Large Features and Long Deadlines Mean You Have a Gantt Chart, Not a Roadmap

Several of my clients have internal struggles about how to internally see the future of the product. The teams want to use an agile approach so they can incorporate learning. The managers want rigid roadmaps. Why? Because the managers want to “know” the teams will deliver it all. However, the managers create a roadmap similar …

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 #11: Substitute the Word Trust for Empower

We talk a lot about empowered or self-organizing teams in the agile community. However, I don’t see too many self-organizing or empowered teams at my clients. Not because my clients are stupid—far from it. Everyone does the best job they know how to do. However, every manager’s micromanagement pervades all levels. Instead of talking about …

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 …

The Focus of Every Agile Coach: Support How the Business Creates Value

How should agile coaches work? I’ve heard several questions and problems around what agile coaches should and should not do. Should agile coaches focus on: How well the teams use their pre-determined agile framework. (For example, how good is their Scrum?) Enroll (or somehow persuade) the managers in an agile mindset. (As an example, how …

Learn to Free Your Inner Writer to Write More, Faster, & Easier

Would you like to write more—and faster? Would you like to build some ease into how you write now? If you have these problems or worries: It takes you forever to finish a piece. You wonder if you have anything useful to write about. You fear you might have writer’s block. First, you’re normal. Second, …

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 …

Writer’s Block: Don’t Allow Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt into Your Writing

Every so often, someone asks me, “How do you write so much?” I don’t feel as if I write that much. I have meeting-filled days, just as you do. However, I suspect there’s something different about my days: I write for 15 minutes every day. Sometimes, I write longer, but I write for 15 minutes …