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Jana Olsen's profile photoAlan Dayley's profile photo
9 comments
 
I updated the document to include a screenshot of the new web interface and updated the iOS screenshot image.
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Kicking bad guys when they are down
I am enjoying some of the bad news coming out of Wells Fargo because it illustrates a good point about metrics and incentives.
Anyone who follows this blog knows that I rarely hold a grudge and I don’t like kicking an individual or organization while it is down. I am just not wired that way. This week I am going to make an exception because of the ...
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Steve Sether's profile photo
 
Incentive based systems have become popular lately among the C-suite. I hope you're right that these kind of scandals unfolding will help to reverse that. 
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FYI
Just starting to check out the free "Agile Uprising" online community.

Seems to be a good place for meeting fellow "agilists"! :-)
ABOUT AGILE UPRISING. Agile Uprising is a purpose-built network that focuses on the advancement of the agile mindset and global professional networking between leading agilists. We will remain agnostic of certifying bodies and focus purely on the advancement of the agile craft.
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Showing a little love to Product Owners
I think that being a product owner is the hardest job in Agile. Here I argue why and endorse coaches and scrum masters giving them a helping hand whenever they can.
Listen to Ben, hang together or hang separately. I have been kicking around as a scrum master for the last three years. I have been developing software for eighteen. Those jobs are difficult and challenging but they do not ...
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Edward Wisniowski's profile photoPeter Bormann (Valonqua)'s profile photo
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My pleasure, Edward!
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Alan Dayley
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
This is very good, if a little long. I love the picture under section 3 "The Law Of The Network." It is a nice illustration of the compromised Agile that we talked about in that other thread about the death of Agile. So many companies are lucky to get as far as diagram three, Agile teams in a bureaucracy.

If left in that state, full life of Agile is not possible. Although, it might be good enough for a time.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2016/09/08/explaining-agile/#709fe1a62ef7
Agile is governed by three laws.
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Talking about Liberal arts and how it makes technology better
This is a rant about liberal arts and why we those kind of graduates are good for the technology field. I feel mighty strongly about this.
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Steve Sether's profile photo
 
I took a lot of classes in technology, science, and humanities in college. I even read C.P. Snow's "The Two Cultures" years ago, and it's even more of a split today with the rise of technology in daily life.

I think even among scientists, technologists and engineers there's a vast gap between them, but that's another discussion entirely. The remaining humanities/STEM split has it's own advantages and disadvantages. But by and large I see the differences as less about knowledge, and more about different approaches, attitudes, and mental models.

I see people with a humanities background as having a different set of tools in their toolbox that a lot of technology people. The physicist Richard Feynman talked about this as one of the big advantages he had when solving math problems that people brought to him that couldn't be solved using the standard ones. Richard just pulled out his obscure ones and when it worked, it seemed like genius magic. Some problems that seem insurmountable with one set of tools become easy-peasy with a different. It's hard to know exactly which of these tools are going to apply to which situation, but it's more important that we have people with a diverse set of tools.

One skill I see as an advantage that's I think is more present in humanities than tech is merely the ability to see outside yourself, that we all come with built in biases, and that culture matters. People that have come from pure tech backgrounds (tend) to have a more deep dive approach to the world. That it itself can be extremely useful, but it also needs some balance against others who have a broader view of the world.

One extreme example of this (that I may of mentioned before) is the developer who told me that all the users of her software would just need to learn XML schema to understand the error messages she put out. I laughed with several people over this (rather extreme) misunderstanding of humanity. This sort of misunderstanding has happened often enough that I see it as a pattern, and the only solution I see is to it is to have people around that have different perspectives to balance.
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Here´s my list of pers favs reg. org change and micropolitics:

* English *
* Buchanan / Badham (2008, 2nd ed.), Power, Politics, and Org Change
* Manns / Rising (2015), More Fearless Change.
* Marshak (2006), Covert Processes at Work
* Handbook of Org Politics (2016, 2nd. ed.). Note: This book is rather suited for an academic audience!

* German *
* Neuberger (2015, 2nd. ed.), Mikropolitik und Moral in Organisationen:
* Vigenschow et al. (2014, 3d. ed.), Soft Skills für Softwareentwickler - Abschnitt: "Projektumfeldanalyse"

I´d be happy to know what your pers fav reg. this subject is.
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David O'Brien

Discussion  - 
 
Is #agile over?


Agile has been the dominant development methodology in our industry for some time now. While some teams are just getting to grips with…
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David O'Brien's profile photoAlan Dayley's profile photo
9 comments
 
+David O'Brien The sentence prior to the link to Ron Jefferies's blog is my own.

I like the idea of Agile practice mutating. That is good. What is bad are the mutations that violate Agile principles or the creeping normality of compromises that are labeled as Agile.

And it is hard to distinguish the real Agile from the fake when most people have only experienced the fake.
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* Apropos org change & micro politics (mentioned in earlier
posts) *

Buchanan / Badham (2008), "Power, Politics, and Organizational Change" seems to be a good read.

books.google.de - `Many books on management are sanitized, cleanly technical accounts of the unreality of managerial life and work. Politics hardly feature. This book tells it like it is: it dishes the dirt, gets low-down, into the funky and fascinating politics of organizational life' - Stewart Clegg, Aston Business...
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Just read an article by Oswald Neuberger on the naivety of (some) systemic consultants regarding org micro politics.
But, Agile change agents face almost the same micro political problems.
So, my question is: Do you have any book recommendations reg. org micro politics for (Non-)Agile change practitioners?

I already know some of the "classics" (such as Mintzberg, etc.). But an Agile perspective would be nice.

Thanks in advance!
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Just in time for Labor Day
Some thoughts about what we call the people who do the technology work. They are people not resources. 
These are more than resources It is the Labor Day weekend in the United States. I marks a turning point in the year as summer winds down and all attention turns to the fourth quarter and generating as much profit as possible...
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READ THIS PLEASE! Posts that do not follow these rules may be removed without warning. - Agile+ is NOT some new Agile framework. We are a community interested in all things related to Agile ideas as defined by the Agile Manifesto. - When you post links, include some text as to why you find the particular link interesting to Agile ideas. - If your post is flagged by Google+ as possible spam AND your profile contains only similar broadcasting, you may be banned as a spammer. Yes, we check your profile. - If you are posting under an entity name (company, organization, etc.) you MUST "plus" your personal self as the author. "Individuals and interactions" please! - No sales pitches. Announce a conference, don't sell it. - No job postings. - Agile+ Team: James O'Sullivan, Miguel Rodriguez, Mike Bowler, Alan Dayley and Geoffrey Dunn
 

As we talked about self-assessment of Agile / the degree of agility:

I´ve just found a nice overview of tools and checklists for Agile self assessment on the webiste of Ben Linders.


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David Koontz's profile photoPeter Bormann (Valonqua)'s profile photo
2 comments
 
+David Koontz Well:
* You can focus on Agile in general or specific approaches such as Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, etc.
* You can focus on the team or the org level
* You can focus on Agile patterns or anti-patterns
etc.
So, there´s plenty of room for differentiation.of the Agile "product" :-)
Apart from that, there might be some overlaps between some tests, too.
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Being Agile: It’s A Matter Of Perspective: Shared my thoughts on how ‘Being Agile’ is not about some practices or set of rules, its about how disciplined principles are applied to achieve strategic objectives. Link to the post https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/being-agile-its-matter-perspective-sridhar-peddisetty


A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean", she said.
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Geoffrey Dunn
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
Agile Team Assessment

I mentioned a while ago I was looking at building a team assessment questionnaire as I wanted to focus on improvement within a team and wanted something that's not some long checklist. My starting point is Larsen and Shore's Agile Fluency Model which you likely are all familiar with http://martinfowler.com/articles/agileFluency.html. It's a great starting point but most of the teams I was interacting with fell into the 1 or 2 star area and felt they couldn't move forward without changing parts of the company outside of their control. So I wanted something more fine grained and team focused.

Here it is:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uasvg01XFknlY1HuPUo8GdqZ9fjSnmH0WRk7i6uUIck

I've written it out as: heading, a note for the assessor and the voting range with some examples to get an idea of the scale.

The goal is not to score super high. It's to spark follow up conversations to see if that's the level they want to be at, where would they want to improve and what benefits would there be in improving.

I haven't run a team through it yet. I'm posting it here in the hope of some early feedback. I may soon apply it as I want to talk to a few teams I think are struggling with getting value out of retrospecitves
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Geoffrey Dunn's profile photoDavid Koontz's profile photo
6 comments
 
I like your scoring description and the prescribed points for that... wondering if one is allowed to interpolate between those points? I'd like to know if the teams feel inspired or depressed after the assessment. I would suggest that in my decade of working with agile teams I've only worked with a very few that would score well on that assessment. It's not for beginners (in my opinion).
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Franco Martinig

Discussion  - 
 
Nadia Smith suggests an interesting difference between hiring people with Agile skills and people with Agility that she defines as having an Agile mindset.
Learn how to hire for the agility attitude instead of only for Agile and Scrum experience and skills.
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Dan Swain's profile photoPeter Bormann (Valonqua)'s profile photo
3 comments
 
+Dan Swain "hiring for culture fit is people tend to hire people like themselves so you end up with a lack of diversity."
Good point. In other words: A good "relation" (based on similar personality traits) might decide if you`re seen as "culture fit" or not.

"Also the values companies hire for are their ideal values which the company seldom really lives"
Yes, there´s a diference betw. org (culture) impression mgm. and the actual org culture (lived). But, there are probationary periods for that...

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Apropos "Scaling Agile":
Just starting to learn the Disciplined Agile framework.

Any experiences you´d like to share reg. this Scaling Agile approach?
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Edward Wisniowski's profile photo
4 comments
 
I like this but how is this different from scaling scrum with scrum.

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Yes, we need even more "Fearless Change" (patterns).

So, there´s an updated version by Manns / Rising :-)


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Dan Swain's profile photoAlan Dayley's profile photo
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I love this book and the original, too. Very helpful to my work as a change agent. And not just because I am quoted in this one.
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Rather indirectly related to "micro politics" and "org change":

Manns / Rising (2004), "Fearless Change".

I find esp. the "pattern approach" appealing :-)

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Apropos org micro politics from an Agile perspective:

Just found this InfoQ interview (2015) with Katherine Kirk and Ben Linders: "Dealing with Politics in Agile or Lean Teams"
. 
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Michael Rosario

Discussion  - 
 
http://innovativeteams.net/who-should-write-user-stories/

My teams have been exploring ways to use the time of our product owner more effectively. I wanted to share our journey to share the task of managing the product backlog and encouraging healthy communication. Would enjoy hearing other perspectives on this question.
Scrum teams face a common challenge of creating and maintaining a healthy product backlog. In the ideal case, the product backlog should include a prioritized list of stories. Each story helps the team understand the vision or concept of “done” for each feature or team chore.
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Michael Rosario's profile photoAlan Dayley's profile photo
3 comments
 
Thank you!
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