agile

How to Right-Size Your Stories for Better Predictability

Do your senior leaders want more predictability about when your team can finish its work? Perfect prediction is impossible, and sometimes, even reasonable prediction is quite difficult (with apologies to Yogi Berra). However, agile teams have one specific “tool” to create better predictability: right-sizing their stories. When a team right-sizes their work, they can create …

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How to See Business Agility: Adaptable and Resilient Management Actions

More of my clients say they want business agility. (That’s a good thing.) Yet, we don’t share a common definition of business agility. My clients mostly discuss their mindset. Mindset might help people, but it’s not sufficient. Instead, let’s consider how to see management’s adaptable and resilient actions. Those actions show that managers change their …

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How to Create Your Own Team Board Without Spending a Ton of Time or Money

Are you frustrated with your board? Maybe three columns don’t offer you enough information. Or maybe you agree with me that teams need to create their own boards. (See the Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics series.) While you’re intrigued by how to create your own board, you have zero money to …

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Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 4

I started this series with observations that my clients appear to confuse strategy and tactics. They think agile approaches are tactics and agile tools are part of their strategy. That’s why they want to Buy an agile approach. And that’s why they want to Customize and then standardize on tools. This post is about this …

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Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 3

In Part 1 and 2 of this series, I wrote about how an agile approach might offer strategic benefits. And because an agile approach changes your culture, I said the agile approach was part of your strategy. So let’s ask this question: Can any tool—agile or otherwise—offer you a strategic advantage? (I don’t see how, …

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Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 2

So when does it make sense to customize your agile approach to gain a strategic advantage? Whenever you have a unique problem to solve that’s strategic to your business. Let’s start with a couple of examples. Example 1: Startup/Small Organization with Few Products SmallCo has revenue of about $30Million a year. They offer their product …

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Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 1

A number of my clients confuse their strategic ideas with tactical work. They think that the agile tools they use, such as boards, offer a strategic advantage. So they build or customize their tools. However, they adopt or “install” an agile framework or process without customization. Those actions lead to organizational brittleness. Instead, agile organizations …

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Want a Successful Agile Project? Start with Why Before How

I’ve been speaking with several possible clients. They’re having trouble with Scrum. The managers don’t believe the teams need product owners, so the teams don’t have POs. The managers think a Scrum Master can support at least four teams. The teams start a lot and finish very little. The teams think they have too many …

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A Contrarian’s Perspective on Agile Mindset, Behaviors, Culture

We often hear that agile is a mindset. That we need to change our thinking to use agility. Is that correct? That you need to change how you think first, before anything else? I can think I change my mindset all day long. However, I don’t change until I change my actions, my behaviors. That’s …

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