Category Archives: leadership

“Leader’s Guide to Radical Management”

I just got a copy of “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management” by Stephen Denning. I recommend it. It is not so hard to learn Scrum and apply it to one team, but I always hear that, in any large-ish organization, “We need to change the culture.” OK then, one way is to read and […]

Leadership – 2

“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’” — Lao-Tsu […]

Leadership – 1

Takeuchi and Nonaka have written an article on “The Wise Leader” in the Harvard Business Review. (May 2011). Since they are the godfathers of Scrum, one feels compelled to discuss leadership in the context of Scrum. First, we must note this is a big topic, and with somewhat different issues depending on the size of […]

How to adopt agile?

In the Agile Alliance LinkedIn group discussions [around March 2011], there was a discussion about “How to adopt Agile in my organization?” by Mark Lummus. This is a complex topic, with many things to say. Here is most of my first post (in that group) about this. There are many other things I might have […]

Middle Managers and Scrum

In a lot of organizations I work with, we need to do a better job of explaining Scrum to the middle managers. Most of the people in the teams get Scrum and see benefits. Most of the senior guys see their metrics get better, and, if they focus on the right feedback, hear and see […]

Is there hope?

There is an interesting discussion on the CSM LinkedIn group, about rolling out Scrum to an organization. See here. Tom Mellor gives a realistic but somewhat depressing prognosis for many Scrum implementations. Tom is a good guy and a friend. It is OK if he and I disagree a bit on this one thing? Below […]

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 […]

Getting Senior Buy-in

Questioner: How do I sell my executive team on doing this stuff? Jim Highsmith: Don’t. Just do it. They don’t know what you’re doing anyway. (This quote is also taken from “Fearless Change” by Rising and Manns. A great book, recommended. See Chapter 6.) I saw this Highsmith quote as a tagline on a Ron […]

Agile Leadership – 2

This series on leadership arises from a talk by Mary Poppendieck on Agile Leadership. See our earlier post. Now let’s consider leadership in Scrum — in theory and then later, in practice. We are reminded of Yogi Berra’s quote: “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” (A nod […]

Agile Leadership – 1 (Poppendieck talk)

I was pleased to help arrange a talk by Mary Poppendieck at Google in NYC last week. The topic was: “A History of Leadership.” The talk on video is here.  The slide deck is here. This is an important topic, and, if I may say so, Mary Poppendieck makes a number of great points. I […]