Agile Leadership Myth #2: Self-Organizing Teams don’t need any help.

How did we arrive at this place where so many people believe that self-organizing teams do not need help? The fact is, self-organizing teams DO need help.

Self-organizing teams DO need help!

What teams can experience: Teams might not know exactly what kind of help they need or even how to describe it. This can be especially true if they had a manager-led team and were told what to do and when to do it. I hear teams say, “we don’t need managers”, but they often mean that they don’t need managers telling them what to do.

What managers can experience: Managers are often put in a position of shifting from being an expert and telling teams what to do to some new approach that is not clear to them. They may not know exactly how to help a self-organizing team. I call this clumsy management. It is not that they are doing it on purpose, they just happen to be bumping into things when trying to help. Managers are sometimes told to “stay out of the team’s way”, so they end up disengaged and not sure how to reengage. The fact that a manager may not be sure how to help a self-organizing team does not mean that help is not needed. Read More

The Framework That Changes Everything

Scrum changes the way everyone in your company interacts and will likely influence your organizational structure.

When an organization considers “moving to” Scrum, it’s easy to think that Scrum is a new process that just needs to be learned and implemented.

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Good Design, Part III: Refactoring

Remember this?

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Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

“This year,” says your friend (who’s never run a 5K), “I’m going to do a marathon.”

“Yeah? How are you going to do that?” you inquire, trying to sound polite and curious rather than incredulous.

“Well, I haven’t figured that out yet…but I’m looking at maybe Chicago or Boston…”

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Story Splitting in Hungarian (or, Hogyan daraboljuk a User Story-kat)

Thanks to Janos Facsko, Istvan Margetin, and Andrea Török of Sprint Consulting, my story splitting poster is now available in Hungarian. Read More

Good Design, Part II: Code Smells

Last month we talked about good software design and introduced the notion of code smells. Code smells are names given to those instinctual thoughts you have whenever you look at a chunk of less-than-elegant code. Some are subtle, and some really stink.

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Stop settling. Collaborate instead of cooperate.

“We need you to help this team. They are struggling to deliver. But don’t worry; you’ll love this team. There is no conflict and they are willing to help each other.”

I was assigned as the ScrumMaster for this team many years ago, and this is how my boss described the team I’d be a part of. Every part of his statement was true because this team had settled. They settled for cooperation instead of working toward collaboration.

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An Agile Lesson from the Movie “City Slickers”

As an Agile trainer and coach, I have worked with hundreds of companies over the past 10 years. After reflecting back on my interactions with all these companies, I have found there is a strong correlation between a single decision companies make and how much dysfunction there is in the company.

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