Best Agile Articles of 2019

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The idea of team members having genuine interactions appealed to me. I swooned over interactions that helped teams iterate toward constructive work processes.

I fell hard for low defect deliverables that would support the users as long as they needed it. And the business success that resulted–Dreamy!

In short, I fell in love.

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We don’t often think of our lives as temporal and spatial flows. However, as we transition from birth to death, we age, we learn, we flow in and out of relationships, we move from place to place: we flow through time. Life is one great flow. It is curious then that we seem so pre-occupied with speed. We want everything to be not only fast but better yet instant. We want everything “on-demand”.

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In martial arts, we learn only a few concepts and techniques at a time. This provides us an opportunity to focus on trying, learning, and trying again. We need to have “clean” technique (no waste, no anti-patterns) before we try more challenging techniques. Martial artists have used Deming’s PDCA (plan, do, check/study, act) for thousands of years before it existed. The only way we can learn is to limit learning-in-process (LIP, is this a new acronym? maybe instead of WIP…). Yes, I am not just a karate nerd; I am also an agile nerd; or just a nerd?

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Leading and sustaining any change hits the biggest blockers without  Leadership Support. As per our experience so far, it is one of the biggest setback agile coaches face during their respective assignments. Here are some Questions for those who are in “coaching” roles in some capacity?

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Let’s face it, today, finding an experienced and credible agile coach, is not easy.  If you disagree with this statement, you are either very lucky and have special access to some great talent (e.g. referrals or networking) OR …..your perception of the role may need to change.

There is no need to be ashamed of not being able to find a good coach. You are not alone, many companies face the same challenge.

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Like many of you, I got into this business by accident. I started in IT around the time of the iPhone release. I became obsessed with mobile technology. This site began to write about the growing industry. Even co-wrote a now out-of-date book on building apps.

I spent years in the startup world. Small teams building big things. I thought I knew mobile when I started work at one of the largest independent app development companies. The problem is everyone else there did too. So when they asked about other specialties, I mentioned my knowledge of Scrum.

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Today, references to LeSS Guides and Experiments can be found in various places on the internet and intranet of many companies that have decided to experiment with LeSS.

This writing is about a small sub-set of LeSS experiments that are specifically related to HR norms, policies, and practices. They are all listed in the guide (referenced above), under the section “Organization” and this implies that they are directly related to organizational design – the first-order factor in the success of LeSS adoptions and agile transformations, at scale.

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Change is hard. We all know this. Organisational change starts with personal change. Again we all know this. But if we know these things why do a staggering amount of transformations still fail?
IBM a few years back stated that 84% of Digital Transformations fail — although there is a lot of “grey” area around what constitutes as “failure” still 84% is a staggering number! What interests me the most is why this is the case? As a fellow coach Tanner Wortham brilliantly provoked “If this agile thing is so great, then why doesn’t it always stick?”

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Far too often organisational culture is dismissed as an abstract concept that is hard to grasp or change. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Organisational culture is a system of shared values, beliefs and assumptions about how people should behave and interact. According to Daniel Coyle (The Culture Code), “It’s not something you are. It’s something you do”. In other words, it’s a set of behavioural patterns or habits that can be detected and changed to support the transformational objectives, agile or otherwise.

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