Agile Transformations: Chicken Parmigiana, not German Chocolate Cake

  Confession time:  I’m horrendous in the kitchen.  My mom was a great cook (I have yet to find anyone who makes a meatloaf that comes remotely close to hers), my dad is amazing and my younger brother is TERRIFYING (he could win Chopped with one hand tied behind his back).  Obviously it’s in the family genes but for some reason I don’t have the natural aptitude. As of late I have been trying to

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2017 Revisions to the Scrum Guide

EDITOR’S NOTE: Troy Lightfoot watched the webcast of Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber’s review of the 2017 Updates to the Scrum Guide.  Below are his observations. Revisions to the Scrum Guide 2017 Ken and Jeff decided to incorporate community feedback and make some changes to the scrum guide this year. They started off discussing the state of Scrum with some amazing numbers…an estimated 90 percent of all agile teams are using scrum totaling approximately 12

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The Balkanization of Agile

Anyone who’s ever taken an interest in history is typically fascinated by the country of Yugoslavia. Initially formed in 1918 by a merger of multiple provisional states, by 1946 the country was comprised of nine (9) different “states” all with different histories and demographic complexities. Yugoslavia eventually split from Stalin’s U.S.S.R. and attempted to function as an autonomous Communism-based nation under Josip Tito. Now let’s look at the history of the agile movement: birthed from

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Do we need to change our leaders to change our culture?

During a group chat on Slack this week a remark was made about Borland Software Corporation in Austin, TX. In 2006 they constructed a new building for teams that were willing to practice agile; the only way to work in that building was to be willing to work in an agile environment.  I sat back and considered how brilliant that is. By opening up the doors to only those who wish to work a certain

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Custer, Gallipoli, and the Planning Fallacy

“Man plans, God laughs” – Yiddish Proverb   We’ve all heard it…”What does your project plan say?”…”Does this match your plan?”…”Have you written a plan?”  An outsize component of enterprise IT is the creation and reliance on a project plan.  For many organizations the existence of a plan is paramount to success in any endeavor. I posit that almost every agile practitioner has heard some semblance of “How can you deliver if you don’t have

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Hillary 2016 as a Failed Agile Transformation – Part II

In Part I we reviewed 2 scenarios that are consistently seen across agile transformation failures, and how they could relate to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. Let’s continue the conversation! 1.      Using trailing and/or “bad” metrics Every initiative wants to know if what they’re doing is working or not. To accomplish this task they rely on “metrics”, which are numerical measurements of a particular “thing.” The thought is that by boiling down some complex idea or process into a one-dimensional representation

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Hillary 2016 as a Failed Agile Transformation – Part 1

Most Americans will agree that this past Presidential Election was riveting theater. The drama, the stories, the punditry, it’s safe to say that our country has never seen an election like the one we just went through (survived?). Even though I am not politically-minded I was fascinated by the story behind the election of Donald Trump as America’s 45th President. I recently finished reading Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie

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The Tao of Agile Practitioners

    In all aspects of life humans need balance. Think about it: what type of food you eat, what exercises you do, work vs. play, the list is endless. While it is possible to embrace one extreme and succeed, history has proven otherwise. This extreme approach is untenable; you have set yourself up for failure but said failure could have been avoided. If one would take a more balanced approach the odds of success increase greatly.  

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The Agile Transformation Manifesto

Almost every technology department in an enterprise organization has discovered the “agile bug.”  Recruiters are calling anyone with “agile coach” on their resume.  I have friends whose phones are ringing off the hook with offers to coach “agile” in many different types of organizations.  From the outside I would say agile has reached the “early majority” stage.  This is where as a practice agile has crossed “The Chasm” and moved into what is becoming the new

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Middle Management in Agile: A Newtonian Object?

  Sir Isaac Newton*   The Agile ecosystem is a growing by leaps and bounds every day; there are countless examples of frameworks, canvases, or models to aid in agile transformation.  And yet even with all this there is a blind spot around “Middle Management.”  There have been countless words & ideas spilled in blogs, conferences, and books around helping teams/leaders/organizations transition to agile.  Even with all this there is little to nothing available  for

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Cerberus the Organizational Change Mascot!

In Greek mythology, Cerberus (/ˈsɜːrbərəs/;[2] Greek: Κέρβερος Kerberos [ˈkerberos]), often called the “hound of Hades”, is a monstrous multi-headed dog, who guards the gates of the underworld, preventing the dead from leaving. – Wikipedia Hercules and Cerberus.  Courtesy Wikipedia Change is hard. Think about a time in your life where you wanted to make a change…”I want to eat better.”  “I want to start working out.”  “I want to dedicate more time to my blog”

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