Best Agile Articles of 2019

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Many organizations want to “become Agile”, then browse through the catalog of common frameworks, pick their favorite – and run a Transformation Program. While all of these are officially communicated as a massive success, I’d like to cast a bit of light on what is actually going on.

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How difficult would it be to coach that team if she was also a coder and busy working instead of seeing the whole of the team and how they work together? Why can’t the scrum master, who is the leader/coach during the day to day operations of the team do both?

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Lately, I have been giving several Scrum training sessions, mostly in-house to non-IT folks. When I start explaining the basics of the Scrum framework to them, they eagerly want to hear examples and benefits of using Scrum. It always helps to have a good story ready, this blog contains five examples of the benefits.

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I collected vast experience in articulating, showing, explaining and simulating effects what agile means, why this topic is on nearly every strategic agenda and why organizations these days struggle to be agile.
In cooperation with my beloved colleagues from HR Pioneers and based on the various visualizations from other great colleagues (just search for“agile iceberg”), we developed this simple model which helps me a lot to have an anchored visualization.

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I summarise Agile leadership like this: “Stop giving solutions to people. Give them clear outcomes to aspire to. Give them enough space and support. They will figure it out.”
Nothing Earth-shattering. It’s no different to the military’s age-old “Commander’s Intent.”
Most portfolio management schemes I’ve encountered are top-down management, coordination, and progress-tracking work. More mature ones have prioritisation, WIP-limits, and with strategic underpinnings in there as well. And a lot of them probably work well in their context.

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If the groups in your data-analytics organization don’t work together, it can impact analytics-cycle time, data quality, governance, employee retention and more. A variety of factors contribute to poor teamwork. Sometimes geographical, cultural and language barriers hinder communication and trust. Technology-driven companies face additional barriers related to tools, technology integrations and workflows which tend to drive people into isolated silos.

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Frequently in workshops, I get asked, “Where shouldn’t we use Scrum?” The short answer is there are lots of instances where the Scrum framework doesn’t fit. However, to give a more complete and effective answer to this question, first we need to have an idea of why and when Scrum does work and what the key conditions are for success. We can then show examples of where it isn’t a good fit.

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In my product coaching work, I have come to realize that many organizations don’t have a clear and consistent answer to this fundamental question. This has serious consequences. A poorly defined product impacts your ability to respond to changing customer and market needs. It results in less than satisfying product outcomes. It causes organizational and communication woes. It thwarts organizations efforts to scale agile product development.

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When was the moment that I started to prize looks over learning? I time travel to that precise moment and tell my young woman self that a different story can be written. That it is possible, and more joyful, to prize learning over looks.

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