Getting Management Buy-In for an Agile Transformation

Before, I’ve written about what leadership must do during an agile transformation—including the hard questions leaders have to ask themselves.  So let’s say all that has been done. Your teams have been asking for a more agile approach, or at least are open to it, and the leadership is all on board. What about the people in the middle, the managers?  In my …

What Are User Stories and How Not to Write Them

Not that long ago, I was conducting an Agile Bootcamp and one of the attendees piped up when she saw that user stories were on the agenda.    “Finally,” she said. “That’s why I’m here.”   I’m sure my initial answer didn’t provide her much comfort. What I said was, “If you think that there’s one way …

Agile Funding vs. Traditional Funding for Better Product Outcomes

Or put another way: How Agile Funding Influences Outcomes vs. Outputs   At the beginning of an agile transformation, there’s an impetus to change workflows. Or at least, that’s the hope. The trouble is that budgeting often creates an adverse incentive system.  How we manage agile budgets and how we fund our products is usually …

What Is Your Work Nightmare?

Join me in a little exercise, two minutes tops. I promise that it will change how you see your job, your organization, and your career, for at least…well, forever.   I want you to close your eyes (seriously, do it at the end of this sentence) and try to picture what your worst work nightmare looks …

What Does Leadership Do During an Agile Transformation?

The entire org chart has a vital and critical role to play in an agile organization. That doesn’t mean getting there will be easy. In fact, if it isn’t...you’re probably doing it right.     In our line of work, we hear this a lot: “We started our Agile transition, but then we got stuck.” What we normally like to …

Are We Doing Agile Right?

Most people working in software or tech have some fundamental understanding of Agile. That understanding is layered on top of a host of assumptions about how software development operates and what expectations we should hold each other to. That doesn’t mean that those assumptions are correct. As an organization that both trains people to work in …

Big Goals Are Good, But Good Habits Are Better

Did you resolve to make a major change in 2021? Now that we’re several weeks into the year, how is that going for you?  If you’re like most people, your big goals and dreams have probably come into direct contact with the big, unexpected life disruptions that seemingly tend to surface just to stifle our greatest endeavors. But hey, you’re not alone, …

Feedback is Life: A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure for Excellent Team Feedback  

Self-managing teams require an extremely cooperative framework. That cooperation is central to the Agile mindset.    Part of that cooperation is the process of sharing feedback—either from the internal team, management, or from the client. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been tasked with giving feedback, now or in the past.   Here’s the thing: Not everyone is well-equipped to deliver …

One Key Ingredient for Productive Teams

No, it’s not leadership. Or vision. Or even goals.   There is a lot of research that has gone into finding what makes the most successful and productive teams tick. We’re not going to lie, you often encounter reports of that research in books and articles on leadership—which is probably why the emphasis always seems to be on …