5 Key Suggestions for Change

In agile, we want things to improve.  Improve a lot.

Here are my first 5 suggestions:

  • Do something and learn

You know how to do something small.  Do it.  Don’t wait; do it now.  And learn from that.

  • Just do Scrum (more) and learn

If you do Scrum, the transparency of Scrum will force others to fix things.  If you show them enough times, and then show how one small thing (at a time) can be fixed, and that the ROI is high.

But the key thing is that by showing “stupid stuff” eventually about anyone will say “we have to fix that!”

  • Get a (better) impediment list

Maybe you have an impediment list with the top 20 impediments.  Maybe not.  Maybe it is reasonably well prioritized, or maybe not.

But I do not believe that I have seen any team that was using the Impediment List pattern as well as they could. Cf.  ScrumPLOP.org.


Get them to identify the better impediments, the juicy ones.  They still have not done that well enough, in part because they have blinded themselves to them.

  • Use the Retrospective better

What I see is that the Retrospective is seldom used well.

Spend most of the time in the Retrospective taking ACTION on the top impediment.  Here are 3 ways the Team can work together on the top impediment: (a) devise a solution together, (b) plan the execution (implementation) of the solution, or (c) build a Business Case (A3).  The business case would typically be used to get a manager’s support to fix an impediment.

  • Show up (daily)

“Eighty percent of life is showing up.” Woody Allen

Allen meant that if you just show up and do the obvious stuff, you’ve already done 80% of the work.

My quote: “If you don’t change things, nothing’s gonna change.”  (J. Little).

My solution to that problem is similar to Eric Schmidt’s:  Get an “at bat” every day.  Your average (as in baseball) may be low and “only” .300 (if you know baseball, .300 is actually pretty darn good in the majors), but if you get more at bats, you’ll make more progress faster.

Cf. Eric Schmidt’s fuller quote here (it’s in the middle of that page).

Finally, a quote by Goethe:  “Everything’s impossible until it becomes easy.”

It may appear impossible now, but as you learn and practice, practice, practice — it will become easy.


Much more to say, but enough for today.

If you liked this, you might like my slide deck on Change: https://www.slideshare.net/jhlittle



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One thought on “5 Key Suggestions for Change

  1. Renee

    Your article is insightful.

    I think choosing the right manangement tool is also important. The second most important thing is to implement Scrum without giving up. For example, some of the team members were not used to the Scrum tool, ZenTao project management software. It is open source and covers the whole lifecycle of software projects. They tried it and gave up pretty soon. The project management was a mess at that time, so they had to implement the tool again. Then the messy situation was ameliorated.

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