Why Even Good Managers Cause Projects to Fail

In December 1999 I published my first “agile” book, Adaptive Software Development (wow, nearly 15 years ago now). Recently, Dorset House Publishing and Addison-Wesley brought out an electronic edition of this book. To promote this edition we selected a chapter that can be read in full–for free. This chapter, Why Even Good Managers Cause Projects to […]

    Once Upon a Time before Agile

    Once upon a time, before “agile”, the IT world teemed with scary monsters—huge methodologies in multiple 3-ring binders, processes stacked upon processes and excruciatingly detailed documents ad infinitum. This was the 1980’s when proponents of methodologies such as Information Engineering spent 18-24 months in strategic IT planning before any projects were started! Another 18-24 months […]

      You Can’t Plan Away Uncertainty

      I’ve recently moved from Venice, Florida back to the West—to Lafayette, Colorado near Boulder to be specific. As I launch my cycling activity here I was reminded of an article I wrote several years ago on Hudson Bay Starts. Riding in the Boulder/Lafayette area has infinite possibilities—hundreds of miles of off-road bike trails and a […]

        How Agile Do You Need to Be?

        In The Upside of Turbulence Donald Sull makes an insightful statement, “companies do not pass through life cycles, opportunities do.” Turbulence causes opportunities and companies learn to take advantage of them, or they wither. Managing this flow of opportunities, which are increasingly disruptive, requires organizations to think seriously about their agility; as Sull defines it […]

          Making Self-Organization Work

           Discipline without freedom is tyranny; freedom without discipline is chaos (Cullen Hightower). Morning Star is the largest tomato processor in the United States with 400 employees and over $700 million in annual revenues. Morning Star’s CEO, Chris Rufer, built a successful company on the principle of self-management where everyone is responsible for coordinating with colleagues, customer, […]