Features or Quality? Selling Software Excellence to Business Partners

Features or Quality? It’s always been difficult getting business partners (from executives to product owners) interested in quality—be that code quality, design quality, automated testing, or technical debt. Software technical excellence numbers (ah, if we just had good numbers) don’t mean much to business partners. Recently I’ve been adding to the Agile Triangle (Value, Quality, […]

    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, […]

      “Over’s” Usefulness in Decision Making

      The Agile Manifesto was written in a very deliberate style, for example, “Individuals and interactions over process and tools.” The word “over” was carefully chosen and establishes a key agile principle that many things in our world are too complex for black or white answers so we need to differentiate between what is critical and […]

        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 […]