Unfreeze the “Frozen Middle” of Management

I had great fun with Cherie Silas and Alex Kudinov on their podcast, “Keeping Agile Non-Denominational.” Listen to Unfreezing the Frozen Middle. You’ve seen or heard about this problem: Senior leadership says, “Yes we need agility!” The teams say, “Yes, we got the agile goodness here!” And the middle managers? They’re stuck. The current culture …

Behaviors Create an Agile Culture with Gregory Miller

Gregory Miller and I discussed the ideas of behaviors vs mindset on his podcast. See Behaviors Create an Agile Culture with Johanna Rothman. We spoke about the Modern Management Made Easy books. In our wide-ranging discussion, we discussed the various traps that managers create or encounter: Rewarding heroics instead of collaboration. How to offer credit …

Creating Time for Collaboration with Distributed Teams and Agile Approaches

Summary: Many of us have horrible experiences with distributed teams where we can find no possibility of collaboration, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even if a team is distributed, those team members need collaborative opportunities and space. What’s important is the team’s time for collaboration, not time zones. Here are some ways …

Distributed Agile Approaches Optimize for the Team over Individuals

Summary: Consider how your team currently organizes: for resource efficiency, optimizing for the individual; or for flow efficiency, optimizing for the team? Successful agile teams—distributed or not—should collaborate to optimize the flow of work through the team. This approach lets you understand your capacity, learn together, and deliver more effectively. Too many “teams” feel like …

Multiple Short Feedback Loops Support Innovation

Several of my clients have intertwined problems. Everyone agrees they want innovation: Which products and services the organization offers. (The project portfolio) What features the product offers, or the problems the product solves. (The product roadmap) In the team, to solve the problems in a way that will attract users/buyers/customers. (The team’s backlog and how …

Why Very Few (If Any) People Are “10x” Developers—Or Managers

Steve, a software development manager, thought John was a “10x” developer. He explained that John could: Coded faster than anyone else. Write and release full applications over a weekend. “Mind-meld” with the users. No one else in Steve’s group could do this. Was I willing to support and coach the other people in Steve’s group …