Have you ever seen those blobs of amber with some hapless insect trapped inside? There it is, frozen in time, forever locked in a golden prison in whatever position it happened to be in at the fatal moment. That really must suck. Seriously though, I think that in some metaphorical way I have some idea how that insect must have felt. One minute able to move freely, even to fly, and the next, unable to move a muscle or flex a wing. Often times I join organizations as an outside
This September 16th we are going to hold a brand new conference in Seattle. It’s a conference dedicated to Agile Management. It’s for managers, executives, coaches, consultants and leaders (lots of folks!) who use agile practices and techniques to help organizations find a better way of working. If you read this blog, that’s probably you. This conference is intended to create a place to have conversations with leading agile practitioners, share stories, and explore new ideas.
I recently read Rose and Benjamin Zander’s book The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life and I strongly recommend it. To me it was a book full of stories about mindset management, all primarily set in the wonderful context of music. Much of the book described techniques for moving from a mindset of bankruptcy to a mindset of abundance. That’s something that I can relate to in my current role. There are times when I find myself trapped in that mindse
So there you are, wrapping up another successful release planning session. Sprints are all laid out for the entire release. All the user stories you can think of have been defined. All the daunting challenges laid down. Compromises have been made. Dates committed to. Everyone contributed to the planning effort fully. So why isn’t everyone happy? Let’s check in with the product owner: The product owner looks like somebody ran over his puppy. The team? They won’t make eye conta
Recently I’ve been challenged by the question, “Can you change culture?” I think this is pretty common for folks who work in large organizations. The question of culture and how it blocks or allows us to get things done is a thorny one. There seem to be two opposing schools of thought in the agile community on the subject of culture: You can’t change culture, you can only adapt to it (customize your process to fit) You can change culture (through influence, good looks, and th
In this wonderful blog post, You Are The Impediment, Mike Cottmeyer argues that there are three different levels of impediment management required of a good scrum master/team leader: The Tracker The Remover The Anticipator He characterizes this as a sort of competence hierarchy for agile managers: Tracking being the minimum one could do, Anticipating being the desirable thing to do. I strongly agree. I see it this way: Tracking = History Removing = Managing/Problem Solving An