Effectively Measuring Agile Leaders

Nearly every time I speak, write, teach, or simply think about agile approaches to software development, someone has to bring up measurement.And the measures they’re talking about inevitably focus on their teams and/or delivery dynamics. How do we measure our teams? How do we measure the impact of agility? And how do we measure your value as a coach? Are representative of the types of questions I hear.BUT, if you subscribe to the theory that leadership sets the culture AND that culture drives performance, like I do, then why aren’t…

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You’re WRONG, Jeff!

I saw this post from Jeff Gothelf. https://medium.com/@jboogie/fixed-time-fixed-scope-projects-always-end-in-1-of-3-ways-none-of-them-good-9fa66e7d129e In which he says that Fixed Time & Scope projects end in one of 3-ways:We move the deadlineWe reduce scopeWe implement “crunch mode”, everybody puts in 80-hour weeks till the deadline, burns out, quits and goes to work somewhere else.I want to respond to Jeff’s thoughts…First, option #3 is was coined by Ed Yourdon as a Death March. I personally like the imagery that inspires. Second, I agree 100% with his 3-alternatives. They seem almost as absolute as gravity in software projects.But he…

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Our Language

I delivered a lightning keynote at the StarEast conference in May 2019. If you’re unfamiliar, this format is a 5-minute pitch on any topic you like.I intentionally went into it without a predetermined talk our slides. I wanted to see what might inspire me before or during the conference. Unfortunately, I waited until the day before the keynote to decide what I would talk about. But I’m sort of glad I did.Mary Thorn and I shared 3 – ½ day workshops at the conference. And during those sessions, and in…

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Bringing and Being Ourselves

There is the current notion in modern organizations of bringing our whole selves to work. That separating our personal lives from our professional lives isn’t a good idea, healthy, or even possible. A big part of this is how open and transparent you are.Chris Murman recently posted an article that showed real courage and vulnerability in sharing who he is. He shared his emotional nature and how it has impacted his professional life. I applaud Chris for this.It takes an incredible person to share so much of themselves publicly. But if…

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Everyone Needs a Coach

The next time you’re looking to engage an agile coach, there’s an additional set of questions I want you to explore with them—Do you (they) have a coach?How often do you (they) meet?What are you (they) currently working on in your journey?What was the last crucial conversation you (they) had with your coach like?Reflecting on your being coached journey, how coachable are you? What are the keys to your being coachable?What I’m asking you to explore is their personal coaching journey. I feel that most agile coaches are comfortable coaching.…

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Journaling – How to get started?

If you’ve attended any of my leadership talks or workshops, you’ve heard me espouse the value of journaling as a leadership skills growth exercise.  In my Certified Agile Leadership classes, I even give out a copy of my (current) favorite journal by Dingbats. It’s really an outstanding daily journal AND I encourage you to read the backstory about the company as well.Since I talk about journaling so much, I’ve inspired a recent CAL class attendee to try it. But recently he sent me the following –I've never been very good…

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2019 & Beyond – Sharpening the Saw

Every year I try to spend time on my own training. I usually start thinking about two things the year before:What are some knowledge gaps that I have that I’d like to fill, andWhat are upcoming trends that will cause me to become obsolete if I don’t get ahead of them?Then I review the available courses, events, and actions and I’ll try to come up with 2-3 things that I’ll focus on for personal improvement.I’ve posted a couple of "Sharpening the Saw" posts in previous years. Usually in March, but…

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No Assholes Allowed!

I have a confession to make.  I’ve led software development organizations for several decades. The bad news is that early on, I made some critical mistakes. The good news is that I quickly learned from those mistakes. But one of the things about mistakes that involve people is that it’s always hard to recover from them. The better strategy is to be really crisp in your people decision-making.One of the mistakes I made early on was hiring “Brilliant Jerks” or people who had exceptional technical skills but lacked skills in…

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The “Moose” on Writing, part-1

I remember it as if it was yesterday. It was 2000 – 2001. I was working at Lucent (Bell Labs) at the time when the telecommunications bubble burst and I was laid off from my job. Along with thousands of others across the industry. Lucent had a development center on the campus of NC State here in Raleigh, NC. There were ~300 folks that worked there and we were all let go.But it was a protracted departure, as the process took about 3-months for everyone to pack up and leave the…

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The “Moose” on Writing, part-2

Link to part-1Continuing on with my guidance for prospective writers…When I wrote the first edition of my Scrum Product Ownership book, my target audience was the beginning Product Owner. Someone who had literally no experience in the role. Consider this my persona for the book.I defined this focus very early, even before outlining the book. And it gave me a clear vision for flow, topic coverage, and literally every word I wrote.In fact, I continuously asked myself – how is this section going to help the novice Product Owner? And…

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