Succeeding with Agile - Mike Cohn's Blog

Leave Work Unassigned and See Who Steps Forward

Early in my career, I noticed the project managers in my company drove nicer cars than we programmers did. (This was back before companies had learned to fully value their technical staff.) After a few years of noticing those nicer cars, I asked my boss what I needed to do to become a project manager. He told me, "When you start acting like a manager, I'll make you a manager."

This advice wasn't unique...

Incorporating UI Design in Agile Sprints

A question I’ve been getting a lot lately is whether UI designers should be part of the Scrum team and whether they should do their work as part of an agile sprint. It’s a big topic. So let’s dive right in.

The Two Goals of an Agile Sprint

There are really two things a team should be doing each sprint:

Building new functionality
Building new knowledge

We all know that teams have to build new functionality ...

Change Isn’t Free

Agile teams are told to “embrace change,” which is the subtitle to Kent Beck’s wonderful Extreme Programming Explained book. Although an agile team can embrace change, the stakeholders in an organization must understand that change is not always free. 

Most agile teams seems to understand this. They get that requirements changes can crossover into requirements churn, ...

Handling Work Left at the End of a Sprint

It’s quite common for a team to have a bit of unfinished work at the end of an agile sprint or iteration. Ideally, a team would finish every item on its sprint backlog every sprint. But, for a variety of reasons, that isn’t always the case. This leads to a couple...

Upfront Thinking Is Like Insurance

Insurance is great for all sorts of things. I have health insurance in case I become ill or injured. I have auto insurance that will repair or replace my vehicle if it's damaged. It also protects me in case I am involved in an accident that harms someone else. I have life insurance so that if I die, my wife and daughters are taken care of.

These are types of insurance I've…