Man pressing head against wall in frustration

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 leaders.

Flying Golf Ball

Velocity: the Number’s not Important… the Learning Is

Back in 1996 I took up golf. I was terrible at it. Like most people who take up a new hobby, I spent a good bit of time (and money) trying to improve.
I went to the driving range a couple times a week, I watched the Golf Channel to pick up tips and tricks (YouTube wasn’t the powerhouse of tutorials it is today), and I read a few books too. But the thing I found most helpful, was actually playing. When I was at my best, I practiced and played a round at least once per week. When I first started playing, I realized many of the more experienced players could easily recall how well (or poorly) they played every stroke in a round. At first, I thought they had better memories than me, but I quickly realized…

Grave your Scrum Zombies

Zombie Scrum Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

Once again, I have the pleasure of welcoming October. Soon it will be cooler and more colorful here in North Carolina. The holidays are coming, and many of my neighbors have already decorated for Halloween. I have been pondering what sort of ghoulish surprise I could cook up this year, and decided to go with one of my favorite creatures… ZOMBIES! Nothing says horror like a good old zombie movie (or TV show), and nothing brings misery to the otherwise happy-go-lucky people that I work with than Zombie Scrum.

Agile Project Management Methodologies

There is some confusion around what agile is versus what agile methodologies are, and often people lump them together. Agile is a mindset (not a methodology) that encompasses a set of values and principles that were compiled by a group of software gurus in 2001. These values focus on customer collaboration, flexibility, a short iterative cycle, value delivery, people centricity, sustainability and simplicity, among other things. These values and principles are not to be confused with the frameworks that have been developed to assist teams in “becoming agile.”

Scrum story board

What Do ScrumMasters Do Besides Facilitate Meetings?

When I first received my ScrumMaster certification, I regularly asked the senior ScrumMasters I worked with what I was supposed to do, besides facilitate Scrum events, enforce Scrum rules, and remove impediments. I tried to be a good ScrumMaster and worked with multiple teams, so I stayed busy, but I had heard that great ScrumMasters could only handle one team at a time. I didn’t understand what could take up that much time. As time progressed, I spent more time reviewing and reflecting on what the Scrum Guide says, and what that looks like in the real world.

three dimensional tortoise

Scrum Sprint for Quality: The Hare and the Agile Tortoise

The Hare and the Tortoise (or The Tortoise and the Hare, since that is what people told me it was called when I was young) is a fable attributed to Aesop, an ancient Greek storyteller. For those of you who are not familiar with it, a hare challenges a tortoise to a race. The hare, in his overconfidence, decides to take a nap when he gets close to the finish line. The tortoise plods along, eventually passing the hare, and wins the race. The moral of the story is: slow and steady wins the race.

backlog

Spring Cleaning: Agile Backlog Grooming

Spring Cleaning? Now is the perfect time for agile backlog grooming. The sun is shining; the birds are singing. The tree leaves are back, along with people’s allergies, easily confused with COVID-19. Speaking of COVID-19, millions of people have been forced to stay home over the last few months, and many have started attacking home projects with a vengeance, because they have no place to go except for their local hardware store. Garages have been organized, along with closets, basements, and attics. Yards are now tidied, new flowers and vegetables planted, and the world is generally a cleaner place. The madness even overwhelmed me and I am now the proud owner of a freshly re-graveled driveway (and some seriously sore muscles). Many items on the To Do List have been checked off. Speaking of To Do Lists, (and because I need to get around to talking about agile things) how’s your product backlog?

The Tuckman Model

4 Ingredients to Working in Agile Remote Teams

As an Agile Coach, I often try to simplify things and refer people (and myself) to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Almost all agilists can remember at least the first core value, “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” Though the introverts might cringe about it, most are also familiar with the principle, “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”

agile love

Agile Love: The Art of Agile Relationships

I love my wife. No big surprise that I would say that publicly, on the record. We have been together for over 32 years, have 3 amazing daughters, and have managed to partner with each other through the good and bad times. Valentine’s Day is a great time to reflect on our great loves, smell the roses, and consume copious amounts of candy. When I think of who and what I love, I have to put Agile on the list, not so much because it pays my bills, but because it contains a lot of concepts that have made my best relationships possible. So, for the sake of this blog “agile love” is a real thing.

team of people carving a giant pumpkin

Agile Horror Stories: Trick or Treat

I love Halloween. Science may say that autumn starts September 20-something (depending on the year), but in North Carolina the temperatures don’t really get cool until around Halloween, along with the leaves changing and the total Fall experience. I am also a sucker for cheap candy and crazy costumes. When I was young, I loved dressing up and pretending I was someone else for the day. In our modern world, people don’t need to wait for Halloween to wear costumes.