Monday, December 17, 2012

Looking at the problem

Today’s business environment is filled with complex challenges that require time, talent and perseverance to address. Yet the business cycle is a fast moving current, and missing the window of opportunity can be very costly. Adding an unwanted dimension we have the issue of culture and communication, and very soon, your medium or large organization is now moving in directions you did not expect…

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Hardest Thing

On our last installment, we discussed unreasonable expectations out of your team and your organization. Undertaking an Agile transition is neither easy nor convenient, though many vendors sell tools in this manner. The need for improvement, promise of speed and morale increase usually traps people into expectations that often do not match reality, and these are compounded by a lack of patience. Not only do Agile implementations take time and effort, but the CHANGE in MINDSET takes an even larger effort across multiple lines in most organizations. Not being prepared to make this commitment is one of the more common and catastrophic failure modes when a company is trying to change it’s culture.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shaken, not Stirred

Scrum is a simple way to get your team to work in a more effective way with one another. But what if – your “team” has not worked as a team before? What if you are working with a set of very talented individuals who have come to work together and achieved many goals – independently – over a period of time?

One result of an Agile implementation is that issues that have simmered for a long time in an organization tend to surface up relatively fast. One of the more common issues is the environment working against teamwork and favoring an individual effort approach. There are many forms of this, one of the most common and formal is the “hero based” organization. But that is for a different blog post. For now, I want to ask the TOUGH question – what if you find yourself in the position of having to get your people organized into a team for the first time?

Thursday, November 8, 2012


It has been a while since I have been inspired to write a simple blog entry that did not require analysis and 8 pages. But inspiration struck me this week end, out of the most unusual places. And it is so pertinent to recent experiences, I thought I might as well put it down and share with you!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Going Agile

So you’ve gone Agile – How is that working for you?

With increased exposure, many organizations are trying to become more “Agile”. But what does that mean exactly? How the term “Agile” is interpreted can lead to different processes even within one organization. In many cases, “going Agile” can mean as little as “we will do what we want to do” to “we have no discipline or process whatsoever”. These are extreme cases, however with most organizations legitimately trying to change the way they think about or do software development. For our purposes, let’s assume that “going agile” means we are trying to find a way to develop software that is "better" than what we are doing now, as we try to address organizational pain points.