Best Agile Articles of 2020

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Sprint Goals Provide Purpose

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Go Beyond Merely Completing Work Lists

A Sprint should be so much more than just completing a number of User Stories or fixing bugs. If your Sprints are merely about ticking off items on a scattered work list without having a shared understanding of why they’re important or what purpose they serve, your Development Team will struggle to keep focus in the short-term and will take longer to become highly effective in the long run.

Stop Sub-Optimizing. Invite — Don’t Impose Scrum on Teams.

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Sub-optimizing is becoming an excuse for not reaching your company’s potential. And imposition kills motivation.

Suddenly ‘agile’ boomed in the industry. It’s only a few years back that ‘every’ company went agile.

Or so they said. The companies. Their managers.

Systems Thinking Approach to Implementing Kanban (STATIK) for Scrum Teams.

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STATIK (Systems Thinking Approach To Implementing Kanban1 2) can be a great technique to help teams get up and running quickly, even teams that are using Scrum.

Applying the STATIK approach leverages the first principle of the Kanban method, “Start with what you do, or know, now”, in order to help avoid over-thinking how existing work, structures, and/or roles “fit” within Scrum. To be clear, I am not talking about what is commonly referred to as “Scrum-ban”. Applying this approach designed for Kanban can dramatically accelerate the forming and improvements of a Scrum team.

The “Agile C-Suite” and The Critical Role It Plays in an Organization’s Path to Agility

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The recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article “The Agile C-Suite1 and Forbes article “Agile Isn’t New: What’s New Is The C-Suite Embracing It” have prompted some good discussion around the Agile Velocity virtual water cooler.

While there is general agreement with most of what was published in these two articles, enough to elicit the ubiquitous ‘thumbs-up’ 👍, there’s a fair level of “Yes, and…”

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Best Agile Articles Virtual Conference is a quarterly gathering where best of the best authors share their thoughts, ideans, and inspirations with teh conference participants. If you would like to subscribe to the soundcast of these talks, head to Soundwise.

Tandem Coaching Academy and Heart Healthy Scrum were honored to host Kurt Nielsen in July 2020 with the topic “The Fatal Attraction of Classical Hierarchies”

The Investment into Quality

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If you’re setting out to “become Agile”, or “more Agile”, I would like to say something in words as simple as I can:

Unless you’re willing to invest heavily into quality, forget about “Agile”.

Now, what I mean with “invest in quality” is not “throwing huge amounts of money into testing”, because the investment you will make is actually free, and it doesn’t involve hiring additional staff, either: If you’re doing it right, you will spend a lot less money to get better results. What you need to invest is attitude, thinking, brainpower, capacity:

The Role of an Agile Manager

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When leading training classes or coaching teams and organizations, I often hear the question “what is the role of a manager on an Agile team?”

It’s a very good question and there are quite a few misconceptions. To start exploring this topic, let’s begin with what a manager typically does in a traditional environment.

The Transformational Factor in Coaching

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Why do we say that coaching can be transformational? As coaches, are we transforming the people we work with? What is actually the transformational factor in a coaching session? Asking the right questions ….

Coaching is a partnership between a client and a coach. Focused on the client’s needs, the coach is asking powerful questions to make the coachee find the answers by himself.

This Is Why Your Company Doesn’t Make Real Progress, Although Everyone Works So Hard.

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If you want to improve the whole system, first, you need to identify and improve the systemic constraints (any limiting factors) that stand in the way of achieving your goal. Otherwise, any improvement initiative will result in a local optimisation that does not provide significant benefits.

Understanding Technical Debt with an Example

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After doing a lot of research, asking questions and getting clarifications, what I learnt was that you could create an Increment of releasable quality, that meets the Definition of “Done” and yet incur Technical Debt. Confused? So was I, and I am hoping that through a small code based example I can help make sense of this concept.

So what exactly is this shortcut or the quick and dirty solution that people keep talking about?

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