Lean & Agile

June 9, 2017
with

Agile Transformations

Many people ask, what is the distinction between an Agile adoption and an Agile transformation? The former being the adoption of an Agile method and...

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Lean & Agile

April 17, 2017
with
training

Scrum Master as Facilitator

In December, I wrote a blog about the role of Scrum Master as a Facilitator, see it here. In today’s post I want to go into...

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Lean & Agile

March 24, 2017
with
hand in hand

Lean : Kanban Trumps the Bad and the Ugly

A long while ago, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) pushed its limited and ill informed conception of Lean by focussing on waste elimination. It defined...

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Lean & Agile

February 2, 2017
with
mirror car

Retrospectives: Essential for Any Team Doing Any Kind of Work

No matter what kind of work we do, we look for feedback from our customers, our co-workers and our peers. Why do we do that?...

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Lean & Agile

December 12, 2016
with
Agile board tasks

Scrum Master – Facilitator and More

When I am out providing Agile classes, the topic of what Scrum Masters do all day comes up pretty frequently. Attendees ask questions like; “How...

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Lean & Agile

November 2, 2016
with
Product Backlog

Product Backlog Items (PBI’s) – Not just User Stories

In Scrum, the User Story represents the main item in the Product Backlog. However, it is not the only item in the backlog. So let’s...

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Lean & Agile

October 11, 2016
with
Learning Blender

The Importance of Engagement

If I told my 6-year-old daughter, Gracie, to get out a piece of paper and a pencil, she would likely get out a pencil and...

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Lean & Agile

July 25, 2016
with
Scaled Agile Framework

Agile Transformation with SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework)

Last month I wrote about how transforming your organization from waterfall to Agile is like being on a diet (here). For me the next question...

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Lean & Agile

June 20, 2016
with
Key to Success

Making Agile Transformations Successful

Have you heard that not all Agile Transformations are successful? Have you wondered what makes some transformations more successful than others? Are you wondering if...

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Lean & Agile

May 19, 2016
with
Agile sign

Why Choose Agile?

I’m just returning to work after Spring Break in Cancun. I’ve met some lovely people while enjoying the sunshine. As I chatted with those beside...

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Lean & Agile

April 20, 2016
with
graphic

Retrospectives: Essential For Any Team and Doing Any Kind of Work

No matter what kind of work we do, we look for feedback from our customers, our co-workers and our peers. Why do we do that?...

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Lean & Agile

February 22, 2016
with
papers an documents

Documentation in Agile

We’ve all heard something about Documentation in Agile. I know I’ve heard some pretty extreme comments like “there is no documentation”. Well I’m here to...

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Lean & Agile

January 21, 2016
with
people world

Communication in Distributed Teams

Face to Face is the best method of communication and that’s the method that Agile promotes.  The benefits of Co-located teams are numerous-  streamlines product...

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Lean & Agile

January 15, 2016
with
map

Working with Remote Team Members

I’ve been working with large organizations where team members are in multiple locations quite a bit lately. This environment can be challenging, especially in ensuring...

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Lean & Agile

December 22, 2015
with
football

Agile – Adopting to Change vs Following a Plan – a football analogy

As I sat watching Sunday Football, and thinking of my upcoming blog… I became aware of the similarities between football and Agile! Consider this, each...

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Lean & Agile

December 3, 2015
with
people graphic

Open that Window (part 2)

As coaches, we help teams grow and mature.  Mature, effective teams understand each other – who they are, what they’re good at, what they’re not,...

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Lean & Agile

November 18, 2015
with
rule

Scrumban – is it the Shu Ha Ri of Agile Journey?

Many times I have seen newly formed or new to Agile teams and organizations moving from Scrum and/or Kanban to eventually settling for Scrumban as...

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Lean & Agile

November 9, 2015
with
capacity

Sprint Capacity

Before I get to how much capacity there is in a sprint, let’s take a look at the flow. If you are doing Scrum, you...

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Lean & Agile

October 23, 2015
with
cloud window

Open that Window (Part 1)

As Agile Coaches, we help teams grow and mature. But there’s no how-to manual that tells us how to do that.  So how do we...

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Lean & Agile

September 29, 2015
with
Agile

12 Principles of Agile – Part 3

Welcome to the final part of my 12 Principles series where we’ll cover the final 4 Agile Principles. (In case you missed it, here’s a link...

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Lean & Agile

September 23, 2015
with
train number

1, 2 ,3 or 4….What’s the right number of teams for a Scrum Master?

 “How much scrum would a Scrum Master master, If a Scrum Master could master scrum? He would master, he would, as much as he could,...

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Lean & Agile

September 16, 2015
with
Agile

12 Principles of Agile – Part 2

Over the course of this three-part blog series, I will cover all of the 12 Principles. In this second installment I hope I’ve peeked your...

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Lean & Agile

September 10, 2015
with
frame mirror

Picture This….

You’re driving along on a four-lane freeway.  For a football field’s length in front of you, there are no cars.  And behind you, a similar...

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Lean & Agile

September 1, 2015
with
Agile

12 Principles of Agile – Part 1

Over the course of this three part blog, I will cover all of the 12 Agile Principles. In this first installment I implore you to...

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Lean & Agile

August 25, 2015
with
arrow target

There’s no “I” in Team, but there’s “US” in Success

Being a Product Owner is a really hard job. I have been hearing this for a long time and it has come out in almost...

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Lean & Agile

August 12, 2015
with
light tunnel

Scrum Team Velocity – Is it a Stick or a Carrot?

Velocity, the measure of total story points completed in a sprint, is often misunderstood, and used as a “stick” against teams rather than a “carrot”....

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Lean & Agile

August 5, 2015
with
man in field

Empowerment – A Secret to Self-Organizing Teams

I’m often asked how to create empowered teams.  The question usually includes the exclamation “I told them they’re empowered, but they’re not acting like it”,...

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Lean & Agile

July 16, 2015
with
Seattle

Scrum Alliance Coaches Retreat – Seattle 2015

Last month I had the opportunity to attend my first ever Coaches Retreat. The retreat was made up of about 80 participants. Preparation for the...

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Lean & Agile

July 9, 2015
with
mobile phone

Five Lessons at My Fingertips

Sometimes when I have wait time, I pull out my phone and play games.  Nothing sophisticated or too demanding, just something calming that allows my...

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Lean & Agile

July 1, 2015
with
tasks

We Can’t Break Physical Laws. We Can Break Ourselves Against Them. Part 2

In a previous blog I shared how unfinished tasks tend to constantly interrupt our thoughts, create anxiety and affect our productivity. Research has proven that...

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Lean & Agile

June 24, 2015
with
road sign

Organizational Culture Change

As an Agile enthusiast, trainer and coach I’m pretty passionate about being Agile regardless of the specific framework being followed. In fact, my passion lies...

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Lean & Agile

June 18, 2015
with
stop and go light

Go, Go, Go, STOP!!

When an organization decides they want to “Go Agile”, they usually go through a multitude of changes before they get into a rhythm of the...

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Lean & Agile

June 11, 2015
with
aloe in a plant

The Power of Appreciation

I recently visited my mom and sisters.  It’s about a four hour drive to where they live, so I stayed with them the whole weekend. ...

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Lean & Agile

June 2, 2015
with
Scrum alliance

The US Scrum Gathering – 2015

Each year, the notable Scrum Alliance hosts a Scrum Gathering in an energetic city somewhere in the US.  This year, 2015, the Scrum Gathering was...

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Lean & Agile

May 29, 2015
with
balancing

We Can’t Break Physical Laws. We Can Break Ourselves Against Them.

Do you often feel tensed thinking of tasks started and not completed?  Do you find interruptions frustrating and wish they go away so you can...

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Lean & Agile

May 19, 2015
with

What Details?

What Details? On a recent flight, I was reading about paying attention to detail in creating a dream room for your home. Attention to detail...

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Lean & Agile

May 11, 2015
with
bridge

Reflections of a Road Warrior – Random Thoughts No.1

In January, I moved from Texas to North Carolina.  When I was in Texas, I flew to client sites around the country. But the last...

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Lean & Agile

May 6, 2015
with
cartoon

High Velocity ≠ Effectiveness

Teams that are using the Scrum framework to become more Agile usually use velocity as a metric to help them understand how much value can...

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Lean & Agile

April 28, 2015
with
pills capsules

How do I choose between Scrum and Kanban?

I get this question a lot. And I ask back “What business problems are you trying to solve?” Each method has great potential when applied...

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Lean & Agile

April 23, 2015
with
wheel

Agile, It’s Not Just for Software!

When our yacht club saw membership dropping and was looking for a change, I called our Chairmen of the Board and suggested… a Kanban board....

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Lean & Agile

April 16, 2015
with
space

A Pointed Tale

A colleague recently reached out for suggestions to help a new client whose teams are having trouble adapting to using story points. Here are 10...

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Lean & Agile

April 8, 2015
with
bubble

The Sprint Bubble

Have you ever wondered exactly what types of things a team does during a Sprint or what they should be doing? A team usually has...

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Lean & Agile

April 2, 2015
with
PMI

PMI-ACP and All the Hype

When people see my ­­business card or email signature, they sometimes question the letters beside my name: what do they mean,should they try to get...

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Lean & Agile

March 30, 2015
with
Captian

Cultural Patterns – Part 3

In previous posts, I talked about what the “Get It Done” (GID) and “Just Do It” (JDI) patterns look like in organizations.  Today I’ll talk...

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Lean & Agile

March 24, 2015
with
coach word cloud

Agile Leaders as Coaches – The Key to Successful Agile Transformations

I spend a lot of my time coaching individuals, teams, and organizations interested in reaching higher levels of performance through the use of Agile methodologies...

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Lean & Agile

March 18, 2015
with
Map

The Reality of Distributed Agile Teams

Scrum purists will tell you co-located teams are the way to go. If only it was that easy! As large organizations adopt scrum, they find...

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Lean & Agile

March 10, 2015
with
graphic world

Tips to Transforming Your Technical World

In a prior post, Getting Ready for Your Technical Transformation, I defined technical transformation and why it is so important.  Now, I’d like to dive...

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Lean & Agile

March 4, 2015
with
Chalk sign

Cultural Patterns – Part 2

In my last post, I talked about what a “Get It Done” (GID) pattern looks like in organizations.  Today I’ll talk about another cultural pattern....

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Lean & Agile

February 24, 2015
with
Transformation

Getting Ready for Your Agile Technical Transformation

As your organization prepares to transition to an Agile one, you will most likely want to know all that the transformation entails.  One of these...

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Lean & Agile

February 10, 2015
with
Landmark

The Backlog Pyramid

The role of a Product Owner in Scrum includes owning the backlog and preparing stories for sprints. As I work with product owners I remind...

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Lean & Agile

February 3, 2015
with
Team Puzzle

Transforming to a Cross-Functional Team

In a previous blog, “The Reality of T.E.A.M”, I talked about Agile teams being dedicated, or part of a ‘permanent’ team that focuses on a...

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Lean & Agile

January 27, 2015
with
meter

Management Paradoxes

Being always busy does not always mean being productive As often happens at the end of a calendar year, many people reflect on the past...

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Lean & Agile

January 20, 2015
with
green earth

Training and Coaching – Why your teams need both!

Have you ever wanted to learn a new sport? Cricket, Golf or Rugby? Where would you start? You may say, well I would find a...

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Lean & Agile

January 13, 2015
with
List

Cultural Patterns – Part 1

Recently I’ve been reflecting on cultural patterns I’ve seen in organizations throughout my career; how I experienced them, their impact, who thrived, who withered. Over...

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Lean & Agile

December 28, 2014
with
Detroit Skyline

What Detroit Housing Teaches About Agile Prioritization

Does your organization have a lot on their plate? Are resources spread too thin? Have you heard the phrase “stop starting, and start finishing”, but...

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Lean & Agile

December 13, 2014
with

The Reality of T.E.A.M.

One of the hardest things for companies transforming to Agile to accept is the idea that team members are to be dedicated to the teams...

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