration

OK, so you’ve read the books, been to some conferences, talked to some experts, and now you’re ready to start migrating.  If you are migrating one team you may be able to identify a scrum master, toss a book into the team room, put up a cardboard story board, and check back in a month.   Larger enterprise […]

Assessing your Agility

This is a survey that can be given to your development teams to assess how much of the Agile principles are in practice.  This survey is based on the tenets of the Agile Manifesto and Scrum.   The employee will be asked to answer in the form of agree/somewhat agree/somewhat disagree/disagree with the validity of the […]

Standups – Do the three questions work?

Most teams that have adopted Scrum   have established a pattern for running their stand up meetings.  The traditional standup consists of asking each team member three questions. What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Is there anything blocking you? These are reasonable questions and can provide insight into a team member’s activity.  […]