Adopting Agile is an Exercise in Change Management


If you’re fresh out of Certified Scrum Master training, you are likely invigorated to start applying the Agile and SCRUM based techniques to your next project. Based on the classroom exercises, you’re excited to try new concepts and apply the magic cure-all that will solve all waterfall-based project problems. Then you get back to work and the real world hits you—implementing Agile isn’t going to be as easy as you thought. Adopting Agile is an Exercise in Change Management.

2018 64

Review People Over Process

Henny Portman

Levine wrote with People Over Process – Leadership for Agility a very pragmatic and down to earth book about leadership and agile projects. The classic formulation of agile in the Agile Manifesto has no role for leadership. People over Process is the third book.


Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Agile Chair Exercise- Some Alternate Suggestions

If you've been at an Agile conference, been a Scrum Master for quite some time and joined an Agile meetup group (here in The Netherlands there are several), then you probably found that games can be very quick ways to energize any meeting and to drive learning through fun. One game I've been doing a lot during Scrum Developer courses is a variation on the Agile Chair Game as described on Tasty Cupcakes. Start the exercise.

2018 40

5 Key Goal Setting Exercises for High-Performing Engineering Teams (from Google, LinkedIn, DropBox, and more)


So, how do the best technical teams in the world with products bringing in billions in revenue keep their eyes on the end goal while staying nimble and agile? Goal-setting exercise 1: Effective goal-setting starts at the top and cascades down. To do this, I like to think of the goal-setting process like a house of cards. Great enterprises marry a sense of purpose with amazing operational excellence and put processes in place for how they will achieve that vision.”.

How to Package and Price Embedded Analytics

Teams of agile developers race along the product. This exercise is not a one-shot deal. If so, moving the feature to an optional add-on may also reduce friction in the sales process. exercise in imitation. insight to develop and refine a proven, proactive process.

Guide to Agile Retrospectives for Aspiring Project Managers


With agile teams, this is usually done through retrospectives. In other words, with agile retrospectives, you can focus on how your work is going and take things that are learned from success & failure for further implementation. Such agile retrospectives help to improve processes, methods, and teamwork. What are Agile Retrospectives? Reasons for Holding/ Conducting Agile Retrospectives. Best Agile Tools for Project Management.

2020 78

Agile Consulting

Leading Answers

April’s theme at where I write a monthly column was “Consulting,” and in this article, I examine the world of Agile Consulting and coaching. Depending on where people are in their careers, their agile adoption and their corporate culture, some people want a consultant, others a coach and sometimes they want a blend. Getting Started Personally, I was hesitant to get into agile consulting and coaching. Agile Project Management Leadership

Signs that Your Project Management Process Needs an Update


Whatever the case, here are five signals from the universe that indicate your project management process is due for a refresh. Process vs Methodology. Let’s first clarify what is meant by the word ‘process’ and how it is not to be confused with the term ‘methodology’. A process is simply a set of well-defined steps one would take to complete a task. An example of a process would be the steps you take to process payments from your clients.

Stories about Stories in Agile Development


The process is a complex one with many stakeholders involved over months, sometimes years. In this process, written requirements with written words are many times inadequate, sometimes even inaccurate, and most of the time said requirements don’t convey the real intent. Stories in Agile Development replace requirements. This leads to the concept of epics in Agile development. Exercise on Stories. Agile teams estimate stories in story points.

Agile 79

Agile Animations

Leading Answers

Following my Agile 2018 conference workshop, I had a couple of people ask how I created the smooth PowerPoint animations. I have always liked using animations to explain ideas since they help me understand processes. He explains seeing an image triggers 30 portions of the brain to start working together to process information, solve problems and make decisions. We simulated Handoff-Hell with a table exercise that required inputs from other participants.

Agile 65

Retrospectives and Intraspectives for Agile Practitioners


Let’s apply this by thinking of a team of Agile practitioners working on a software product. Retrospectives and intraspectives in Agile development do exactly that. The importance of taking the time for retrospection comes from one of the 12 core principles of the Agile Manifesto. “At In Agile, frequent retrospection is done in order to continually improve the effectiveness of the team, project, and organization. This exercise gets the “feeling facts” out on the table.

Agile 70

Continuous Planning Equals Business Agility


This blogs provides a simple analogy about leveraging continuous planning when planning a trip, how to evaluate planning practices within your organization, steps to consider when beginning your planning process, and the capabilities needed to advance your continuous planning process. To better understand how continuous planning works, consider the following planning exercise where you plan a vacation. Lean and Agile PMO

Agile NXT Future Friday retrospect

Henny Portman

Friday May 10, 2019, I was one of the 40 participants of the first Agile NXT Future Day conference organized by Xebia. The first session – Why the Agile “Fixed-Team” Dogma is Wrong (Laïla Nouijeh & Laurens Bonnema) was somewhat controversial. This will speed up the process of teaming too and ultimately you will have more engaged teams. Based on this video the question was asked if this design thinking process could be used for organization changes too?

Agile 49

3 Easy Agile Practices Your Team Can Start Today

Project Bliss

You’ve heard your friends sing the praises of Agile. Good news – there are Agile practices you can use even in your waterfall world. And you’ll get a chance to introduce some Agile practices to your team. Without having to transition the whole organization to full-on Agile. CAUTION: What to do before you adopt these Agile Practices. Don’t adopt Agile practices simply to follow the crowd. Photo credit

2017 204

Rethinking Agile as Bold, Kind and Human

Stepping Into Project Management

Agile has become ubiquitous in project management, with teams using it to spark out-of-the-box thinking and drive countless projects across the finish line. Agile was about being open and transparent, and people having the utmost importance in the process.

2021 45

Why the agile process is here to stay (and why it should!)

Granted that the agile process isn’t the only effective workflow management methodology out there today, but it certainly is worth understanding more; organizations should at least consider how it can affect the way they work and produce in this day and age. Agile 101.

2020 26

Why Agile Transformation Fails | AgileIndy 2021

Leading Agile

This is Mike Cottmeyer's talk from AgileIndy 2021 on The Executive's Guide to Why Agile Transformation Fails. Announcer] This is Mike Cottmeyer’s talk from AgileIndy, 2021 on “Why Agile Transformation Fails.” It was always large scale agile stuff.

2021 62

Reflection and Takeaways on Agility from the SMC-IT 2018 Space Mission Design conference

The IIL Blog

By Tom Friend – Agile Consultant / LtCol USAF (Ret). Case studies on how agile methodologies have been applied to mission planning and how scrum has been used in spacecraft construction were discussed, as well as topics such as developing and delivering software, reliability and reuse of software, onboard processing, and communication. Want to expand your agile & scrum knowledge? Check out our 3rd annual Agile & Scrum Conference here.

2018 70

What Is A Project Task? And How to Get Things Done In an Agile Environment


Therefore, it’s better to break a project into smaller chunks rather than processing it all together. Differentiating Between Projects Tasks, Individual Projects, Processes, & Activities. The main aspect of Agile is that it delivers iterations frequently.

2021 78

Remote Agile Transitions — The Top-Ten Challenges

TL; DR: Remote Agile Transitions. Since the pandemic has forced many of us to work remotely, this unique capability has been kicked into overdrive regarding remote agile transitions. Why Remote Agile Accelerates Change. Well, I think that Agile is a massive trend, not a mere fad.

2020 63

Agile Metrics — The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

TL; DR: Agile Metrics. Suitable agile metrics reflect either a team’s progress in becoming agile or your organization’s progress in becoming a learning organization. At the team level, qualitative agile metrics often work better than quantitative metrics.

2020 70

Remote Agile (Part 3): Mastering Zoom

TL; DR: Mastering Zoom — Remote Agile (Part 3). In this third post of the Remote Agile series, we address the tool at the heart of working with a distributed team as a Scrum Master, Agile Coach, or Product Owner: Zoom. Remote Agile (Part 2): Virtual Liberating Structures.

2020 75

How to Make Agile Work in Fast-Growing Startups

TL; DR: How to Make Agile Work in Fast-Growing Startups. For years, I worked in several Berlin-based, fast-growing startups in my capacity as Scrum Master, agile coach, and Product Owner. Also, let me introduce you to the anti-patterns agile startups shall avoid at all costs. ??

2021 52

Agile Management Anti-Patterns — An Introduction for Aspiring Servant Leaders

TL; DR: Agile Management Anti-Patterns. Agile Management Anti-Patterns in Learning Organizations. Managers should avoid mentioning this level of formal education in discussion with agile peers if they want to be taken seriously. General Agile Software Development Anti-Patterns.


5 Tips To Re-Energize Your Daily Standup Meetings

Girl's Guide to PM

Regular readers will know that I’m not an expert in Agile, by any means. If you work with Agile methods , you will likely be attending standup meetings every day. There are plenty of benefits to agile meetings , including that this one is over and done with quickly!

2020 336

6 Tips to Boost Team Motivation for Your Agile Team


Being an Agile team is all about adopting the Agile frameworks to the core – both in project management and team collaboration. But whether you adopt Scrum, Kanban, XP or any Agile framework, in the end, it all depends on the teams involved, the leaders managing the project and the customers at the receiving end. He explains he makes it a point to implement practices so that each of his Agile team members feels appreciated by the management and peers.

2018 79

PMI-ACP Supported Self-Study Group with Mike Griffiths - September Start

Leading Answers

The program works as follows: Read a chapter of my PMI-ACP Exam Prep book each week and work through the exercises. Process the chapter during the week at your own pace, not the speed of a common group. Exclusive study plan and exercise schedule.

PMI 113

Remote Agile (Part 7): Sprint Review with Distributed Teams

We started this series on remote agile with looking into practices and tools; we explored virtual Liberating Structures, and how to master Zoom. We had a look at common remote agile anti-patterns, and we analyzed remote Retrospectives and Sprint Plannings based on Liberating Structures.

2020 68

Remote Agile (Part 2): Virtual Liberating Structures

TL; DR: Remote Agile (Part 2): Virtual Liberating Structures. Last week, we addressed basic practices and tools of remote agile with distributed teams. More than a year ago, my Berlin Hands-on Agile meetup started exploring the possibilities to use Liberating Structures specifically in the context of Scrum. For example, in the Conversation Café exercise during rounds 1, 2, and 4, everyone is muted except the individual that is sharing his or her thoughts.

2020 59

SoundNotes Live at Agile 2019: Day One

Leading Agile

Last week, the biggest conference in the Agile industry took place in Washington DC at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Creating a Culture that Supports Agility w/ Rachel Howard. We’ll talk about how to create a culture that not only supports Agility but also helps people thrive. In this live talk with Chris Papadakis and Yaton Bowens of LeadingAgile, we discuss creating the right system to lead an effective Agile Transformation.

2019 66

Cargo Cult Agile — A Checklist to Open the Discussion

TL; DR: The Cargo Cult Agile Checklist for Download. You want to know the state of agility in your organization? If the average number of checkboxes marked is higher than nine, then you are probably practicing cargo cult agile in one form or another.


Using Agile Practices to Improve Business Customer Relationships


Add external consultants promising to do the job faster in an environment they don’t control and internal security and PMOs adding their processes, it isn’t a wonder the Business-IT relationship is challenged. Related: Adopting Agile is an Exercise in Change Management. Given these challenges, how does applying Agile practices improve the relationship? Adopting Agile practices introduces new terms and new ways to work as a team. Adding Agile.

2018 64

Remote Agile (Part 8): Daily Scrum with Distributed Teams

We started this series on remote agile with looking into practices and tools; we explored virtual Liberating Structures, and how to master Zoom. Learn more about remote Liberating Structures : Remote Agile (Part 2): Virtual Liberating Structures.

2020 63

Agile Laws & Distributed Teams: From Conway to Goodhart to Parkinson

TL; DR: Agile Laws and Remote Agile. On many occasions in the recent past, working with distributed agile teams has amplified existing organizational, technical, and cultural challenges in many organizations. Agile Laws: Conway, Brooks, Hackman, Goodhart, Larman, and Parkinson.

2020 52

Remote Agile (Part 6): Sprint Planning with Distributed Teams

We started this series on remote agile with looking into practices and tools, followed by exploring virtual Liberating Structures, and how to master Zoom. We had a look at common remote agile anti-patterns, and we analyzed remote Retrospectives based on Liberating Structures.


The Agile Manifesto from a Lean Perspective

The result of this buzz session was, of course, the Agile ‘Software Development’ Manifesto. Yet as we have subsequently discovered, agility meant -- or came to mean -- something different to each of them. The Agile Manifesto is the work of unique individuals who met in a particular place, and it is an artifact which has withstood the test of time. There’s a clear synergy between lean and agile practice, and attempts to tease them apart can often seem contrived and artificial.

Lean 56

PMI-ACP Supported Self-Study Group - April 10, 2021 Start

Leading Answers

The program works as follows: Read a chapter of my PMI-ACP Exam Prep book each week and work through the exercises. Process the chapter during the week at your own pace, not the speed of a common group. The next Supported Self-Study Group starts on April 10th.

2021 78

Where to Start in Finding a Great PMO Job

Arras People

Let’s take a look at each one of the areas listed above that you’re selling and go a little further into how these are used and seen in the recruitment process. A simple pen and paper exercise can lead to you realising that actually there are A LOT of skills that go into you performing your role. None of that is good in a recruitment process. In a recruitment process, it’s always good for the self-confidence to know that you’re well informed before entering the interview.

PMO 219

Ten Tips For Taming That Chaotic Project


And a heads-up: When the going gets tough, these information-gathering exercises can deteriorate into finger-pointing sessions so don’t let that happen. Review work processes. It happens to projects big and small: one day, you wake up to a mess in your workspace.

2021 111

PMI-ACP Supported Self-Study Group - February 2021 Start

Leading Answers

The program works as follows: Read a chapter of my PMI-ACP Exam Prep book each week and work through the exercises. Process the chapter during the week at your own pace, not the speed of a common group. The next Supported Self-Study Group starts on February 6th.

2021 78