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 …

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, …

Purpose vs. Product: Differentiate Your Strategy from Tactics (Portfolio & Roadmaps)

I’m struggling to write several posts and I realized I need to define my terms. I keep seeing managers confuse the strategic and tactical. That leads to large and unchangeable roadmaps and a lot of emphasis on predictability. I don’t know how to offer the level of predictability they want for large and unchanging work. …

Leadership Tip #10: Commit Coherent & Meaningful Work to a Team

Many managers feel the need to get more and more done. They feel pressure from customers and salespeople for more features or products. Or the managers might feel the need for more revenue. So they start many projects. When teams have too many projects, teams take longer to finish. This means all that pressure continues …

Why Shared Services “Teams” Don’t Work with Agility

One of my clients wants to use shared services “teams” as they start their agile transformation. Their developers work on a product for months and years at a time. However, the testers and UI people are part of pools of people. The organization calls these testers and UI people, “shared services.” Shared service-thinking denies the …

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 …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 7, Lifecycle Summary

What risks does your project have? Do you need feedback loops so you can: Cancel the project at any time (to manage schedule and cost risks. Assess technical risks so you can rework the architecture or design to manage feature set risks. Manage what you release to customers so you can manage defect, feature set, …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 5, Origins of Agile Approaches

The original signatories of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development wanted to solve these specific problems: How can we: Bring more adaptability to software development? Stop “plan the work and work the plan” thinking? Release something of value earlier? Especially since teams now had these levers, from the iterative and incremental approaches: Prototype something for …