The One True Way to Be Agile

There are two equally convenient routes from my house to the airport. The fastest is to take a toll road that passes about a mile from the house and goes directly to the airport. But that costs $8. The other route takes about 10 minutes longer, but saves me those eight dollars. Sometimes I take the first route...

Recommendations, Not Rules

I seem to be encountering more and more people who want to codify agile into a set of rules. I've seen this lately in authors of books, blogs or PDFs about agile or Scrum that say "You must do this" or "If you don't do this or all of that then you're not doing it right." Over the last few months I also encountered this in conversations with a few Project Management Offices…

In Defense of Making Hard Changes

I've read a number of articles lately that make the claim that Kanban is better than Scrum because it doesn't require a great deal of organizational change. I first came across this argument in some of David Anderson's writings, including his: Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change For Your Technology Business. The idea is that you simply start measuring work-in-progress…

Comparative Agility Assessment - Determining How Agile You Are Comparatively

With this in mind, Kenny Rubin, Laurie Williams and I created the Comparative Agility assessment (CA), which is available for free online. Like the Shodan Adherence Survey and Agile:EF, a CA assessment can be based on individual responses to survey questions. However, it was also designed to be completed by an experienced ScrumMaster, coach, or consultant on behalf of a team or company based on interviews or observation.

Four Types of Resistors When Adopting Agile

People resist changing to Scrum for many different reasons. Some may resist because they are comfortable with their current work and colleagues. It has taken years to get to their current levels in the organization, to be on this team, to work for that manager, or to know exactly how to do their jobs each day. Others may resist changing to Scrum because of a fear of the…

How Do You Get from Here to Agile? Iterate.

Historically, when an organization needed to change, it undertook a “change program.” The change was designed, had an identifiable beginning and ending, and was imposed from above. This worked well in an era when change was necessary only once every few years. But in today’s fast-paced, ever changing environment, it makes more sense to create agile organizations, ready to…

There Is No End State When Transitioning to Agile

None of the agile processes as described by their originators is perfect for your organization. Any may be a good starting point, but you will need to tailor the process to more precisely fit the unique circumstances of your organization, individuals, and industry. As Alistair Cockburn once told me, “Having a chance to change or personalize a process to fit themselves seems…

Scrum Shouldn’t Be a Burden

Scrum was designed to be lightweight, so if your team is complaining that it's too heavy, you need to do some digging to find out what's weighing them down. This article defines some factors that could be adding to their load.

Selecting the Right Iteration Length

A key consideration in adopting an iterative process is selecting how long your iterations will be. Mike Cohn discusses the issues to consider when determining whether your team's iterations should last two weeks, three weeks, or longer.