A friend of mine was once put in charge of the Innovation group at the company where we worked. Whenever we would talk about the state of Innovation, he always seemed preoccupied with creating an “innovation organization”. But the conversation never seemed to get far beyond that point.
Continue reading “Are We There Yet?”
“We practice when things are easy so we can use it when they get hard.”
The phone in the dining room rang, the caller id showed my parent’s number. My wife looked at the phone, then up at the clock, then at me. Somehow, we instinctively knew what was coming. I pushed the speakerphone button, and I heard my mother’s voice, quiet and wracked with grief. “I’m all alone.” Continue reading “When things get hard…”
“Your team walks into the chamber. On the wall to your right is a board, listing a number of tasks that you need to complete. A clock on the far wall begins counting down. You have two weeks. What do you do?”
Continue reading “Gaming the System”
“The team just isn’t demonstrating a sense of urgency.“
The manager looked earnestly at me across the table.
I took a deep breath. “If I may clarify. Is your wish that the team understands the urgency of the situation, or that they demonstrate a sense of … panic?” Continue reading “Instilling a Sense of Urgency”
I am frequently asked to give a brief overview of Scrum to people who are unfamiliar with Agile concepts. In the course of giving those lessons, I almost always see a look of shock at the almost cavalier way that we agilists claim that Agile methods will give a better result than traditional methods. I like the look of shock. It shows that they’re paying attention. Continue reading “Agile vs. Waterfall – Improved Performance is NOT Guaranteed”
What do you think about companies that are trying to implement Scrum asking for a Technical ScrumMaster? Can one person perform more than two tasks?
Continue reading “On ScrumMasters Serving a Dual Role”
There are dozens of books out there on management and leadership styles. There are dozens of books about Agile methods and the application of Agile principles. There are probably hundreds of books on the psychology of groups. In my opinion, there are not enough books that combine these concepts. The interconnections and application are left as exercises of the reader. Continue reading “Team Building: Five Dysfunctions and Four ‘Ormings”