Category Archives: Agile Management

Middle Management Reformation!

Agile Adoption has a Problem I’ve been in a few conversations lately where middle managers appear lost as they find themselves in an Agile transformation. Command and control is out the window. So is the concept of “reports”. How do … Continue reading

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Telling a Good Story

Fixing Blame When that amazing new idea blows up in your face and everyone is super angry, you need to do two things. First, observe this Japanese proverb, When something goes wrong fix the process, not the blame. The second … Continue reading

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Value Stream Maps

Stopwatch Development? Learning to see is a bit more difficult than it may appear. If Ohno’s trainees found it hard to “see” manufacturing improvements, what’s a software manager to do? Looking over the shoulders of your development team, will only … Continue reading

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Reduce Corruption through Agile Values

Whatever Happened to “Old Ed”? There is hardly anything that makes the man on the street feel more helpless than a trusted institution’s fraudulent or negligent behavior. We’ve moved from “Old Ed” down at the general store who had everything … Continue reading

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Have a new Team? Establish Your Working Agreement

Establishing Boundaries via Distributed Control A solid working agreement between the Scrum Master and the team is the foundation for all improvements. Accountability, courtesy or law-and-order are not the key reasons. Boundaries simply make everyone feel comfortable. Comfort comes from … Continue reading

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What do you see?

Learning to See Taiichi Ohno is the Japanese industrial engineer who played a major role in pioneering the Toyota Production System. When training a new manager, legend has it he drew a circle on the shop floor and have the manager … Continue reading

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Can’t Stop Learning!

Passionate Learner I am hooked on learning. An explanation that finally clicked, came while taking the Gallup Strengths survey. If you’ve not taken it, do so. The easiest way is to read their book Strengths Finder 2.0. The book gives an explanation of the … Continue reading

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New Scrum Guide – Emphasis on Values

A Classic Apple Move On July 6th the creators of the Scrum Framework (Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber) discussed their highly anticipated update. Even though the move was due to popular demand, their emphasis on Scrum Values hit me more like a … Continue reading

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Battleground “Innovation”

I read an interesting article this week from the Deutsche Welle. The central theme was China’s goal to be the world’s top innovator by 2030. By 2049 China also intends to lead the world in science and technology; just in … Continue reading

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Why is that guy still here…?

It’s Not the Person, It’s the Process A while ago, I over heard a product owner voicing his displeasure with a team member by asking, “Why is that guy still here?” Initially my adrenaline spiked as the pressure in my … Continue reading

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I Love my Teams!

I love managing and mentoring teams. Creating high performing teams out of groups of individuals has always been a major PM challenge and remains a distant dream for many. Discovering Agile Scrum offered just the framework I was looking for. … Continue reading

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Things I love

Today’s my wedding anniversary. The occasion gives opportunity to reflect on things I love. After many project management years, I ran into Agile Scrum. The simplicity of the framework caught my attention right away. Little did I realize what lies under … Continue reading

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How to Decompose a Release Plan – User Story Mapping

A while back my team overcommitted themselves on a technical debt Sprint. It became apparent we did not have a decent model to expose those pesky “unknown – unknowns”. No matter how much talking and diagramming and more talking we did, we … Continue reading

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How to Decompose Epics & Stories

Assigning Epics effort estimates is risky business. However, since organizations usually require schedules and budgets when uncertainty is at its highest, continuously defining effort as the decomposition process evolves may work. It must be remembered, no estimate is completely accurate but this process does … Continue reading

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Numbers, Time and Benchmarks

What do you value? Numbers and time are interesting. They have no value in themselves, but success is constantly measured by them. Sports teams, businesses, families and even religious organizations have their set of sacred numbers and times. Either is simply … Continue reading

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Project Cost Example

Important Please read the previous post explaining this model, before reviewing the example below. This example uses the following steps. Adds employee salary, benefits and contractor fees as cost variables. Calculates how much these variables cost each week. Sets highest number of story points … Continue reading

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Calculating Project Costs Using Story Points

Fibonacci Numbers & Dog Breeds? Managers using the cost accounting method to estimate projects are often lost when it comes to calculating the cost of Agile Scrum projects. Where the cost accounting method typically uses cost of time per project task as … Continue reading

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Profits Falling – Don’t Panic!

Expenses vs. Income – Distracts from Finding the Real Problem When it’s all said and done any companies’ goal must be to make money. No money – no business. It’s that simple. The trick to making money is to know how … Continue reading

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Neutron Jack vs. Transcendent Teams

During his tenure as CEO at GE, Jack Welch popularized a “Rank and Yank policy” by firing the bottom 10% of his managers. Some argue the downside of his scorched earth team management methodology pressured employees to cut corners. This … Continue reading

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