Monday, 29 March 2010

Agile South Coast: The Next Group Meeting will be on 12th April

In April at the Agile South Coast monthly event we're having Bob
Marshall ( for an exciting and revealing
discussion about coaching skills.

Coaching is becoming an extremely important part of today's job and an integral part of all Agile transformations.

Bob is a highly experienced transformational leader, currently chief coach at Falling
Blossoms whose main goal is increasing effectiveness for UK technology businesses through transformational leadership.

Come along to learn some new skills and have a great conversation with true agilists and while on it bring any questions you might want Bob or the rest if us to answer.

We'll also have some free training to give away for those most active in the discussion.

Weekly agile links 29 March - 2 April 2010

Short and busy week produced less links than before. At least this time I won't forget to post it.
My Link of the week is Mike Cottmeyer's advice on how to build a large organization.

Enjoy reading ;)

[link of the week]
How to Build a Large Agile Organization Mike Cottmeyer suggests a way of large scale Agile that I can actually see!

Management Mistakes (Part 1) Michael Bolton's rather amusing story which brilliantly pictures so many of my past managers ;)

Optimize the Whole = Measure at All Levels Jurgen Appelo once again with a valuable article on what to measure and why.

Systems Thinking and The “Flop” by Tripp Babbitt. Something for me to remind me to read it really rather than recommending it. (which doesn't mean it is not good).

Managers: Reduce Stress by Increasing the Feedback by Steve Roesler.Reminds me of the famous quote that truth always is uncovered in the end so why not get there fast.

Ten Answers from a non-manager Markus Gärtner provides the answers to Jurgen Appelo's questions from last week. Blog-dialog ;)

Appraisals aren't about the work anymore by ROB WORTH. Yet another one for me to remind me to read it. Kind of busy week ;)

6 Months of Reflection Leadership Tom Glover reflects on what he learned from publishing in his blog in the last 6 months. Haven't read it in full.

Unwritten Rules of Communication Mike Myatt on leadership and effective communication. Sounds interesting so I should be reading it soon;).

Scrum, Kanban, Waterfall? Whatever you call your process, it’s broken I struggled to find out who the author is - it sounds challenging and interesting though.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Weekly agile links 22-26 Mar 2010

Reasons An incredibly good article by Gerald M. Weinberg. Contains a nice tool to deal with situation change agents have to deal with now and then. A must read really!

Team Estimation Game - This is a 2 years old post by Shane Duan which describes a game by Steve Bockman. I came across the link and I thought I'd publish it as I've seen the game before (last year's ScrumFest in Brighton) and I liked it ;)

Stop. Reflect. Adapt. Matthias Marschall on The 3 Steps to Stop Writing Bad Code

Self-Facilitation Skills for Teams Esther Derby on looks into self-organizing teams and beyond technical work.

Experiment Driven Development - The Post-Agile Way Here comes another ?DD - this time it is the EDD. Nonetheless it does sound interesting and 'the business' can learn a lot from it.

7 Productivity Tips From Ernest Hemingway And today still valid as ever (thanks to WBRIGGS)

Leadership Development: Just in Case or Just in Time Tom Glover with another interesting post on leadership. I like how Tom specifies the reading time ;)

Goal-driven Development Eli Lopian presents some valid thoughts on the wrongs of performance management as we know it and gives examples of why setting a goal is important.

The Dolt's Guide To Self-Organization Jurgen Appelo's super simple explanation of self organization. Reading time 10-15 minutes ;)

Facilitating A Kanban Konversation One of the great Kanban leaders Karl Scotland talks about facilitation in Kanban environment - e.g. goldfish bowl or just fishbowl as some call it.

A Managers Role in Hiring Esther Derby continues her management series with a suggestion about how to do hiring in collaborative environment.

Doing It Wrong An amazing podcast of one of the last interviews Russell Ackoff gave. Insightful and revealing. Evry C*O must be made to listen to it and understand it.

Agile coaching skills course
John McFadyen's take from Rachel Davis's recent course @ skillsmatter

Technical Excellence isn’t enough Eric Brown on technical excellence, point 0 and what else is do you need (I need to read it really ;))

10 Questions to Ask Your New Manager Jurgen Appelo again - this time with 10 questions you should know to ask when interviewed.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Weekly Agile Links 15-19 Mar 2010

My quote of the week this time comes from a 33 years old article by Melvin Conway - yes you've guessed it - it's the famous Conway law - "Any organization that designs a system (defined more broadly here than just information systems) will inevitably produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure"

Otherwise another huge week on links so I guess I have to up my selection criteria so I can post a manageable number of links and only those of best quality ;)

My Link of the week this time is Toyota’s journey from Waterfall to Lean software development courtesy of Henrik Kniberg who brings us an interesting story.

All the links below - I hope you enjoy reading/watching ;)

What Great Bosses Know about Teams vs. Silos Do you have a team or a silo? Great article & podcast discussing leadership & team dysfunctions

Scrum Gathering Musings Another blog post with impressions from the SG2010 in Orlando, this time by Karl Scotland.

Shifting the Burden of Establishing Priorities An interesting exercise by Esther Derby demonstrating that "without prioritization nothing is priority"

Brian Marick on 4 Challenges and 5 Guiding Values of Agile Software Development looks interesting - must find time to watch it!

Toyota’s journey from Waterfall to Lean software development Guess what? Toyota software development currently is running waterfall. Henrik Kniberg's been there and is happy to share his experience.

Orlando Scrum Gathering overview by Bob Hartman -very useful if you want an informative yet not so long summary.

Agile Coaching CirclesNotes from a SG2010 open space session on how to avoid feeling isolated and unsupported as a coach

An agenda is the killer of productivity in meetings Hugh Ballou has something to say about activities and outcomes - usually worth reading when he writes.

Team Roles Tom Glover writes something very similar to the DISC model with very similar claims that all of these roles are necessary as well.

Migrating from Scrum to Scrumban - an Experience Report from a Kanban Virgin Chris Pitts presents his experience of moving from Scrum to Scrum ban (which is a combination of Scrum & Kanban)

The new issue of Better Software with some great articles from Mike Cohn, Lee Copeland, Jon Kohl and others

Harrison Owen: Use Open Space for amazing results Michael Sahota's notes on Harrison Owen's keynote speech at Scrum Gathering 2010 in Orlando

Fix the Small Problems First After winning my article of the week last time here is another article by Jurgen Appelo. This time on fixing small cracks. Has in it my favourite example about the NY police and crime rates.

Managers Are Clueless Pawel Brodzinski states the obvious. I wish more managers could admit it!

What happened to the Deming philosophy?A great article about W. Edwards Deming (by Rip Stauffer)

Large-Scale Agile Another scaling agile article by James Shore

An Open Space endorsement of Scrum Tobias posted this reproduction of the email sent to Scrum Alliance by Suzanne Daigle who worked with Harrison Owen on the Open Space session at the American SG2010. A great feedback for SA.

Are We Agile Yet? Abby Fichtner (the hacker chick blog) shares some great tips for team sthat want to be agile.

When Bureaucracy Kills Leadership (and Your Organization) Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D explains why bureaucracy is bad. I'm sure most of us see it every day - the article is good - hope it reaches those intended.

Conflict is Human: Let's Use It Well Deborah Preuss explains why conflict is good. I agree.

Reference list of Open Space Sessions [Open Space] Last one on SG2010 I promise. this one conatins links to all open space sessions details.

How One Leads Others: Plus It, Always! Dr. Jeffrey Magee on leadership. Looks interesting and I should find a few minutes to read it this weekend.

A video of Professor John Seddon discussing the seminal moments that informed the evolution of his systems thinking method

Friday, 5 March 2010

Weekly agile links 8-12 Mar 2010

And here goes another week of hundreds of valuable links flying around.. and I somehow managed to select less than that so they can actually be useful (hopefully).

This week my link of the week is:
Jurgen Appelo's article in defence of Scrum (seriously people - stop pissing on it!)

And all my links below:

Being a Better Team Member Tom Glover gives some advice on being a team member and how to make teams successful

Kanban - The Next Step in the Agile Evolution? Ketil Jensen builds a case for using Kanban over Scrum.

Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback In The Brain of Elizabeth Keogh series by Another presentation provided by SkillsMatter that is definitely worth watching.

90 Minute Agile Sprints and Emergent Design at SnapCamp Another idea for shock-therapy switch to Scrum. I have to try this some day!

Motivating employees without money Ankit Patel proves why Lean organizations are better placed to motivate people and grow.

Are You Managing Resources Or Building Knowledge? Yet another article that outlines the reasons why people should NOT be called resources.

Bring out the best Daniel Schroeder looks at Employee morale in recent times and suggests how to improve it. I wish more C*Os read this.

37signals long term business planning The guys from 37 signals say you should Unplan (similar to Unlearn your MBA) - great one again - Thanks for the link ;)

You rock
Some wisdom from Seth's blog - very short and worth the read.

Tools for Agility and Lean and Kanban Principles for Developers Cory Foy provides two of his recent presentations. Haven't seen them yet and should find the time to do it soon.

Communication Skills Game Another one for the collection. I have seen others that illustrate the same idea (e.g. the telephone game) however I think this one potentially is more provoking so should experiment with it next time I have the opportunity.

9 Questions to assess team structure Mike Cohn suggests 9 questions to help identify if teams are well positioned for success.

[link of the week]
In Defense of Scrum (Please Stop Pissing on It) Jurgen Appelo says a few good words about Scrum (in contrast to all the downsides we've been hearing about lately)

Visions of Leadership Paul Lemberg has many valuable advices on how to stop being Chef Cook and become a great CEO.

Developer Quality! … and Certification? Second article in reaction to Uncle Bob's recent post this time by Ron Jeffries. I have not read it yet so another one in the "to read" list.

Scrum Gathering Collides with Project Management Jesse Fewell with some details from the Orlando Scrum Gathering

Agile or W-agile? Rachel Davis on cowboy agile or as she calls it w-agile.

Balanced scorecard author talks agile business and risk manaement Harvard Business School Professor and author Robert Kaplan discusses how he defines two subjects that are receiving a lot of buzz these days: agile business and predictive analysis

How Much Process Is Too Much? Eric Ries discusses how to figure out how much process startups should have in this article for Harvard Business Review