Author Archives: Bob Galen

Three Things Not to Worry about in your Digital Transformation

A common question for leadership is… What keeps you up at night? I hear it asked all the time. And the reactions run the gamut from thoughtful and deeply reflective to reactive and highly emotional. One of the common factors I nearly always hear is fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Which is why I wanted to share this article with leaders considering or engaging in a Digital Transformation. I’ll begin with three things that are often misconstrued and cause sleeplessness on the part of many...

The 4 Keys to Effectively Working with Agile Teams

Key Takeaways A Different Take – 4 Keys 1. Starting Properly 2. Committing to Agility 3. Collaboration tools are important, but… 4. Compensation structure and incentives Wrapping Up My first piece of advice is this: DON’T DO IT!!! Probably the worst possible setup for a team is spreading them around the country, world, or the universe and expecting them to behave and deliver like a close, cohesive team. My second bit of advice for those of you that blame it on management and say you...

8 Rules of Agile Architecture

Wow, the title sounds quite bombastic, doesn’t it? And I sound quite full of myself, don’t I? Well…perhaps I am. Nevertheless, I want to go on record with some simple and pragmatic advice for agile organizations and teams when they’re trying to sort out how architecture fits in agile contexts. 1. Allow Architecture to Emerge 2. A Picture is Worth… 3. Treat it Like a Product 4. Everyone is an Architect and Everyone Owns the Architecture 5. Keep it Simple and Connect to the Customer 6....

Three Key Agile-Centric Metrics

In one of our previous blogs the term “just enough” was used to portray the idea that we (whether you’re in a testing, dev, or management roll) should help everyone on the team to resist gold plating and actively help and encourage each other to do just enough. And that by doing the “right just enough” we are BEING agile. But why? You may ask, is this term so important? Because it plays into the team’s overall velocity. My friend and colleague, Shaun Bradshaw, and I were recently ...

Pair-Coaching

Pair-Coaching in Agile Coaching Some Resistance to Pair-Coaching It’s Not Just the Teams Changing your Lens Adaptive Pair-Coaching Strategy One Voice Wrapping Up I’ve been doing more pairing lately. Much more. But, more specifically pair-coaching. I’ve been pairing in my conference workshops and talks, quite a bit, with Mary Thorn on the agile quality and testing side of things. I’m also pairing with Josh Anderson on our Meta-cast and I’ve done a few presentations with him. Very...

The Agile Project Manager - Please Sir, May I Have Some Help?

A seasoned director of software development was championing   agile adoption at her company; it was a moderately scaled initiative, including around 100 developers, testers, project managers, BAs and the functional management surrounding them. They received some initial   agile training, seemed to be energized and aligned with the methods, and were set loose to start sprinting.   Six months later things were in shambles. Managers were micromanaging the sprints and adjusting team...

The Agile Project Manager - Fail NOW as a Strategy

Coaching to Avoid Failure Agile Exposure The Notion of ‘Failing Forward’ Wrapping Up – But, I’m a Bit Strange…   I was at a conference not long ago speaking on and sharing various agile topics. After one of my presentations, a young man stopped me to ask a few questions. We struck up a nice conversation that eventually discussing sprint dynamics within Scrum teams. I mentioned that I usually coach teams toward declaring their sprints a success…or (pause for meaningful effect) …a...

Refactoring and Technical Debt: It's Not a Choice, It's a Responsibility

A few years back I was coaching a large group of Scrum teams at an email marketing SaaS firm. The group had been practicing Scrum for over four years and had become a high-performance   agile organization. Most of my efforts focused on fine-tuning from the perspective of an external set of eyes. Working with this organization and its development teams was a privilege. Refactoring vs. Technical Debt Broad vs. Narrow Consideration Stop Digging the Hole and Deeper Fill in the Hole Broadly...

Hardening Sprints: The Good, Bad, and Downright Ugly

Moving On… Hardening Sprint Stabilization Sprint Release Readiness Sprint Spring Cleaning Sprint Why the Dreaded ‘Hardening Sprint’? Get Out of Jail Free Card Conceptual Support Hardening Contexts Distributed and At-Scale Agile Customer Receptivity Test Automation Coverage Skewed Sprint Consolidation Defect Rework Deployment Readiness and Training Regulation, Governance, and the Art of Trivialized Agile Testing Wrapping Up For Further Reading I remember the threatening email as if...