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Experimentation Means it’s OK to Fail
Experimentation is the key to learning and continuous learning is the core of Agile and iterative methods.  A wise man once told me that we know the least about our product and the optimum process to build that product when we first start. I could never (or never wanted to) argue that point. When we […]
Q & A is Part of the Team
It is almost guaranteed that when I work with new organizations, one of the first questions that comes up is “How does the development organization work with the Q/A organization?” This question is a stinker. A seemingly simple question actually is pointing out much deeper organizational issues that go beyond testers to how we see […]
Does Testing Add Value?
One question I am often asked is “Does testing add value?” Many people who ask this question are development or Q/A managers who are trying to figure out how testing fits within an agile environment. My simple answer is: “No, it does not.” Now, before you get all half-cocked, I am not saying we should […]
ScrumMasters are not Task Masters
It always bewilders me to think about the amount of teams out there who designate the ScrumMaster as a ‘Task Master’. In these teams, the ScrumMaster’s role is often seen as that of an administrator. This ScrumMaster schedules, plans and runs the meetings, including the Daily Scrum.    His job is to make sure all the […]
When Did Agile Stop Being Agile?
I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend lately where pundits, bloggers, and practitioners keep insisting there’s only one way to practice Agile software development, and it’s usually their way (go figure). I can’t tell you how many times I’ll read or hear about new Agile practitioners who asked a simple question on an online group or […]
ScrumMasters are Change Agents
Anyone who knows me knows that I love ScrumMasters.  My family had to get used to the idea of being second in line, but they’ll get over it.  Why the love affair? Simple.  They are the organization’s change agents!  Their #1 role is to continuously create positive changes.  (FYI, if you thought that the role […]
Empowerment Doesn’t Mean Anarchy
One of the most misinterpreted and misapplied terms in our Industry is the term ‘empowered’. I hear it used over and over from organizations that are new to Agile concepts and have usually know just enough to be dangerous – and dangerous they become. Although I’ve seen this term misapplied in many different roles, it […]
Transforming a Traditional Manager Into an Agile Manager
Many pundits preach that the agile organization will not have managers – that teams will self-manage and can carry out all responsibilities of traditional functional management. This includes HR responsibilities, major conflict disputes, etc. “The team is self-managing, which includes all management responsibilities,” or so I keep hearing. Call me a heretic, but I’ve never […]
I Didn’t Learn to Drive by Reading the Manual
I remember that day like it was yesterday. The click of the camera, the awful picture, the waiting for what seemed like hours and finally, that moment where I was handed, still hot off the lamination machine, freedom, emancipation, liberation – or as you may call it, a driver’s license! That was one of the […]
Organizational Transformation Barrier: Corporate Security Policies
The Barrier This is the first post in the ‘Barriers to Organizational Transformation’ series and it is the Friday before Memorial Day so I thought I’d start with something light but important: Those corporate security policies that disallow openly displaying information on walls, hallways, etc.   The Effect As you can imagine, the problem with […]