Book Cover

We will begin the re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! next week and I am stoked. Buy your copy and listen to the interview I did with Mr. Marquet (SPaMCAST 202) to get involved in the re-read.  I am going to lead the re-read from my copy from 2012 (7th printing).  The book has 29 chapters, not including the forward, a cast of characters, index, afterword, and a glossary. The book is an easy read because Marquet is such an excellent communicator.  My intent is to knock out the preface material next week and then begin delivering 2 chapters per week. If my estimating ability holds true, we will complete our re-read in 18 weeks.  I expect to miss two weeks due to travel.

I was introduced originally to David Marquet’s remarkable book by Bill Fox (Bill’s website is  Container 13.  Captain Marquet’s ideas of leadership have had and continue to have a major impact on how I lead and interact with everyone in my life.  Before we begin I want to say thanks to Bill for the introduction and thank you to David. If you have not read this book please buy a copy and dive in. I would also suggest checking out David’s Intent Based Leadership YouTube channel, Leadership Nudge, to reinforce the ideas in the book and to see the evolution of the ideas from Turn the Ship Around


Listen Now
Subscribe: Apple Podcast
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

SPaMCAST 485 features essay titled “A Simple Checklist for Choosing a Mentor.” Everyone needs a mentor, but they are hard to find, and even when you find someone willing they might not be the right person!  Enter: a checklist!

Blog entries (in case you would rather read the entries) in our recent coaching/mentor theme include:

In the second spot this week, Jeremy Berriault will bring his QA Corner to the cast. We will discuss trusting your team. Trust is a huge deal, and unless it goes both ways it is not really trust.  FYI – Jeremy has recently moved the QA Corner to https://qacorner.blog/

Rounding out the cast, Kim Pries, the Software Sensei will return with the second part of his essay titled “Muddling Through.” The essay is based on the article, “The Science of “Muddling Through” by Charles E. Lindblom.  The article was originally published in 1959, but it still has an important message that resonates now.  Part One was originally published in SPaMCAST 477 http://bit.ly/2IiGoCw

Re-Read Saturday News

Before we wrap up our re-read of Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today) remember that we will begin our re-read of Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet next week!  Buy your copy and listen to the interview I did with Mr. Marquet (SPaMCAST 202). If you want to get ahead, the book after that will be The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (I recently bought a copy and want to share what I have gotten out of it). Now on with the main attraction! (more…)

Listen Now
Subscribe on iTunes
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

SPaMCAST 469 features our essay on consensus decision-making.  Consensus decision-making is one of the most prevalent decision-making tools in organizations today. But, consensus decision-making has it plusses and minuses. We came to a consensus and decided to discuss the topic.

Our second column this week is from Kim Pries (The Software Sensei).  Kim revisits the topic of cognitive biases.  Biases can blind us unless we are vigilant. Kim’s advice is to ask for data rather than just allowing our biases to decide for us.

Our third column is via Steve Tendon, who will bring us part 2 (2 of 3) of our discussion of chapter 20 of Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban  (buy a copy here).

Upcoming Appearances

Metricas 2017

I will be keynoting on Agile leadership and delivering one my favorite presentations, Function Points and Pokémon Go
29 November 2017
Sao Paulo, Brazil


e-Read Saturday News

This week we re-read Chapter 5 of Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction by Daniel S. Vacanti. Chapter 5 is titled, Flow Metrics and CFDs. The chapter puts the ideas of flow metrics and the power of cumulative flow diagrams together to provide a boatload of information..  Buy your copy today and read along!

Previous Installments

Introduction and Game Plan

Week 2: Flow, Flow Metrics, and Predictability

Week 3: The Basics of Flow Metrics

Week 4: An Introduction to Little’s Law

Week 5: Introduction to CFDs

Week 6: Flow Metrics and CFDs

Dead Tree Book




Get your copy and begin reading (or re-reading)!

A Call To Action

I am looking for leaders of Agile PMOs for a special podcast and for background interviews.  Please contact me to discuss the topic at spamcastinfo@gmail.com or t.cagley@premiosgroup.com.


SPaMCAST 470 features the return of Ben Linders. Ben and I discussed his new book, What Drives Quality.  We explored the definition of quality, who owns quality and what teams can do to deliver quality.  If you are into excellence in value delivery, this interview will inform and delight you..  

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

How to decide?

Consensus decision making requires a number of prerequisites to be effective.  The prerequisites include a common goal, trust, commitment, participation, facilitation and a decision-making process.  There are numerous documented processes for making consensus decisions, each tailored to a specific set of circumstances.

Clear Process

A clear process makes consensus decision making easier because the process ensures that all viewpoints have time to be examined.  Following a defined process tends to be most impactful when the team is new, membership is dynamic or the group is large.  In all of these cases, a process helps to control potential chaos. The following process flow is a synthesis of a number of methods for team level consensus decision-making. (more…)

There are four leadership concepts that can double the chances that your Agile transformation will be effective and stay that way! These four concepts are not new, but they require a degree of passion and constancy of purpose that are often missing. The idea of constancy of purpose was the first point in W. Edward Deming’s 14 points for management (Out of The Crisis – 1982 MIT Press) that has rewritten management and leadership philosophy across the globe. Deming’s philosophies form the bedrock for the Agile and lean revolution in which we are currently engulfed, so we ignore Deming at our own peril. Agile delivers great benefits, but those benefits require leadership and vision to provide motivation and constancy of purpose. The four cornerstones that define Agile leadership are:

  • A focus on behavior;
  • setting the bar high;
  • developing self-awareness; and
  • deploying measurement.


Picture of things not allowed on plane

What’s your dysfunction?


As part of the research on diagnosing when teams need to be rebooted teams, I have had several conversations focused on the circumstances that cause team dysfunction. An understanding of circumstances is important because how a team got to where they are will influence the type of reboot needed. Team problems are generally caused by one or a combination of four overarching problems. The four problems are: (more…)

Listen Now
Subscribe on iTunes
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

SPaMCAST 461 features our essay – Agile — Leadership Required.  For an Agile transformation to be be effective and then stay effective there are four cornerstones of Agile leadership constancy that must be addressed with passion and constancy of purpose.

Our second column this week is from Kim Pries (The Software Sensei). Kim fills in the middle of the cast with a discussion of the conceptual skills a software developer should have. To be good in this industry you need to be more than set of coding languages or testing techniques.  

Steve Tendon, brings chapter 19 of Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban published J Ross (buy a copy here). We tackle Chapter 19, which is titled Understanding Common Cause Variation.  Steve share insights that caused me rethink the whole idea of common cause variation.

Here is a promo for my appearance during the Denver Startup Week.  On Thursday September 28th at 8AM I will be sharing Storytelling: Developing the Big Picture for Agile Efforts.  The presentation, in Denver, Colorado, will be at held at Industry.  Register and be there!!!! (more…)

Next Page »