Ian Mitchell

Ian Mitchell

Ian Mitchell’s experience in iterative and incremental delivery began with a PhD in object-oriented rapid prototyping in 1997. He then worked as a developer for several years where he witnessed the failure of many initiatives that were allegedly implementing Scrum. He realized that his true vocation was to help teams and organizations to better understand agile practice. Dr. Mitchell has a particular focus on evidence-based enterprise transformation and is the curator of a related site, agilepatterns.org. A Scrum advocate and accredited Professional Scrum Trainer, he is a veteran member of the scrum.org forums.

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Lean and Agile practices both explicitly prohibit taking on more than you can handle, so what fuels teams to continuously take on too much WIP?
Lean and Agile practice are evidence-based and rely on the empirical delivery of value to assure predictability. Planning, development, and incremental release ought to occur on a short enough timescale, or cadence, to facilitate the inspection and adaptation of both product and process.

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Technology is a numerate discipline. I had been admitted onto the IT course on the strength of a high-school biology certification. That was my “technical competency”. The professors assured me, however, that I did not need to be an expert mathematician. The essential requirement, they said, was just to be able to work with numbers.

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If you are ever hired as an agile coach, it’s quite likely that the importance of the engagement will be impressed upon you from the outset. That’s certainly been my experience anyway. I’ve never yet been recruited for a gig which was described to me as being trivial. Why is this the case though? Are chief executives looking at their charts and numbers and saying “there’s only one thing for it, we’ll have to bring Ian Mitchell in”? Am I a high-rolling celebrity coach who only gets top-level contracts? It would be nice to imagine so. However my accountant at least, I am sure, has reason to suspect that this might not be true.

About Best Agile Articles Project

Best Agile Articles is a collaborative project of the Agile community to bring you the best of the best publications each year. Our goal in publishing these yearly editions is to cull through the many articles that are published each year and provide you with a curated set of high-quality articles that capture the latest knowledge and experience of the agile community in one compact volume.
Our purpose is twofold. First, we understand that it’s hard to figure out where to go when looking for ideas and answers. There are thousands of blogs, videos, books and other resources available at the click of a mouse. But that can be a lot to sort through. So, we thought we could be of some help. Second, we wanted to bring some visibility to many people who are doing outstanding work in this field and are providing helpful resources. We hope that this publication will help them connect to you, the ones they are writing for.
Our intention is that this publication is to be by the agile community as a service to the agile community and for the agile community. With that in mind, we pulled together a great group of volunteers to help get this work into your hands.

The articles in this volume were selected by:
• A diverse Volunteer Committee of sixteen people with expertise in a variety of areas related to agile.
• The agile community. A call for article nominations went out in early 2020 and several dozen 2019 articles were nominated by the community.

The articles themselves cover a wide variety of topics including organizational structure, culture, and agile leadership. There is something for almost everyone here. All editions of the Best Agile Articles publication are available on Amazon and free to download on the Best Agile Article site.
We are thankful for the great participation by the agile community at large. If you would like to participate in delivering this publication in future years, we would welcome hearing from you.

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