Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Dedicated Agile Champion job

If an Agile initiative is to succeed, one of the best patterns (cf. “Fearless Change” by Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising) is for someone to be named the Dedicated Champion (their title for the position). (Note to senior managers: If you really want the change to happen, wait until someone volunteers to be Dedicated […]

Dear Rob – 1

Let’s assume Rob is a senior executive, with some oversight for an Agile initiative. He is a business person, not in any way a techie. What would you say to him? Well, here is the first in a series of posts for Rob; what I want to say to him. Note: Rob is not a […]

Understanding the customer

In my viewpoint, one of the key things about Agile is bringing the customer and the team (the implementers) MUCH closer together. So that, for example, the team starts to understand many (most?) of the marketing issues and activities in effect. In this regard, let me mention two things: While the customer often knows their […]

Impediments Management – 2

A bunch of us got together in Ottawa recently to discuss different issues for managers. The issue (one of three) chosen was Impediments Management across multiple teams. Including how an management Impediments Removal Team (IRT) would operate. The example we drew is one of four regular Scrum Teams, each with its own impediments list. Each […]

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Just finished “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera. As a start, see this. I drew a few observations from the book about our work. Surprise! In our work, we too feel everything is unbelievably ‘light’ and transient. At least some of us do, some of the time, and, with all of the change, […]

Impediment Management

I was talking today with Martin Drapeau at, brainstorming the question, “What do managers need?” I have let the cat out of the bag: I am not one of those agile guys who thinks all managers are evil. (Yes, I have in my career seen more bad managers than I want to admit — […]

Complex Adaptive Systems

Self-organization, which I just wrote about, is only one of the ideas that contributes to the success of complex adaptive systems. While I am not convinced CAS (complex adaptive systems) have been fully figured out, the idea has a lot to add. In fact, the idea in science is that E=MC(2) is only a working […]


Some smart people are discussing self-organization on the Lean Software Development Yahoo group. You might want to listen or talk there. Here is what I said today: __________________________________ First, recognize that self-organization happens willy-nilly all the time. I suppose one can still ask when does it start, and where or why does it stop. (Thanks […]

The goal

Elihu Goldratt wrote a book called “The Goal” that I recommend. Theory of Constraints, TOC, is embedded, to some degree, in Scrum. But I wanted to mention “the goal” in a different way. What is the goal of our courses? Being shy and modest by nature (okay, yes, I act differently if the part requires […]

CSM Course + ARP Workshop: Why So Successful?

At the insistence of my good friend and colleague, Catherine Louis, I started doing Certified ScrumMaster courses (two days) followed immediately by a one-day workshop. This experiment (which it was for me at first) has proven completely successful. I am now convinced that this is the best way to learn Scrum. Period. And I am […]