Beyond Project Plans

The Agile community has long advocated self-organizing teams. However, the emphasis has been on how teams perform work, make technical decisions and the like. Most teams are still operating in the same traditional way when it comes to measuring project performance and the application of controls. If empowerment truly focuses on decentralized decisions and authority, […]

What do Leaders Want from Agile?

I’ve just returned from a busy 4-week trip to Germany and Australia, and then Chicago. In shaking off the jet-lag cobwebs I took some time to reflect on this trip and others over the last 6-8 months (UK, Brazil, and the Agile Executive Summit). On these trips I’ve talked with many, many executives and managers […]

Can-do Thinking Makes Risk Management Impossible

“Can-do thinking makes risk management impossible. Since acknowledging real risk is defeatism, the risk management function in a can-do organization is restricted to dealing with those smallish risks that can be mitigated by quick action. That means you confront all the risks except the ones that really matter.” (Tom DeMarco, Why Does Software Cost So […]

Micromanaging Angst

I’ve always been concerned that some agile practices are applied even when they are not appropriate for a particular situation. I’ve called this Agile 101, learning the basics, that Alistair Cockburn calls the Shu level of learning ( Shu-Ha-Ri are the three levels). All too often some agile practice or misunderstood principle will be inappropriately […]

Oscillation versus Iteration

Short iterations can cause Agile teams to lose focus and begin oscillating rather than iterating. This can happen from several perspectives—business, technical, user—and it’s something that Agile teams need to be aware of and guard against. When customers change their minds on an user interface issue over and over again—oscillation may be the issue. When […]