Author Archive

“Just Say No” to Platitudes

December 24, 2016  |   Posted by :   |   Agile   |   Comments Off on “Just Say No” to Platitudes»



There's this common pattern of behavior from some Agile leaders in the Agile industry. It's particularly subtle. If goes like this: 1. A desirable ideal is identified. For example, "motivated individuals" or "flat hierarchy" or "self-organizing teams" or "self-management." 2. Flowery language is be used to describe the ideal, and it's wonderful effects on teams, on organizations, the virtue of it, etc. 3. Absolutely ZERO guidance ...

Saying One Thing, Doing Another

December 19, 2016  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,THE AGILE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX   |   Comments Off on Saying One Thing, Doing Another»



Agile leaders routinely extol the virtue and value of "self organizing teams" and "motivated individuals." As well they should, since these exact phrases appear in The Agile Manifesto. The primary impediment to both of these wonderful ideas is the imposition of Agile practices on teams without their consent. Without their voluntary engagement. Without actually manifesting "respect for people," you know, that "very small ...

Align Teams on Values with the CV-1 Exercise

November 09, 2016  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,Agile Coaching Lessons   |   Comments Off on Align Teams on Values with the CV-1 Exercise»



The individuals on most teams usually have only one thing in common: they work for the same employer. When you work with teams, they often need something more, "some thing," to help them genuinely cohere. "Core values" is that thing. An explicit and short list of core-values that are explicitly agreed-upon can and will accelerate team-learning, by creating an environment that actually encourages it ...

Engagement Is Everything

July 06, 2016  |   Posted by :   |   Agile Coaching Lessons   |   Comments Off on Engagement Is Everything»



Most all the KPI ("key performance indicator") improvement from Agile methods come from engaged people. Yes, you can get 15 to 20 percent improvement from just doing a few things better, and actually paying attention. This is the normal pattern in typical "push style" Agile adoptions. But-- to get beyond that, to and real 2X, 3X and real improvement-- that comes from engaged people. ...

Leaders Go First

January 26, 2016  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,Agile Coaching Lessons   |   Comments Off on Leaders Go First»



In a real adoption of Agile, formally authorized leaders go first. They do the very thing that they ask their direct-reports to do. They do their work in an Agile way. They craft a backlog. They have a short daily meeting. They do a formal demo. They use a Kanban to display work in progress. If they do not do these ...

Agile Trance Formation

November 13, 2015  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,Agile Coaching Lessons   |   Comments Off on Agile Trance Formation»



Most Agile adoptions are "roll outs" or "push" of Agile, usually by higher-ups with plenty of formal authority. The C-level folks. In an entirely well-meaning manner, execs are often encouraged by "Agile transformation firms" to push a specific framework on the organization. This has the effect of creating an enterprise-wide "trance formation." At every level, people in the org wonder what ...

THE CULTURE GAME Chapter 8

August 20, 2015  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,The Culture Game   |   Comments Off on THE CULTURE GAME Chapter 8»



(Note: This is sample text from CHAPTER 8 of THE CULTURE GAME BOOK, available on Amazon here) CHAPTER EIGHT: FACILITATE YOUR MEETINGS Facilitated meetings tend to be focused, organized, and well defined. When you clearly describe who qualifies to attend, what the goal is, what the boundaries are, and how you will manage the meeting, you create an invitation to explore ...

On Invitation

August 11, 2015  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,Culture Design,Greatness in Organizations,Happiness,Open Space   |   Comments Off on On Invitation»



The act of invitation is fundamentally respectful. Respect for people is a core, bedrock value of Lean and Agile thinking. Invitation is therefore fully aligned with Agile and Lean. We feel good when we feel a sense of control, and a sense of belonging. Control and belonging make it easy to get (and stay) engaged. Engagement is good. When we are invited, we are in control ...

The Virtue of Coercion

July 27, 2015  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,Agile Coaching Values,Culture Design,Open Agile Adoption,Open Space   |   Comments Off on The Virtue of Coercion»



The following is a session submitted to the Agile2015 by one Timothy Turnstone. The session was not selected. Even so: I find the session more than intriguing. I have submitted the following "Lightning Talk" about this idea of coercion. It has been accepted to the conference and I hope you can attend! I promise you a most interesting experience as we unpack ...

When They Say No, Reduce The Ask by Half

March 26, 2015  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,Agile Coaching Lessons   |   Comments Off on When They Say No, Reduce The Ask by Half»



AGILE COACHING LESSONS In an earlier lesson (1 or 2 back from this one) I told how to keep reducing the ask by 1/2 until they say yes.  I was indirect there. So, let me me explicit here.. In general, teaching in a formal classroom is overrated. You are set up as the authority, and doing most of the talking. Most good ...

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