How Sketch Empowered a Fortune 100

Summary At Sketch, our favorite thing is to see an organization perform to their fullest potential and have a great time doing it. Most companies already have dynamite people who are both skilled and talented, but they’re lacking the right set of tools to put the whole picture together. With embedded agile coaching from Steph, …

Set Up An SFTP Server Backed By S3 On AWS

Fade In: There are tutorials on the internet of setting up SFTP servers in Linux. There are tutorials out there for using S3 as a mounted file system. This tutorial sets out to combine these two concepts in addition to setting up a fault-tolerant, highly-available environment in which to deploy your resulting server ready for …

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

There has recently been some debate internally regarding team stability in terms of how long a given team should remain together. If you review the Agile Manifesto, and specifically the Twelve Principles, there are several references to teams but there are no specific recommendations given in terms of optimal lifespan of a team. Somewhere along …

For Devops Success, Focus on Outcomes, Not Activity

To deploy code to production we need to reach a level of confidence in its quality. In an organization that isn’t accustomed to writing automated tests, this is typically accomplished via manual testing. With this approach, the time required to achieve the desired level of confidence grows over time. It often grows larger than we …

Dear Scrummaster, Stop Hijacking the Stand-Ups for Your Status Updates

Dear ScrumMaster, In recent stand-ups, it has become apparent that you are dissatisfied with the team’s lack of task updates and communications in general. Are they making progress?  What are the blockers?  No one is saying. You spend time in our stand-ups asking deep questions about technical details. You ask about blockers and work out …

So, You Want to Be An Agile PM…

One of the most common questions I receive when teaching my PMI-ACP Prep class is “how do I become an Agile PM”? It also happens to be the question I struggle the most to answer. Not because the most common agile “frameworks” are largely silent, or outright hostile to the concept of “management”; but because …

Never Miss a Deadline

My Agile journey started in 2001, when I was managing a development team for a scientific research group. There was one primary, overwhelming problem – we were always missing our deadlines. Development would go on for several weeks, and then we would start an uncertain cycle of testing, debugging, regression testing, more debugging, etc. We …

Electronic Tools – Friend or Foe?

There is a plethora of electronic tools available to help manage an Agile team’s product and project work items. VersionOne, Agile Central, Jira, Pivotal Tracker, Visual Studio Team Services – the list gets longer every day. With so many tools available in the industry, it’s almost a project in itself to select one that offers …

What’s my role?

When a company is in the midst of an Agile transformation, there inevitably comes a time when a good number of the people in the organization start wondering what their role is. This is natural and expected. After all, the ScrumMaster, Product Owner, and Development team concept is a departure from the functionally specialized format …

Doing vs Being

As I mentioned in my prior post, I’ve come a long way in a short time in terms of my understanding of Agile… with much further to go.  In that post, I specifically acknowledged my misuse of the Scrum vocabulary over the years that must have confused and frustrated those who were much more immersed …