The Three Jobs of Agile Management (Part 1)

Tip 1: Use the three jobs to clarify responsibilities in the organization.

For example, the job of Creating Clarity has an overlap between the role of the Product Owner on a Scrum team. Which responsibilities belong to management and which belong to the Product Owner? You can use the elements in the Agile Management Canvas, as well as your own elements. An example list for the responsibilities discussion might include:

  • Purpose and Vision
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Strategy Mapping
  • Success Metrics/ObjectivesProduct Backlog PrioritizationProduct Backlog Decomposition

Remember that the three principles of Agile management are:

  1. Move authority to where the work is being done
  2. Be mindful of complex systems
  3. Create safety and engagement

Given those principles and the context for your team, how might you divide the responsibilities? Let us know in the comments below.

Download Peter’s Three Jobs of Agile Management PDF for an infographic of the three jobs to help in your Agile management journey.

Top 5 Ways to Maximize Learning in Virtual Classes

In the past couple of months, I’ve been an instructor for numerous virtual Agile classes. The outcomes are outstanding. I’ve discovered that the people who get the most out of training do these 5 things. Here are some key tips to maximize learning in a virtual environment.

  1. Do the pre-work.
    Any reading, videos, or other material provided by your instructor to view before class, take the time to go through it carefully. Even though many instructors will cover some of the same points in class, we know that the brain requires repetition to learn – this is particularly true for things that may be very new for you where your existing “patterns” may not always apply.
  2. Be an engaged and active learner.
    Choose a class that is interactive and uses virtual tools that allow you to work in breakout groups, have discussions, interact on a virtual whiteboard, etc. Be an active participant if you want to learn.  We learn much more by doing or discussing than we ever do from hearing or listening.
  3. Take breaks, stand up, and move around.
    Practice self-care. Even during class, get up, stretch, and move. Sitting for long periods is hard on you and doesn’t put your brain in the most receptive mode.  On breaks, don’t just check your phone or emails – move around, step outside if you can, maybe do a few jumping jacks.
  4. Don’t multitask or have lots of programs running on your computer.
    Close extraneous windows on your PC or laptop. Not only does multitasking hinder your learning, but having too many things running can cause performance problems on your machine. Some of the new tools like Zoom and Miro or Mural are amazing but can take up significant machine capacity. It’s also a good idea to reboot your machine before a class to make sure everything is running optimally.
  5. Remember that classes are just the start of the journey.
    Connect with classmates and the instructor to continue discussions following the course. Many times, classmates are a great source of networking in the future. Reviewing key ideas from class sometime in the first couple of days after class helps cement concepts in your brain. Most courses come with a list of references, or other suggested reading – check those out and continue the learning process.

We’re all in a difficult time right now as we deal with the pandemic, but happily, learning is something we can still do effectively. If you have available time, now is a great time to consider a class. Choose your providers wisely and then enjoy being immersed in new ideas and ways of doing things.

The Magic of 1-Day Sprints

How long should your sprints be? Generally, 1-2 weeks, with a preference towards a shorter sprint.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today. I want to introduce you to the magic of 1-day sprints. Read More

Top 3 Things I’ve Learned About Virtual Agile Training

It’s been a whirlwind for many of us as we’ve adapted to the current work conditions – that’s equally true for us as Scrum Trainers at Agile for All! While many of us have extensive experience in the virtual realm, this is the first time that we’ve been able to deliver the CSM and CSPO in this way.

I spent a week of intensive work transforming my Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course so that it could be presented in an interactive and effective way. I’ve now facilitated that class 3 times with great results and here are my top 3 learnings about virtual classes. Read More

The Three Things Managers Need To Do in an Agile Organization

Agile enthusiasts often say, “Hey, if we’re Agile, we don’t need managers because our team is self-organizing.”

That may be true in a very limited perspective of what managers do and what self-management means.

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Agile isn’t dead — It’s just spread (beat poet style)

I recently found yet another article (“Agile software development is dead. Deal with it.“) that proclaims the death of Agile. It seems like every month or two a new article is published proclaiming that Agile is dead. So far, every one of these articles has made this argument using some kind of a straw man.

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Humanizing Work: Self-Organization, Does it Work for Everyone?

I’m going to share an opinion about self-organization that might be a bit controversial.

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6 Tips for Building the Right Vision

Hey everybody, it’s Peter Green with Agile for All. All my product owners, my product managers, my entrepreneurs, my CEOs, my chief product folks, this one’s for you.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about vision. Don’t roll your eyes. I see you. Don’t do it!

All right. Vision, I know. It seems like a basic thing. Yeah, okay, we need a vision, but boy, it’s hard to do well, and if we’re not doing it well, it can seem like wasted effort.

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