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Agile

What’s a manager’s role on a Scrum team?

Did you know the word “Manager” does not show up once in the Scrum Guide? If I were a manager in a fortune 500 organization with a mortgage and two kids in college, I’d be concerned for my job. In this blog post, I’ll explain how it’s possible for managers to work with Scrum teams…

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5 things people get wrong with user stories

a stack of 3" by 5" index cards that user stories are commonly written on

When user stories are used well, they are a fantastic tool. When they are used poorly, they are a horribly burdensome micromanagement tool. Here are 5 things I commonly see people get wrong with user stories. 1. Prescribing solutions in user stories Have you ever seen a user story like this? As a user I…

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Being nice isn’t always nice

I recently performed an organizational agile assessment and learned a great deal about how they served their customer’s technology needs. We investigated their technical practices, processes to develop and release, but also dug deep into how the people worked together from the people side of things. What we discovered was fascinating. Everyone in the technology…

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Your Agile adoption needs to be agile

person giving feedback using smiley face buttons

Agile adoptions stall for a number of reasons. On the surface, it may seem that there is a cultural mismatch, that people don’t like change, or that people just don’t have time available. Although those things must be addressed for change to take root, we have found that it’s often the process for getting people…

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6 Questions to ask before hiring your next agile coach

It’s safe to say Agile software delivery is here for good. With so many agile coaches in Chicago, where I live and out there in general, it’s helpful to understand the differences between them so you can make an informed decision when hiring one for a full-time role or a consulting engagement. What follows will…

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Use Scrum to manage your employees

If you’re new to Scrum and want to get the most out of a team of under-performers, you should try Scrum!! Used a certain way it can be the best form of 21st century micromanagement. Don’t worry about your teams resisting the push of Scrum. If you simply make the use of Scrum a company…

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5 Things Management Must Do for Successful Agile Transformation

Successful agile transformation requires significant changes in how an organization works. Those changes require altering the way people do their work every single day. Getting people to change the way they work is (theoretically) simple. You have to explain the change you want to see, get them to buy in, give them what they need…

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Use Scrum to Say Goodbye to Risk in Hardware Development

Companies who build hardware often ask if it’s possible to benefit from Scrum. In order to answer this question, I need to first introduce you to my friend Risk. Risk is a terrible friend. Risk likes to keep information about the future from me and show up when I least expect. Risk has a very…

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7 vital differences between Agile adoption and agile transformation

In my experience working with organizations that are transforming how they work, many people misunderstood what the goals of the transformation are. This is often the result of not understanding the difference between an Agile adoption and agile transformation. In this post, I’ll explain what an Agile adoption is, what agile transformation is, and seven…

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