Agile


Leaders and Followers

When adopting any method or framework (e.g. Scrum, lean, orTameFlow), organizations need a leader that believes in both the journey and the destination. The recent thread on enlightened self-interest and enlightened leaders cast doubt on how much enlightenment is really going around.  Whether a leader is enlightened or just seems that way because they are on the right side on an issue we are passionate about is less important than studying how they behave. There are five attributes of a leader that impact the direction and adoption of change. They are: (more…)

I grew up singing Monty Python’s Philosopher’s Drinking song (YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9SqQNgDrgg) so of course, I read most great philosophers. The song was funnier, but the ideas of Kant, Nietzsche, Plato, and Aristotle have been more useful for understanding change and how people react. All of this leads me to point out that I finally get to quote Kant.

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another.”

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Play the Software Process and Measurement Cast 616 Now!


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The SPaMCAST 616 features our interview with Tom Henricksen. Tom brings the industry two great events the DevOps and the Agile Online Summits. He is also an active thought leader in the agile community. During his recent visit to the podcast, we talked about the exciting changes to this year’s Agile Online Summit. We also chatted about how creating and scaling the summit has changed how he thinks about the world.  Tom is passionate about fostering learning and sharpening the saw. Tom suggests that tuning your skills and capabilities has never been more important as the economy struggles to get going again.

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When I began exploring the topic of enlightened self-interest in the realm of coaching and change (spurred by my re-read of Tame you Work Flow) I reached out to several people on the topic. I got a lot of responses which I am incorporating in essays for the blog. Joe Schofield responded in his typical very thorough style. I have convinced him to allow me to use his response as a guest essay. Just so you know, Joe Schofield and I go back . . . I can no longer remember how long. Most recently a few years ago we served on the Board of Directors of the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG). While we did not always see eye-to-eye, we always listened and learned from each other. I am still listening and learning. Joe’s website is https://www.joejr.com/

 

Enlightened Self-Interest and Rational Selfishness; A Guest Essay by Joe Schofield (more…)

 

Patterns Podcast News:

The second installment of the Patterns (video) Podcast is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/TKaw08tBgyE  Ben Woznicki and I discuss #NoProjects.  #NoProjects reimagines the classic organization of work that has a definite beginning and end (limited duration) often with a temporary organization as an ongoing operation. If reading is more your style, I wrote an essay on the topic simply titled #NoProjects in 2019  http://bit.ly/2ErwTkp.  I will publish an audio version of the Patterns Podcast soon.  Ben and I would like your feedback on the video podcast and ideas for future episodes.  Reach out at tcagley@tomcagley.com or benwoznicki@gmail.com (more…)

How work enters an organization or team is almost always a touchy subject because for many it is the root of the pressure on teams to do more than they are consistently capable of delivering — well.  I was recently asked who’s problem work entry issues were by a department manager. My knee jerk reaction would have been to hold up a mirror, and they did bear at least some responsibility. But the real ownership of the problem has to be placed on the doorstep of the senior leadership. Several factors make it difficult or unsafe not to accept work that is pushed into a team.  (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 613 features our essay on directive and non-directive coaching. DIrective coaches, akin to many athletic coaches, are a hard sell at the team level. Non-directive coaches, akin to mentors, are not always viewed as effective by senior leaders. In reality, it is not cut and dry.

Essays in the Directive – Non-directive Series

Agile Coaching Techniques: Styles of Coaches –https://bit.ly/2EwFh4X

Directive or Non-directive Coaching – https://bit.ly/2Pb364r 

Directive or Non-directive Coaching: Why Everyone Needs To Know –https://bit.ly/3hmLf75 

In the second spot this week, Jeremy Berriault brings his QA Corner to the cast.  We discuss coaching testers. Indirectly we have a discussion about the use of directive and non-directive coaching styles.  You can reach Jeremy at https://berriaultandassociates.com/ (more…)

 

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 612 features a conversation with Woody Zuill and Allan Kelly on the topic of being an agile guide. I have felt that the term coach was overused for more than a few years. Woody and Allan put a voice to a topic that I started writing about earlier this summer describing the term ‘agile guide’. Over the past 14 years, there have been a number of conversations that changed how I think and work.  This is certainly one of those gestalt moments.   (more…)

Blackwater Falls

A waterfall precedes and follows rapids

In Agile Teams In A Waterfall Environment: Fixed Budget, Fixed Scope, Fixed Date, I talked about a panel discussion that I participated in that was asked: 

“We have been presented with a project with a fixed budget, fixed scope, and fixed date — can we use agile to deliver this project?” 

Interpreting the question as can we “be” agile, the answer is no (heck no if you want to be emphatic).  However, does that mean we need to take our ball and march off the field — never to be or do agile? Again, the answer is also heck no. There are several strategies that a team or even an organization can take to make progress toward a better way of working.  (more…)

Blackwater Falls

A waterfall precedes and follows rapids

I recently participated in a panel discussion that was presented with the question: 

“We have been presented with a project with a fixed budget, fixed scope, and fixed date — can we use agile to deliver this project?” 

A bit of context, the work was not a simple request that had been done many times and the software team had not had access to the ultimate customers that requested the work before the scope, date, and budget were set. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard this question this year. The simple answer is that the team can’t be agile in this scenario although they may use specific agile techniques. Just using techniques doesn’t make you agile. One of the reasons the ‘you can’t be agile’ answer is so easy in this scenario is that this type of project explicitly clashes with two of the values in the Agile Manifesto. They are:  (more…)

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