ALN RDU: Joe’s Agile Release Planning

I had the pleasure of speaking to the Agile Leadership Network group in RDU tonight. First, there were a lot of smart people there and I enjoyed it. Here are some things I forgot to say or did not emphasize enough. 1. I have different goals from many for what we call agile release planning. […]

SAFe, LeSS, DAD, and ScrumPLOP

First, I want to say that I feel each ‘large scale agile’ situation is different.  The key problems are different.  Therefore, the solution(s) should be different. And I like the idea of patterns. This is the pattern idea: “Here are some things (patterns) that others have found useful, and maybe I can steal from them, […]

Why I prefer ‘Release Plan Refactoring’ to ‘grooming’

I was just doing a course with Dave Muldoon in Canada. One of the workshops was scaling. In that context, we discussed release plan refactoring or product backlog grooming. To me, the Scrum community has many definitions of ‘product backlog grooming.’ In fact, many different words for it. And it is confusing, especially to beginners. […]

Basic Agile ‘scaling’ terms

Below are several key terms often used when discussing ‘Agile Scaling.’ They need to be addressed. Why? My experience is that when the community talks about these issues, they use these words in a very loose way.  The problems behind these words are quite real. The problems can  be somewhat improved if we work hard […]

Key Impediments – Toronto

I am a big advocate of a public impediment list.  (Yes, for some of you, I am saying this again.  I think in general it bears repeating and repeating in a company.) It requires discussion to explain to skeptics WHY we recommend this. I will not attempt that discussion here ( maybe I should in […]

Culture: Some steps to improve it (for Scrum)

I have been thinking a lot about corporate culture lately, and what we can do to change it. For example, to enable Scrum to get better results. Here is one article by John Kotter.  Pretty good I think. So, what can we do.  Here’s my advice to myself: 1. “Whether you think you can or […]

The ScrumButt Test (5): A prioritized Product Backlog is essential

We started a series on The ScrumButt Test some time ago. This is the fifth explanatory post about the test. To find the others, search above (right). Here is the original post. The second item in the second section of the ScrumButt Test is this: “There is a product backlog prioritized by business value” Seem […]


The movie Up! is pretty good. A cartoon, with bits adults can enjoy. My kids were watching and I was also, out of the corner of my eye. There was one scene: the ‘bad dogs’ are in airplanes chasing the good guys. And someone yells: “Squirrel!” The bad dogs wreck their airplanes going after the […]

Changing culture

I am giving a presentation at Southern Fried Agile on Oct 18th, 2013. On “Culture & Agile & Change”. Here is the presentation slide deck so far.  To me, it is mainly a reference and a take-away.  It does highlight some of the key things I will say (and many things I am sure I […]

Scaling: How about the “Don’t do it!” option?

There is a lot of talk lately about scaling. And, to some degree, scaling is necessary and good. They say only truly professional Teams try complicated plays.  Or should try complicated plays.  Most ‘lesser’ Teams do well to stick to basic blocking and tackling.  I think this is wise advice for most teams. Scaling by […]