Want Business Agility? Use These Seven Innovation Principles

I’m rewriting/reorganizing the Lead an Innovative Organization book. I realized I have 7 innovation principles: Clarify the organization’s purpose.  Manage for effectiveness. Seek outcomes, not outputs. Flow efficiency at all levels. Encourage small-world networks of relationships. Organizational integrity. Encourage change and experiments. Anytime I’ve seen a successful innovation culture, I’ve seen these principles. (I’m trying …

Build Team Resilience: Work “Anywhere” and “Anytime” (Part 3)

When I started this series about team brittleness and resilience, I expected to discuss winter weather in the Boston area.  Every year, we expect several large snowstorms. And, when it snows hard and long, we should stay off the roads so the plows can clear the snow. The organization and team I wrote about in …

Build Team Resilience: Shorten Feedback Loops (Part 2)

This series is about helping a team create a less brittle environment—more resilience. Part 1 was about individual work. This part is about shortening feedback loops. Brief description of the problem at a recent client: Person A checked in code that broke an “unrelated” part of the system. I’ll call this checking in code in …

Build Team Resilience: Work Together (Part 1)

I’ve been working with clients who have brittle environments. Their brittleness doesn’t show up all the time. When everything is good, they’re able to finish work and deliver. But, someone checks in code that breaks something “over there.” Or, someone gets pulled off to work on production support issues and is no longer available to …

Capitalizing Software During an Agile Transformation

A client wants to know how best to calculate their software capitalization. They had a “standard” approach when they used waterfall. They no longer have all waterfall projects. They’ve started to use agile approaches. And, the projects don’t all look the same. Being somewhere in the middle means they’re having trouble reasoning about capitalization. Why …

Effects of Separating “New” Work vs “Maintenance” Work

Back when I was a manager, my senior management wanted to separate the “new” work from the “maintenance” work. I suggested that every new line after the first line of code was maintenance. The managers poo-poohed me. My concern: How would the “new” developers learn from their mistakes? I lost that discussion and I managed …

Create Feedback Loops (Agile Approaches) for Hardware Products

In Costs of an Agile Approach for Hardware Products, I suggested that an iteration-based approach for hardware was too expensive. I focused on the actual development costs. Let me talk a little about the team and alternatives here. What Does a Hardware Team Look Like? Agile software teams are cross-functional and interdependent. The team is …

Costs of an Agile Approach for Hardware Products

I had a conversation with a hardware engineer whose organization got the mandate, “Go agile or bust!” They’re attempting to manage their technical and schedule risk with two-week iterations. And, they’re trying to show finished product, not simulations. And, even though they work independently, they’re supposed to have a standup every day. None of that makes …