Is Scrum the Best Choice for Any Kind of Work?

A frequently asked question in Scrum classes is this: ”Is Scrum best for every type of project?” My answer is “No”. I will explain this answer in three different ways in my next 3 posts. In this one, I will present  a mashup four-quadrant model derived from two prior sources that gives us any easy way to compare two fairly obvious work characteristics to known process frameworks.  (more…)

A Sprint is Not a 2-Week Waterfall!

One of the most frequent Scrum questions I get in my travels is this:

“How can we improve our Sprints so that we don’t run out of time for testing?”

The answer is simple. Stop treating your Sprints like a short waterfall. You run out of testing time because team members are still working in silos and think that testing comes after coding. Instead, we want to use Agile and Lean principles to improve our Sprint flow, reduce risk and get more done with less effort.  (more…)

Mindful Coaching

We briefly interrupt our series on Agile Transition to bring you a shallow dip into a very deep pool. At www.agilecamp.org, Jeff McKenna and I gave mini-workshop on the importance of cultivating mindfulness and accessing presence when coaching others. Most of us equate mindfulness with stillness and meditation. While there is huge value in such  practices, here we are talking about active mindfulness while serving others. All of the common coaching skills require some level of self-awareness. A coach who can access presence while serving their client will have more success, both from being more capable in their craft and by nurturing mindfulness in their client. (more…)

Agile Transition Part 2: Success Factors

A number of success factors for Agile Transition are important to emphasize because they represent structural and, in many cases, cultural shifts from traditional software development and management environments. Most organizations miss many of these, thinking that they are simply changing the way that software is written and tested. There is so much more to this transition than just plugging in a new process. In fact, the technology shift is often the easiest part. The transition will go better if everyone is aware of these factors from the start. (more…)