Zombie Standups (And How to Bring them Back to Life)

Are you Trapped in a Zombie Standup? Do you find yourself tuning out during Standup (Daily Scrum)? Do you feel like everybody’s monotonously reciting laundry list answers to the Three Questions: what you worked on yesterday, what you’re working on today, and…maybe…what impediments you’ve run into? When it’s your turn,… Read More

What Makes A Good Stakeholder?

Stakeholders are the reason we develop Product in the first place. Stakeholders are those people that have needs, wants, and desires. (In an IT setting, these may be referred to as desirements, a processing task or type of output that is desired, but not absolutely necessary.) As a Scrum Team, we are trying to identify work that satisfies our Stakeholders. Read More

The Dangers of Hybridized Agile

A few weeks ago, an ad caught our 3Back eye. The ad, promoting an upcoming webinar, made a claim that the best approach to solving all of your Organization’s Agile process needs is to pick and choose from a multitude of scaling frameworks, put them all together, and design your own Agile framework potpourri. This “Kitchen Sink” approach to Agile is what we call Hybridized Agile. And it’s dangerous. Very dangerous. Read More

Why Agile Work Is Opportunity-Directed

One of my favorite Agile/Scrum discussion topics centers around the Agile Manifesto’s 10th principle, Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential. Whether the discussion arises in a classroom training, a private coaching session, or a conference of Scrum Thought Leaders, the discussion surrounding ‘work not done’ is always a rich one. Many questions emerge, such as... Read More

The Agile Team as Organism: Part II Why Highly Specialized Teams Must Evolve

Last week in the blog, The Agile Team as Organism: Part I, I wrote about Scrum Teams operating as organisms within an ecosystem. Some Teams find their environmental niche very cozy, so much so that they specialize to a degree that can make them vulnerable to changes in the broader ecosystem. As we all know software companies and software operations within other types of companies both operate in notoriously changeable business and technological environments... Read More

The Agile Team as Organism: Part 1

In his brilliant book Agile Software Development (2002)[1], Alistair Cockburn describes Agile Teams as ecosystems. He talks about how Teams create their own internal ecosystem, with certain Team members frequently having a disproportionate influence on how the Team develops and, more importantly, how the Team learns to work in its broader environment. Recently the thought struck me that Agile Teams are actually much more like an organism living in a broader ecosystem, rather than the ecosystem itself... Read More

4 Ways To Be Agile

Scrum provides a minimal framework that enables Agility[1], and at the same time provides a pathway to understand Agility and how to make Teams[2] better. While Teams evolve and mature; they often strive to reach “Agility in all things.” So what does it mean to really be “Agile?” How many ways can one be Agile? Join us as we count a few of the ways! Read More

Agile Consulting: A Tale of Two Risks

My work as an Agile Consultant comes in many shapes and sizes. In this consultant role, I work on the skills and standards needed for my clients to be proficient in their line of work. On this particular occasion, I was working with a client (we’ll call this client Acme Marketing and Technology) who delivers technology and marketing services in a Scrum/Agile-like manner... Read More

The Trouble with Agile

As our thoughts turn towards closing out the year, I am struck by the reoccurring theme that rose to the surface during several of my Agile/Scrum training engagements. Every one of these engagements began with one or more standard Agile/Scrum training courses, which is always a good thing. The disturbing part was the degree to which the training revealed... Read More