14 April 2016

Heart of Agile talk by Alistair Cockburn

We recently had Alistair come to the office and give a talk.

The Heart of Agile is a fresh look at Agile that strips away a lot f the cruft that has built up over recent years. This video is interesting and useful.

It goes for about 50 minutes so find yourself some time and a nice quiet place and sit down and listen.

Here it is...

11 March 2016

Am I doing a good job? Some tips on getting feedback.

Maybe you have a performance review coming up? Maybe you want to work as part of a community of practice to improve your game?

Where do you look for tips and advice?

Blogs with discussions on how a role should be played? These will be useful data points but are based upon someone else's experience. It's valuable. But only so much as asking an experience person who has never stepped into your office and met you team or customers.

Consultants with frameworks that look across organisations? Useful to see what the industry is doing, and you may get some good tips.  But following consultant frameworks is a recipe for regression to the mean. It's useful if you are a low performing organisation, but if you are better than average, do you really want to shift your performance towards the middle?

Potentially the best place to get feedback (and many people are going to say 'of course!') is your own local context.

Here is a quick map of some places you could get ideas. All you need to do is make time and go ask a few people how things are going in relation to your work.

27 January 2016

59 Topics for an Agile meetup

In case you were running dry on topics...

I scouted the various meetup groups around the world, asked a few people and added some myself.
  1. Scrum and legacy systems
  2. Program Portfolio management
  3. Application Architecture and impact on velocity
  4. Individuals and Interactions over Process and tools
  5. User Experience and Scrum
  6. Business Value – what does it mean to you?
  7. Handling Tech debt
  8. Who owns quality, and what do they say about our work?
  9. Hyper-productivity – breaking the rules
  10. Scrum in operations/support
  11. Coaching dojo
  12. Enterprise architecture – finding the balance of planned and emergent design
  13. Strategic product ownership
  14. Managing managers
  15. Planning poker and other estimation techniques
  16. Training new scrum teams
  17. Self organising
  18. Continuous Integration, Continuous delivery
  19. Agile Testing
  20. Acceptance Testing: Just say no (James Shore’s thinking)
  21. Collective ownership
  22. Agile tools
  23. PMI-Agile combo
  24. Requirements decomposition – epic to story
  25. Release planning
  26. Story mapping
  27. Evidence based Retrospectives
  28. Innovation Games
  29. Roadmaps
  30. Lean Startup and Agile
  31. Estimating, Velocity, and Charts
  32. Can Six Sigma help scrum teams?
  33. TDD
  34. Definition of Done
  35. Scrum Certifications & what they mean,
  36. Failed scrum implementations
  37. What we can learn from the punks and hippies; lessons from change agents of decades past
  38. Scrum beyond Development
  39. Selling Scrum to senior management
  40. Offshore teams and scrum
  41. Dan Pink’s Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose
  42. Hybrid Agile; Friend of foe?
  43. Management 3.0
  44. Memetics – why easy ideas are stickier than good ones.  What does this mean in the world of scrum?
  45. Deeper look at the Agile Manifesto
  46. Open forum with experts
  47. Complexity theory
  48. Shu-Ha-Ri-Kokoro
  49. Heart of Agile
  50. The Philosophy of Work; what modern philosophy has to say about the way we work
  51. What is Lean and Kanban
  52. XP and Scrum combo
  53. The missing Parts of Scrum
  54. Agile contracts, Agile proposals
  55. When to leave scrum behind
  56. Revisiting scrum roles; There are no project managers, no business analysts, no testers and no developers.
  57. What Theory of Constraints can teach us
  58. Startups and Scrum
  59. Scrum v Kanban/Lean