Thoughts in Retrospective

Scrum team using post it notes

Agile retrospectives are something that all agile teams are by now familiar with, to one extent or another. Retros are built into the manifesto in Principle 12; At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly. Retros were built into frameworks such as eXtreme Programming and Scrum, and have now become a staple of the cadence we expect to see in any kind of agile team. Given their high significance in our processes, and being process managers, retrospectives should be of the highest priority to ScrumMasters. Continue reading “Thoughts in Retrospective”

Overcoming Management’s Perceived Disempowerment During Agile Transformations

Since my career delivered me to the world of agile, I have mainly worked with organisations that were in the process of an agile transformation. This is a very different environment to any other. When an organisation makes any kind of large scale cultural change it is almost inevitable that it will face problems from almost everyone who wasn’t involved (or felt they were involved) in the decision to transition. When we as a community talk about agile, we typically talk about the empowerment of this or that group. In this post I’m going to explore what empowering a team means from a middle management level, which in my experience is often the level where agile transformations can fail spectacularly. Continue reading “Overcoming Management’s Perceived Disempowerment During Agile Transformations”

Doing Agile, Being Agile

Over the last few months I’ve heard many experienced agile practitioners talk about their thoughts and feelings around agile adoption in London, and the wider world. A common theme between them all has been that there is a difference between saying that one is ‘doing’ agile, and actually being agile. Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to who has an active interest in agile practices has stories about a team treating agile like they would PRINCE2 or any other project management strategy. I’ve heard of and seen teams follow scrum to the letter, and in doing so completely miss the point of it. Agile is a verb not a noun, and it is worth reflecting upon that whenever we attempt to do something in the name of agile. Continue reading “Doing Agile, Being Agile”

INVEST

This is another post resulting from my recent review of the notes I made when taking my CSM course. I love a good mnemonic. There are plenty of words that I can only spell by remembering some strange sentence. I especially like it when a mnemonic relates to the data that one’s trying to remember, and INVEST is certainly that. Continue reading “INVEST”

The Ten Minute Trainer

This week’s Adventures with Agile meetup was a seminar by Sharon Bowman, author of Training from the Back of the Room. As with all the best talks it was both engaging and informative. We were taught in my favourite way; by doing what we were learning.¬†As one person on my table said, “This is incredibly meta.” Here are my takeaway points. Continue reading “The Ten Minute Trainer”