7 Actionable Ideas Now

This is my outline for a talk with Agile Columbia –  Sept 2018.

I made some choices.  You might make different choices.  It certainly does not stand on its own, but I hope you can fill in the blanks pretty well.  Or ask.


Here are 7 ideas you can act on today.


  • Do Scrum Right.

Do Aggressive Scrum, do not do Scrum-Butt, do fully-baked Scrum.  Whatever you call it.

You need to commit. You need to become reliable as a team to fulfill your commitments (usually).

Hints: List the freaking Impediments.  Fix them! Watch the Velocity go up EVERY Sprint.  The managers must help. Make them help.

Two more hints: Treat people as if they were real people.  Treat people as if they were adults. They are responsible (make sure that is clear to everyone).

We will discuss briefly some specifics.


  • Double Velocity in 6 months

Make this a goal.  Get an Impediment List. Decide that you must do this. (And you can.)

Hint: Do the Ready-Ready Criteria (better).

Additional related goals: Higher Team Happiness. Fewer hours. Higher Quality.


  • Do the 80-20 Rule.  The right one.

Do the 20% of work (SPs) that brings 80% of the Business Value.

Even if you only do the 85-50% rule, that’s a BIG improvement.

1st corollary: Get a bigger PBL to choose from.

2nd corollary: FT PO

3rd corollary: Measure BV, and that also means BVPs.


  • Consider the Alternatives to Scaling.

Scaling sucks, too many people.  My best advice: don’t do it.  (It should often be less good, less fast, more costly, than using one good team by itself.)

In this context I define Scaling as getting 3+ teams to work together to do one “spaghetti” product (often an enhancement to an existing “mess”).

  1. Don’t ask a beginning team to join a scaled group
  2. Consider “Divide and Conquer”
  3. Consider the Dream Team or “Best of” Team
  4. Consider getting one Team to 3x.


  • Scaling is really hard; do it right.

Use fully-baked teams that can do the basics pretty well

Have a FT CPO

Have a FT SoSM

Identify and manage the chickens well

Minimize the Dementors


  • Do Agile Transformation Better – two ideas (of many)

Agile Transformation Team as a Scrum Team

Typically often this is not, or not well

Some quick hints on being better.

Collaboration between Business and Technology

Develop BV metrics


  • Change the Culture.

Best idea: Open Space Agility.

Understand culture and change (specifically), and grow change agents

Value Depth over Breadth.




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