Are We There Yet?

A friend of mine was once put in charge of the Innovation group at the company where we worked.  Whenever we would talk about the state of Innovation, he always seemed preoccupied with creating an “innovation organization”.  But the conversation never seemed to get far beyond that point.
Continue reading “Are We There Yet?”

When things get hard…

“We practice when things are easy so we can use it when they get hard.”

The phone in the dining room rang, the caller id showed my parent’s number.  My wife looked at the phone, then up at the clock, then at me.  Somehow, we instinctively knew what was coming.  I pushed the speakerphone button, and I heard my mother’s voice, quiet and wracked with grief. “I’m all alone.” Continue reading “When things get hard…”

Instilling a Sense of Urgency

The team just isn’t demonstrating a sense of urgency.

The manager looked earnestly at me across the table.

I took a deep breath.  “If I may clarify.  Is your wish that the team understands the urgency of the situation, or that they demonstrate a sense of … panic?” Continue reading “Instilling a Sense of Urgency”

Give a Boy a Hammer…

“If you give a boy a hammer, he will suddenly find that everything looks like a nail.”

In some ways, this is how Agile is being applied in the industry today. It doesn’t matter what problem you need to solve, hit that nail with a Hammer. You want to get better predictability? Hammer. Quicker time to market? Hammer. You want to improve employee morale? Hammer. Continue reading “Give a Boy a Hammer…”

Agile vs. Waterfall – Improved Performance is NOT Guaranteed

I am frequently asked to give a brief overview of Scrum to people who are unfamiliar with Agile concepts. In the course of giving those lessons, I almost always see a look of shock at the almost cavalier way that we agilists claim that Agile methods will give a better result than traditional methods. I like the look of shock. It shows that they’re paying attention. Continue reading “Agile vs. Waterfall – Improved Performance is NOT Guaranteed”

Weaponized Scrum (Part 1)

The following is an Experience Report I presented at Agile 2009 in Chicago (Part 1 of 4).

 

Abstract

Scrum provides a framework for managing agile development projects.  It encourages transparency at all times, which helps reinforce the cycle of trust that must exist between development teams, management and the customer.

Over the course of two years, our team had used Scrum to successfully deliver three revisions of our product with a degree of predictability that had been unattainable prior to adopting the agile method.

When the projected schedule of our next project didn’t align with the business needs of the organization, we found ourselves on the fast-track to conflict.  And we had given them all the ammunition they needed to turn our gesture of trust into a weapon of unimaginable destruction.

Continue reading “Weaponized Scrum (Part 1)”