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End of Sprint 2 of My Writing Experiment (Why Tools are Still Important)

My two-week trial of Ulysses ends tomorrow. I already know what I’ll be doing! Against all odds, Ulysses has successfully ingrained itself into my workflow.…

The first step when managing dependencies

What do you do when the project you are working on has a lot of dependencies? I just spent some time looking for advice on…

Agile For Alls’s Quote of the Week – January 13, 2021

I’ve read a lot of books about agile. None of them have said, “Be dumb.” None of them have said, “Be smart.” either, but they…

Results of my First 2021 Writing Sprint

Well, that was easy! I downloaded Ulysses and figured it out enough to create a blog post later in the day. Super easy to use.…

Using Scrum in 2021

I am writing this on January 3, 2021, basically the start of a new year. Like most people, at the beginning of a new year,…

Scrum Guide 2020 – What Changed and How will it Affect Scrum Classes?

How the Scrum Guide 2020 changes effect Scrum Trainers

GRAVITY Book Updated to V4.2!

New updated version to 4.2! – More pictures, links, and helpful tips to grow your online brand and master community!

Market Meditations Podcast with Peter Saddington

Peter Saddington and KoroushAK interview around crypto, startups, and growth!

The History of Management Trends

A full briefing on the history of management trends from 1910 with Taylorism to Agile in 2010! What will the trends be in the next 100 years?

Venture Marketing

We need great ideas, now. Venture Capital Funds need to do better.

Introduction to the Product Owner in Scrum

The complete introduction to the Product Owner in Scrum! – A must read for any PO!

Tips on How to Make Effective Decisions at a Client

Tips on how to make effective decisions at a client as an agile coach

5 Tips for Handling Multiple Coaches at a Client as an Agile Coach

5 tips for handling multiple agile coaches at a client

5 Tips for Building Relationships at a Client as an Agile Coach

5 tips for building relationships with your client quickly and effectively!

Becoming an Agile Coach – 5 Tips for Agile Workshops and Communication

5 tips for great agile workshops for agile coaches, trainers, and facilitators!

Becoming an Agile Coach – 7 Tips for Client Engagement

7 tips for client engagement as an agile coach

Becoming an Agile Coach – Get a Mentor! + 6 Tips for Mentors

6 tips for mentors – If you want to be a great agile coach, get a mentor!

[Guide] – Create the Perfect Agile Workshop or Training Experience

The Guide on how to create a perfect agile workshop or training experience for your clients or company!

Handling Resistance to Change and Attitudinal Change of People as an Agile Coach

How do you handle resistance to change and people as an agile coach?

The 3 Levels of Change Implementation for an Agile Coach

Understand that there are 3 levels to implementing change in any organization.

6 Guidelines for Understanding and Bringing About Change

6 guidelines for understanding and bringing about change in your organization or your clients company!

The Agile Coach Persona – What we Say Matters, BIG TIME

What you say as an agile coach goes a long way. Understand that your words have meaning!

The Agile Coach Persona – The Calling and Integrity

In a lot of ways I see any type of ‘coaching’ a calling. Seriously. “Coaches” seem to be popping up all of the place these…

Becoming an Agile Coach – Effective Communication Techniques

Becoming an agile coach means learning to communicate effectively with your clients!

Agile Coach Leadership Traits

The agile coach leadership traits you need to have to be successful!

Setting and Achieving Goals as a Change Agent

Setting and achieving goals as a change agent, agile coach, consultant, or facilitator!

Being an Agile Coach – Dealing with Conflict

Learn how to deal with conflict as an agile coach, consultant, or facilitator

Agile – Preparing to Make it Work for Your Organization – From Agile Practitioners

Preparing your organization for Agile? Hear from the best.

The Perfect ScrumMaster Job Description

The perfect ScrumMaster Job Description!

Top 10 Product Owner Qualities and Characteristics

Top 10 Product Owner Qualities and Characteristics!

[Product Owner] – Top 10 Backlog Tips

Top 10 Backlog tips for Product Owners!

Essential ScrumMaster Interview Questions

Essential ScrumMaster Interview Questions

Top ScrumMaster + Scrum Product Owner Questions from Training – FAQ

Top ScrumMaster and Product Owner questions from training!

FAQ on Career Path of Scrum Product Owners for Management

Frequently asked questions about the career path for a Scrum Product Owner!

FAQ on Most Common Product Owner Questions for Management

Frequently asked questions about the Product Owner for Management!

Frequently Asked Questions on the ScrumMaster Career Path

Frequently asked questions on ScrumMaster career paths!

FAQ on Most Common ScrumMaster Questions for Management

Frequently asked questions about the ScrumMaster role for Management!

History of Agile – The Influencers and Drivers of the Agile Movement

Know the history of Agile and you’ll understand why men and women are still uncovering better ways of building software!

Become a Coding Pro [LISTS]

Learning to code unlocks infinite opportunities for any child, student, or professional!

Press Release: Agile For All and Humanizing Work to split into separate companies

AUG. 10, 2020 – DENVER, CO – Richard Lawrence, Peter Green, and Angie Ham are leaving Agile For All to launch the Humanizing Work company. …

Online Education Resources – Virtual Field Trips

Virtual field trips are a great way for your student to see animals and nature!

Online Education Resources – Online Museum Tours

You can see the world from your chair. It’s a good thing museums are going online!

Online Education Resources – Languages

Have your student go global and be prepared for a multi-lingual life!

Online Education Resources – Printables and Print Outs

Download and print all the printables you can!

Online Education Resources – Watch, Listen, and Learn

If your student is going to consume, have them consume fun and learning at the same time!

Online Education Resources – Music and Arts

For those that create music and images, grow that talent! For we are all artists in the end.

Online Education Resources – Courses and Study Programs

Get a full education for free! There are tons of courses out there! Find yours for your student!

Online Education Resources – Reading & Writing

Help your child love reading and writing!

The Password-Strength Checker Design Kata – Part 2

(If you haven’t read or completed part 1 yet, click here: https://agileforall.com/the-password-strength-checker-design-kata-part-1/ ) So far… How often did you have to go back to an existing test…

Three Reasons Why Virtual Agile Training Is Right for You, Right Now.

Not so long ago, Agile classes such as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) could only be delivered in a face-to-face, in-person…

The Password-Strength Checker Design Kata – Part 1

In two of my three technical courses (Essential Agile Engineering Skills and Essential Test-Driven Development), the first major topic I cover is refactoring, its role on an…

1 on 1 with Min Kim of ICON [ICX]

Min Kim and ICON cryptocurrency is the future of Korea!

The Three Jobs of Agile Management (Part 4)

Tip 4 – Use the Agile Management Canvas as a guide to Agile adoption or transformation.  After explaining the basics of the model (three jobs, two…

Technical Debt, & the “Core Four” Practices to Avoid It

Readers! Subscribers! “Followers”! I hope you are all healthy and safe. What is “Technical Debt”? People are still debating over the one true meaning of…

The Three Jobs of Agile Management (Part 3)

Tip 3 – use the full Agile Management Canvas to see the larger system of management when trying to address challenges. If we take the…

The Three Jobs of Agile Management (Part 2)

Tip 2: Use the jobs and the two sides to identify areas that may be out of balance in your organization. As an example, I’ll…

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…

Top 5 Ways to Maximize Learning in Virtual Classes

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.

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…

Season 3 of #VCHunting Complete!

Season 3 of #VCHunting is complete! COVID-19 can’t stop the master-class in venture capital!

Eliot Durbin

Being a VC is all about helping founders scale their company. If you’re a founder, prove it, nail it, and scale it! We’d love to help!

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…

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…

Michael Staton

I’m the ed-tech entrepreneur you need to know. I’m changing the homeschooling game with Colearn.Club!

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…

Paul Veradittakit

Bitcoin is magic and only getting stronger! If you’re in crypto as an entrepreneur, let us know!

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.

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…

Agile Basics: Coordination vs. Collaboration

I’m resisting with all of my might the urge to sing a Vanilla Ice song: Stop, collaborate, and listen. I guess I didn’t resist very…

Lessons from 14 Years of Agile Homeschooling for Families Suddenly in the Middle of It

My wife and I have homeschooled our boys for 14 years. Two started university this school year, returning home last week when their campus closed.…

Top 5 Retrospective Mistakes

Here are the top five retrospective mistakes we see in our coaching.

Beyond Drive: 5 great books about Agile and Motivation

I recently found an interesting tweet from Maren Baermann about motivation.

Rohit Bhatia

Live a life of grit and meaning and you’ll always be on a grand adventure. Venture Capital is my next epic quest!

Henri Pierre-Jacques

I want to create the most millionaires of color and I’m starting with funding 1000 diverse founders over the next 20 years. Are you one of the few?

Tyler Tringas

I fund bootstrappers with radical transparency. Our SEAL model is exactly what venture needs!

Max Marine

I’m the VC rapper from Israel. We’re not afraid to take risks, just like our founders. If you’ve got the swag, I got your money!

Three Categories of Infrastructure Work (and why you don’t need it all right now)

I encourage my clients to find and focus on the core value of whatever they’re creating. What is it that doesn’t yet exist in the…

Vanessa DiMauro

I’m a leading authority on B2B social business strategy and have built 250 communities. Love on people and you win!

Jay Kapoor

I’m bringing all-star athletes and venture capital together! Let’s find your unfair advantage!

Sarah Kunst

Cleo Capital | Early Stage Fund Twitter – @sarahkunst | 21,000 followers Medium Blog | Instagram | LinkedIn | Wikipedia Relates everything to her love…

Danielle Strachman

We back college dropouts and those who choose a non-tracked educational route. We fund grit. Do you have it?

Season 2 of #VCHunting Complete!

Season 2 of #VCHunted has wrapped! Pivots, learning, and dedication!

Peter Saddington User Manual

Peter Saddington User Manual

What Is the Difference Between Scrum and Waterfall Methodology?

As a trainer, I am frequently asked, “What is the difference between Scrum and Waterfall methodology”? Let’s break down these two different methodologies so you…

What Is Agile Methodology and How Does It Work?

What is Agile methodology? Well, Agile is not exactly a methodology. Technically, Agile is a set of values and principles. Agile can also be thought…

David Goldberg

I built our venture firm based on what I know first-time founders need most. Self-inquiry is the beginning of success.

Charlton Cunningham

I am the keyholder for Atlanta Startups as the #1 go-to entrepreneurial ecosystem builder. Know me, know Atlanta and beyond!

Turner Novak

I’m living proof of how someone with no requisite experience can become a venture capitalist. Let me tell you how!

Advanced CSM (A-CSM) is coming to Ann Arbor, Michigan!

This course rocks. And I’ll tell you why (read on!). Agile For All is returning the Advanced CSM course offering in Ann Arbor, Michigan on…

Story Splitting Poster Now Available in Portuguese

Working in small increments of value—good user stories—is the key habit that makes the rest of Agile Software Development work. But people everywhere struggle to…

Advanced CSM (A-CSM) is coming to Cedar Rapids, Iowa!

Agile For All has a new course offering that is gaining momentum. I get to be the lucky one to share a little information!! On…

David Mullings

I represent the Caribbean future of early-stage startups. Access to me is access to the future for Jamaica and beyond!

Roy Bahat

AI is the future of work. I’m a student of people and entrepreneurs. Teach me what you know, I’m all ears.

Sean Byrnes

I know what you don’t. Let us take a look at your data and tell you a story. Stay awhile and listen.

Heidi Roizen

I understand the VC game better than most. Follow my advice and you’ll become empowered and unleashed!

Tim Draper

I’m pro-bitcoin and pro-villain. Can Peter’s race car beat my Tesla?

Frederik Groce

Purpose-driven action. I’m the millennial VC. You should know me.

A History of Test-Driven Development (TDD), as Told in Quotes

Nope, I haven’t forgotten that my next newsletter was going to be in response to a comment on the last newsletter. But I’ve discovered the…

Sofia Garcia

From immigrant to venture capitalist. I’m showing those like me the way to success! Lead by serving!

Caitlin Bolnick

If you’re an expansion-stage B2B company, we have your back. PLG baby all the way!

Top 50+ Venture Capital Newsletters for 2020!

Top venture capital newsletters for 2020 and beyond! Subscribe and read your face off!

Top 50+ Venture Capital Podcasts for 2020!

The Top 50 Venture Capital Podcasts for VCs, founders, startup entrepreneurs, and the tech-curious!

Lee Edwards

We’re engineers who seed bold engineers. Are you a technical founder who needs a technical Yoda?

Ravi Belani

I’m bringing the sexy back to B2B startups at my accelerator. Join the B2B revolution!

Proof of VC – Consensus Algorithm

#ProofofVC is the decentralized and transparent framework of venture media.

Season 1 Complete!

We’ve hunted and we’re learning, fast. I’m here to build venture media, join me.

Shiyan Koh

I’m leading Singapore and beyond in venture. Show me your home screen, I’ll show you what it’s worth.

Shawn Cheng

Decentralized finance is changing the venture game forever. HODL on!

Henry Kaestner

Faith, family, work, fitness (in that order). That’s how God wins.

Venture Media – Time to Go Pro

It’s time to establish and professionalize Venture Media. I’m here, now.

Ian Rountree

I seek to be part of the defining stories of our time. What’s the price you’re willing to pay for glory?

Danielle D’Agostaro

I run the best B2B accelerator in the world. Are you a billion dollar opportunity?

Ryan Floyd

With 20 years of experience in B2B SaaS, we know how to win. Show us traction, we’ll handle the rest.

Bill Bryant

I’ve been involved in more successful Seattle software companies than anyone. Know what I know.

Jeff Haynie

Humility is the key to success. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Venture Capital Inflection

Venture capital is at an inflection point. It’s time to build.

Todd Schwarzinger

Startup University is a thing. Ask me how I know.

Ash Rust

I’m a mechanism to stop failure for my startups.

Elizabeth Yin

VC is broken. I’m here to fix it.

Kevin Lee

Teach everything you know.

Eric Bahn

Diversity is a game-winning strategy.

Hello World!

It’s time for big game hunting!

Can a Unit of Behavior Span Objects?

A client recently asked me if a unit test could test multiple objects. On the surface, you might suppose my immediate answer would be “No…

Humanizing Work Show Season 2 Finale: What Are the Top Characteristics That Make a Team Great? We’re Asking the Adobe Audition Team.

Industry leader, @Adobe, is known for its innovation in the creative industry, allowing creatives to do what they do best with the help of innovative…

Humanizing Work Show: All Teams Can Learn from Scrum & XP Practices

Great models for building a strong and healthy team include regularly reviewing the work and how it’s being done to improve going forward, creating structures…

Humanizing Work Show: Team Toxins and the Pathway Back to Health

Trust is a key component in any healthy team. Business outcomes soar and individuals thrive when trust is at the team’s core. But what builds…

Humanizing Work Show: What Can Jazz Teach Us About Teams? Everything.

Think about it. When people are paying attention to what other people are doing in a more present and engaged way, it frees them up…

A Dozen Reasons Why Test-First is Better than Test-Later, Pt. 3

The third and final part in the Developer Essentials mini-series of posts about test driven development (TDD). Click here, if you missed Part 1 or…

Humanizing Work Show Season 2 Premiere

Most meaningful work happens in teams so to further expand the Humanizing Work movement and conversation we are taking season 2 to focus on teams.…

Story Splitting Poster Now in Polish

My popular How to Split a User Story flowchart has already been translated to French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Hungarian. Thanks to work from…

The #DarkScrum Formula

Ron Jeffries coined the term #DarkScrum. #DarkScrum occurs when we focus on enforcing Scrum mechanics rather than reinforcing Agile Values and Principles. This results in…

A Dozen Reasons Why Test-First Is Better Than Test-Later (Pt. 2)

From the Developer Essentials Newsletter: The intersection of Agile methods and technical software development. If you missed Part 1, review it here.

Humanizing Work Season 1 Finale: Why Now?

Why now? What conditions in the world make this the right time for a Humanizing Work movement? There are two key shifts that have happened…

Humanizing Work Show Ep.4: Growth Is Essential

Growth is one of the core things that motivates people in all aspects of their life. “Work that doesn’t provide opportunities for growth is dehumanizing.”…

A Dozen Reasons Why Test-First Is Better Than Test-Later (Pt. 1)

An editor of Dr. Dobbs magazine once wrote to me—replying to my response to an article—“All the benefits [of Test-Driven Development] could be attained equally…

Humanizing Work Show Ep. 3: What Drives Motivation

When you think about what motivates someone within their job or work it tends to go back to what their connection is to the purpose…

Humanizing Work Show Ep.2: The Relationship (or Conflict) Between Ease and Meaning at Work

“This is why successful serial entrepreneurs, even after a big exit, go on to start something else, not because they need the money, but because…

Work Should Fit People

This week, we launched the Humanizing Work Show. In episode 1, we summarize what we mean by Humanizing Work and where the phrase came from. Humanizing Work…

Why a Prerequisite Course?

Participants in our courses are sometimes surprised to find out that they have work to do in advance of the course. Most of our live,…

Object Oriented Programming in a Nutshell

Next year I’ll likely be teaching Essential Test-Driven Development to a team that includes about 50% COBOL programmers. I told the client I’d look for…

A Recipe for an Agile Team Space

Occasionally, I’ve been asked to help design team rooms for a client.  They may have been planning to hire an ergonomic architect/designer in addition to…

Humanizing Work 2018 – A Look Back

Earlier this summer, an event that has defied naming was held for the sixth consecutive year. Agile For All’s advanced training event, Humanizing Work, took…

Sharpen Your Knives

You’ve heard the old adage about the lumberjack who—in order to cut a tree in an hour—will take 45 minutes to sharpen the saw? This…

Exceptional Circumstances

In our BDD course, we use a real example of an online library patron portal. Course participants are provided with a number of (often vague)…

Testing the User Interface

I often get questions about testing “the user interface” or “the front end.” This comes up in all our technical Agile classes (Behavior Driven Development,…

Good Design, part IV: The Role of Tests

We’ve seen how refactoring becomes the primary design activity on an Agile team. Diligent, confident refactoring is possible to the degree that the code is…

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…

Good Design, Part III: Refactoring

Remember this?  

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…

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.

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…

Good Design

I’ve learned not to assume a team has experienced a variety of software design skills. Some are writing elegant functional-paradigm code in archaic, challenging languages.…

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…

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…

“Growing Your Facilitation Skills” Slides

For those who were in my recent Agile Boulder or Agile Arizona sessions on “Growing Your Facilitation Skills,” here are the slides and handout to…

How TDD is More Than Simply Unit Testing

I was recently asked about the difference between unit-testing and Test-Driven Development (TDD). Specifically, why—if the end results are the same—would I recommend TDD over…

Leading an Engaged Organization

“Engagement doesn’t really matter in the workforce today” That’s not a real quote. I’ve never heard a leader say that. But something doesn’t add up.

Frequently Asked Questions about Agile Technical Skills

What are the Agile Engineering Skills, Scrum Developer Practices, or Software Craftsmanship practices? These are three (of many) common names for a set of practices…

How to Give Clear Instructions When Facilitating

It’s a classic facilitation blunder: You start giving instructions for an activity, and as you’re talking, people begin the activity. You try to reel in…

“I intend to …, and …”

I was co-training an Agile for Teams workshop with Rob Myers last week. This group had been trying to do Scrum, with some success.  Our…

Yet Another Meeting?! Ways to Recharge Your Daily Scrum

Let’s cut to the chase:  No one likes meetings.  A status meeting every day is enough to drive you crazy.

“We don’t expect a perfect Sprint. We expect a perfect effort.” – i.e. Commitment

As I train and coach Scrum across the country, I’m often struck with the power how certain words can create a sense of fear in…

Technical Debt Isn’t Really a Metaphor

Many years ago, Ward Cunningham posted an excellent video on YouTube regarding refactoring and “debt”. If you haven’t seen it, I have it for you, below. But…

Principle Based Agile/Scrum Adoption

I’m a pragmatist.  I need things to make sense. So, when something like principles are introduced to me, I start to ponder questions like… What…

This Cognitive Bias kills our ability to thrive in complexity

Does this sound familiar? I was a Program Manager for over a decade, during which time I must have facilitated dozens of “project post-mortems”, a…

Time for Change – AgileScout.com Final Post!

Dear World, This may be the most heartfelt post I’ve put down on this site in a long long while. I’ve sorry I’ve been gone…

Getting to Know A4A: Tricia Broderick

Today, we’re getting to know Tricia Broderick, trainer, coach, and Agile For All’s resident conference junkie. You can find Tricia participating in and organizing Agile…

Ask A4A: Long-running Stories

Hi Richard, My Scrum team has been working on a particular service for over a year. It’s been 20+ Sprints. I’m concerned about the deliverables…

Getting to Know A4A: Bob Hartman

Continuing our Getting to Know A4A series, we’re talking with “Agile Bob” Hartman, trainer, coach, and the venerable founder of Agile For All.

Getting to Know A4A: Richard Lawrence

Today, our Getting to Know A4A series focuses on Richard Lawrence, agile trainer and coach and co-owner of Agile For All.

Getting to Know A4A: Peter Green

Our Getting to Know Agile For All series continues. This time, we talk with Peter Green.

Getting to Know A4A: Peter Saddington

Continuing our Getting to Know Agile For All series, today we’re introducing Peter Saddington. Peter is a trainer, coach, and consultant, and our lone team…

Getting to Know A4A: Carol Conrad

Agile For All has grown to 11 people now, but many of our readers and clients only know one or two of the team. So, over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing each member of the team by having them answer some questions and share some photos that go beyond the official bio on the team page.

Today, we’re introducing Carol Conrad. Carol is a member of our operations team and handles many of the logistical details that make our classes run smoothly.

Making Info Visible for Better Decisions

A key part of the ScrumMaster’s or Product Owner’s job is making information visible.* Whether that’s a product backlog, taskboard, cumulative flow diagram, or a…

From Predicting and Controlling to Embracing Complexity

Agile Organizations shift from a focus on predicting and controlling work to embracing complexity, using experiments and feedback loops to learn and grow. This post is…

Talking About Our Feelings—Potentially Awkward, Definitely Important

Last week, I described how to do the observation step of Focused Conversation without having to talk about all the details. At this point, many…

From Shareholder Value to Customer Delight and Shared Purpose

Agile Organizations shift from a focus on short-term profits towards a focus on customer delight and achieving a shared purpose. This issue is the first…

Ask A4A: When the Observation Part of Focused Conversation Gets Boring

The Focused Conversation method asks us to start with observations before assigning labels – good, bad, effective, worthwhile, motivating, etc. In real-life facilitation, it can…

MMFs: What they are and why they matter

Suppose you have a headache. A bad headache. “I’ll take Tylenol to make it go away,” you think. So, you grab the Tylenol bottle and…

Getting Good at Story Splitting

As I’ve said before, working in thin vertical slices is the key habit in Agile software development. Many people struggle to find vertical slices, but…

Why Most People Split Workflows Wrong

Workflows are a very common element of software. But they can be hard to split well when you’re trying to work in small, vertical slices…

How We Use Agile at Home

Here’s a short video about how my family uses an Agile approach for homeschool and chores:

What Do We Mean By Welcoming Complexity?

Subscribe To The Welcoming Complexity Newsletter In this inaugural issue, we explain the newsletter’s title and provide a few thoughts on relevant Agile For All blog…

Vertical Slices and Scale

Last week, I tweeted, Working in thin vertical slices is the keystone habit for agile software development. It enables so many other good practices. —…

80/20 Facilitation (or, all the study on facilitation most people need)

In response to my recent post on developing your skills in 2016, several people mentioned facilitation as a skill they want to grow. As with…

Humanizing Work First-Time Participant Guide

Humanizing Work 2016 is just 6 weeks away, and we want to help you prepare to have a great experience there. Beyond the basic info…

Developing Your Skills in 2016

You’ve probably heard that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. That notion, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, isn’t quite accurate—Gladwell has…

Peter Drucker ’s view is integral to the values of Scrum

Peter Drucker said, “Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principles of effectiveness is violated as constantly today as the basic principle of…

Turn The Ship Around – A View Into Agile Leadership

Note: This post is adapted from some posts that I originally created on Adobe’s blog while I was an employee there. I recently finished reading former…

Peter Drucker understood agile leadership and agility before it even existed!

Management and leadership in the 21st century need to be significantly different or businesses will be left behind. People recognize this and management is slowing…

New to Agile? Build trust to grow influence and impact

Transforming the way you work to an Agile approach has implications for the relationship between software teams and their customers and stakeholders. But in many…

Scrum as an agent of culture change

Peter Drucker invented most modern management practices. He was an in-demand coach to hundreds of top leaders in the world’s largest organizations. When he suggested that “culture…

Scrum as an agent of culture change part 2

In part one of this series, we defined culture. We also described why it is both critical and hard to work on. Finally, we left…

80/20 Product Ownership Updates

A few updates on 80/20 Product Ownership, my online course that teaches you how to slice your work at every level of detail to get…

Reinventing Organizations Video now with Korean subtitles

Thanks to Hahn Ryu of D.CAMP, our video describing Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organizations and its application for lean and agile adoption is now available…

The Context for Agility

Some people learn best by reading. Others prefer video. So, I’ve created a video of my blog post: The Future of Agile, Changing the World of…

The Wheel of Change Retrospective

Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world’s leading executive coaches. In his book Triggers, Goldsmith introduces a framework for change that he calls the “Wheel of…

Reducing the Load on the Product Owner

Product Owners have it tough. They need to spend time and energy working to understand the needs of customers and users. They need to work…

Early Agile Scaling at Adobe

Scaling agile is a hot topic these days. I’ve recently given a presentation at a few local user groups about the experience of scaling agile at…

5 Key Skills Great Product Owners Have

Being Product Owner is hard. Actually, that’s not quite true. Anybody can make a list of things to build, call it a backlog, and bring…

On Human Capital – HR and Agile

Human capital is just one of an organization’s intangible assets. It is basically all of the competencies and commitment of the people within an organization…

The future of agile: changing the world of work

I gave a presentation at the Scrum Gathering in Phoenix AZ about the historic context of Agile and Scrum, and where we are headed next.…

Laloux Cultural Model and Agile Adoption

I had invested years of my life in a ground up, large-scale agile adoption. The early years of the adoption seemed to go at breakneck…

MHA 2015 Slides: Resistance to Change Doesn’t Exist

Thanks to everyone who attended my Mile High Agile 2015 session, “Resistance to Change Doesn’t Exist.” Here are the slides and handouts:

The Power of 3 Words

Some of the most significant messages people deliver to one another often come in just three words. When spoken or conveyed, those statements have the…

20 Common Logical Fallacies – Don’t Be a Victim!

Faulty thinking is part of life. We’re not perfect, nor do we think perfectly. It is, however, helpful to identify faulty thinking in our own…

Agile For All adds three new members to the team

In case you missed the press release, Peter Green, Adobe Systems Agile Transformation Leader, will join our Agile For All team on March 16th. I am…

Be an Expert in a Year – Growing the Agile Way

The guys over at Expert Table Tennis had a great idea. What would it take to become an expert? Dedication? Heart? Perseverance?

Agile and Scrum training the Agile For All way

Take a moment to consider the last time you were in any sort of training environment. Were the tables set up “classroom style” so everyone…

Life Change Starts with Clarity

There are moments where each one of us have wished for significant life change – this could be related to our current circumstances, our jobs,…

The Value of Planning Together

If you’ve taken part in any of our Scrum classes, then you know we highly value the power of face-to-face communication. The emergent power of…

Viktor Frankl’s Meaning Triangle for Organizations

Viktor Frankl was an incredible human being, having survived the Holocaust and establishing logotherapy, a type of psychotherapy. His book, Man’s Search for Meaning, details…

3 Requirements for Creating a Culture of Leadership & Innovation

Innovation begins with the heart… a heart of leadership The Hay Group, a global management consulting firm, released their findings that identify which organizations have the…

Splitting Stories in Chinese (or, 用户故事切分招数)

Thanks to Bob Jiang for the translation (with feedback from Evelyn Tian and Daniel Teng). This poster is also available in English, French, German, Russian,…

Running Agile at Home

Agile is merely a philosophy of how to change the way we think about delivering value. Powerful ideas have grown from the original philosophy, namely…

On 2015 and Beyond!

As we look at Agile in 2015, there is a lot of excitement, a lot of opportunity, and a lot of fun ahead of us.…

Why You’ll Want to Attend Humanizing Work 2015

Every year, we put on a conference just for agile practitioners who’ve been in one of our classes. Check out this 90 second video to…

Agile Homeschool Update

Last year, I wrote about how we use an agile approach for homeschool. Since then, we’ve refined our approach. This school year, we updated our…

Looking Back at the Past Two Years

I want to start this post by thanking Eric Englemann (yes, that is him above!), the CEO of one of our awesome clients, Geonetric. Almost…

Cynefin and Story Splitting

As I was preparing for my Agile Denver session on Unscaling, which leaned heavily on the Cynefin Framework, I reread Liz Keogh’s excellent post, “Cynefin…

Agile Denver Session Notes: Unscaling

Update:  For our latest thinking on scaling and organizational agility see Scaling: Principles not Practices. For those who attended last night’s Agile Denver meetup, here are…

Scrum Basics: When Should We Schedule Sprint Transitions?

We’re often asked which day or days are best for scheduling the Sprint Planning, Review, and Retrospective meetings.

Org Structure, Software Architecture, and Cross-functional Teams

Some 46 years ago, Melvin Conway wrote, “Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of…

MHA 2014 Session Notes: Models for Support

For those who attended my Mile High Agile 2014 session, Models for Support, here are the photos of the flip charts (with a little explanatory…

Taking Agile Beyond Software

Two years ago, when Bob and I merged our companies into today’s Agile For All, we wrote out a vision statement for the company that…

The Agile For All Christmas Party & Four Charities We’re Fired Up About This Christmas

In November, we asked our wives, Dawn Lawrence and Carol Hartman (whom many of you met at the conference), to plan a unique company Christmas…

3 Ways to Handle End-of-the-Year Holidays on Your Agile Team

The period from mid-December to early-January can be disruptive for an agile team. You’re used to working on a regular cadence, maybe in 2-week iterations.…

Humanizing Work 2013 Conference Recap

Last month’s Humanizing Work Conference was organized around one big hypothesis: that it was possible to do to a conference what we’d done to our…

Focusing on the Right Things in Your Daily Scrum

“Yesterday, I was in Sprint Planning…” I hear it once, and I’m suspicious. By the time the third team member says this, it’s clear the…

Agile Homeschool

My wife and I have been homeschooling our 3 boys since our oldest, who turns 13 tomorrow, started kindergarten. From the beginning, we’ve tried to…

Change Happens—So Make it Cheaper

Change on software projects is expensive; it leads to wasteful rework. Change is risk. We can deal with risk one of two ways. We can…

Splitting Stories in Spanish (or, Como Dividir una Historia de Usuario)

Thanks to Joserra Díaz for the translation (with feedback from Matin Alaimo and Alan Cyment).

Story Splitting in Russian (or, Как Разделять Истории Пользователей)

Thanks to Alexander Lutsaevsky for the translation.

Splitting Stories in French (or, Comment découper un récit utilisateur)

Thanks to Jean-Jacques Lévesque, my “How to Split a User Story” poster is now available in French.

Functional Managers in Agile

As an organization transforms to an agile way of working, functional managers (e.g. a dev manager or a test manager) can feel lost. Many of…

Splitting Stories in German (or, User Stories Aufteilen)

Thanks to translation from Kai Simons, my “How to Split a User Story” flowchart is now available in German.

New Story Splitting Resource

More than two years after I originally published it, “Patterns for Splitting User Stories” remains one of the most visited posts on my blog. Splitting…

Coaching Surgeons, Cyclists, and Software Teams

Atul Gawande is a surgeon and author who has written some excellent books and New Yorker articles reflecting on the state of modern medicine. Recently,…

With apologies to Bill Engvall, ScrumMasters, here’s your sign!

Have you ever had one of those days when you wondered if your ScrumMaster was on crack? Or maybe you’re the ScrumMaster and the you…

Agile Practitioners Aren’t Supposed to Use Flamethrowers – Are They?

Have you ever been in a flamethrower war? I sincerely hope you have never been in one like the picture, but if you have been…

As a ScrumMaster silence can be golden!

I love it when someone who was in one of my workshops sends me a message saying something from the workshop worked well for them.…

Cucumber Tip: IRB From Inside a Step Definition

Most Ruby programmers know about Ruby’s interactive console, IRB. (If you don’t, stop right here, open up a command window and run irb. Type some…

Building a Useful Task Board

The task board is a simple, yet powerful, tool for Scrum teams. As a coach, I can tell a lot about a team just by…

Cucumber Tip: Key-Value Tables

You may not realize this: Tables in Cucumber steps don’t have to have a header row. Sometimes it can work really well to use a…

The Future of Cucumber on .NET

Beginning just over two years ago, I worked with some great developers to create Cuke4Nuke as a way to bring Cucumber to .NET. Shortly after…

Why Longer Sprints Probably Won’t Help

As a coach, I’m frequently told, “Our sprint length is too short. We want to change it from X to Y weeks.” The time box—the…

Cucumber Regular Expressions Cheat Sheet

Regular expressions are a big part of what makes Cucumber tests both expressive in English and DRY on the automation side. To make the most…

Getting Started with Ruby, Cucumber, and Capybara on Windows

The Ruby version of Cucumber isn’t just for Rails developers. If you have a .NET or Java web or service app, Ruby can be a…

Another Story Splitting Pattern (Maybe)

User stories are typically written using a template like, “As a <role>, I want to <action> so that <value>.” My other story splitting patterns focus…

Cuke4Nuke Needs Your Help

Almost 2 years ago, at the 2009 AA-FTT conference, I started Cuke4Nuke to bring Cucumber to the .NET world. Since then, thanks to some fantastic…

Public ATDD with Cucumber Course, March 7-8, Denver (Postponed)

Update: This course has been postponed until June or July. If you’re interested in attending, let me know and I’ll notify you when registration opens…

An Agile Merry Christmas 2010!

Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet?  I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, so if that isn’t the holiday for you, think about your equivalent,…

Overdue Agile and Scrum Thanks

Last year around this time I wrote a blog entry “New to agile? Give thanks!”  That was written from the perspective of an agile team…

In defense of the Scrum Alliance

Have you ever felt really let down by someone you respect?  I guess the way the world is today we can all cite a long…

Want Productivity? Focus on Predictability Instead

Focus your team on predictability, and productivity will come. Focus on productivity, and you’ll get neither productivity nor predictability.

Your Agile isn’t my Agile!

Have you ever had the feeling someone REALLY didn’t get it?  I had that feeling recently when reading this article about the supposed weaknesses of…

New to agile? Remember, sometimes things get crazy!

Do you ever get so frustrated you feel like pulling your hair out?  I do (although that is NOT a picture of me to the…

Just Enough Regular Expressions for Cucumber

Jon Archer wrote last week about how Cucumber makes knowledge of regular expressions important. He’s right: Regular expressions are the key to Cucumber’s flexibility. Well-crafted…

New to agile? Learn how to fail well

Is success or failure really a choice?  I don’t think it is at all.  Pretty much no one chooses to fail.  Unfortunately, we can’t just…

Paul Rayner Joins The Agile Cooperative

I’m excited to announce that Paul Rayner’s company, Virtual Genius, has joined The Agile Cooperative. Paul is the founder and president of the Denver chapter…

Agile antipattern: Target fixation

Have you ever been so focused on something that the rest of the world seemed to disappear for a while?  This can be great under…

I’m a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) – so what?

This is a companion post to last year’s “I’m a Certified Scrum Coach (CSC) – so what?” post.  In that post I spoke about the…

Agile antipattern: Sizing or estimating bug fixes

Is the bug to the left a large bug or a small bug?  It looks HUGE to me!  Well, in reality it is probably between…

New to agile? Remember a user story is more than a card!

What’s wrong with the user story on the card?  It seems to have everything we need: a) short title, b) a size (in this case…

What style of agile training works best?

Have you ever been in a class or training session which is so boring you felt like you might fall asleep?  Or maybe you are…

If you had been me at the Orlando Scrum Gathering…

you would have had an absolutely indescribably fantastic time!  And that’s just for starters.  To be honest, the phrase “that was so much fun it…

My Orlando Scrum Gathering Presentation

I’m making my Orlando Scrum Gathering presentation “Doing Scrum Isn’t the Same as LIVING Scrum” available as a PDF.  You don’t have to fill out…

Orlando Scrum Gathering – I’m going to be a doctor soon!

In about 5 minutes I’m going to play the role of being a “doctor” at the Scrum Clinic which is part of the Orlando Scrum…

New to agile? Watch an Intro to Scrum video in about 8 minutes

My friend, Arif Gangji, and I created this video to help his customers understand why his company uses Scrum as their software development framework. I…

Finally back online and going full speed ahead

Have you ever had a computer meltdown?  OK, so myIT infrastructure meltdown wasn’t as total as the picture to the left, but it still was…

The ScrumMaster Diaries: #3 – Becoming a CSM

Dear Diary, I completed day 1 of my 2-day Certified ScrumMaster course today and I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed.  I didn’t have any idea…

The ScrumMaster Diaries: #2 – Making the Case to Become a CSM

Dear Diary, Tomorrow I am going in to speak to Henry about becoming a Certified Scrum Master.  I’ve done more reading about it and it…

Agile Book Review: Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn

I’m going to give you the punch line first: this is definitely the best agile book on the market today! If that is all you…

New to agile? Lean principles can help!

Ever see a trash can look like that?  I know I have – plenty of times.  I have 3 kids so I sometimes even see…

Debugging Cuke4Nuke Step Definitions

At a client today, we were doing some tricky automation with WatiN (against Telerik controls) in Cuke4Nuke. We wanted to dig into what WatiN was…

The ScrumMaster Diaries: Chapter 1 – We stink

Dear Diary,   This is Nick.  I’ve never been much of a writer before, but I made myself a New Year resolution to try to keep…

Agile, scrum, lean and kanban blogs to watch in 2010

I’m going to be spending a lot of time in 2010 writing blog entries.  Remember, I’ve committed to trying to write 4 blog entries per…

Agile pondering: Why use an agile approach?

The theme of the blog this month is “Getting a Fresh Start.”  In order to get a fresh start it is important to know WHY…

Agile question of the month contest for January 2010

Time for another chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.  This month’s theme is “Getting a Fresh Start” so the question is going to…

The ScrumMaster Diaries: Introduction to the series

Back on September 23, 2009, I posted a blog entry titled “New to agile? What does the ScrumMaster do anyway?” The response was amazing. It…

How to Remove Duplication in Cucumber Tests Using Scenario Outlines

Gojko Adzic has a new blog post demonstrating the new table parameter support in Cuke4Nuke. Table parameters are an important part of Cucumber. They’re great…

Great agile, scrum, lean and kanban online resources from December 2009

This will be a monthly feature during 2010 and beyond.  I’m going to give you some blog posts, articles and popular items from right here…

2010 will be exciting for Agile Bob on Making Agile a Reality

The new year starts tonight.  I’m extremely excited because I have HUGE plans for this blog during 2010.  I don’t know if I can live…

The Latest on Cuke4Nuke

This morning, I released version 0.3.0 of Cuke4Nuke. With this release, Cuke4Nuke supports almost everything you can do with Cucumber in Ruby or Java, making…

Recapping 2009 at Agile For All

Was 2009 a good year or a bad year for you?  I have to admit it was a good year for Agile For All.  We…

Agile antipatterns: Agile burn-down chart roundup post

Do you want to see several different ways agile and scrum burn-down charts can lie?  If so, you are in the right place! This month I…

Agile antipattern: Another burndown chart that lies!

That burndown chart looks sweet doesn’t it?  The team finished the iteration on time.  What could possibly be wrong.  Well, a lot actually.  Notice that…

Merry Christmas!

This blog entry is being posted on Wednesday, December 23 at noon MST.  Why?  Because I don’t plan to be on my computer very much,…

Agile antipattern: Changing the definition of done

Ever see a burndown chart like the one to the left?  I’ve been on a big burndown chart kick lately and when I saw this…

Growing DONE—How to Make the Definition of Done Work for Your Team

Effective agile teams get things done. They build software day after day that’s not just “code complete” but really shippable. And when their product owner…

I’ll be speaking in January at the Phoenix Scrum User Group

I’m honored to be the featured speaker at the January 28, 2010 meeting of the Phoenix Scrum User Group.  I’ll be making a presentation called “Doing…

Agile pondering: How does a highly mobile agile team of 1 work?

In my last post I gave you insight into how I do my work as an agile team of 1.  What I didn’t mention is…

Agile pondering: How does agile work with a team of 1?

See that picture off to the left?  That is me and my agile team!  It’s not a bad picture, but there appears to be something…

The 7 Deadly Sins of Almost Being Agile presentation from Agile 2009

This presentation was originally given at Agile 2009 in Chicago.  Richard Lawrence and I wanted to give teams a bit of hope if they weren’t…

Agile antipattern: Burndown “wall”

Does your team have an iteration burndown chart (giving credit only for completed stories) look like the one to the left? If so there are a…

New to agile? Learn how to split stories

In my last blog Agile antipattern: Taking on large stories I said I would give you some tips on how to split stories.  First though, it is…

Agile antipattern: Taking on large stories

Earlier this week I posted a blog entry “Agile antipattern: Burndown charts that hide the truth” which dealt with one way a burndown chart could…

Agile question of the month contest for December 2009

Want to win an Amazon gift certificate?  This month I am starting a new feature in the blog.  The feature is called “Agile question of…

Agile antipattern: Burndown charts that hide the truth

See that burndown chart over there to the left?  It looks beautiful doesn’t it?  It is an actual burndown chart with no made up data. …

Screencast: Testing Web Applications in .NET with Cuke4Nuke and WatiN

Yesterday, I released Cuke4Nuke 0.2.2, which added WatiN compatibility and an example of how to use the two tools together. Here’s a short screencast in…

Weekly PM Insights Newsletter

Recently I’ve been asked to write an occasional article for the Weekly PM Insights newsletter.  This newsletter is published every Sunday night and so far has…

New to agile? Remember the power of automation

As this blog entry is published I am teaching an agile/scrum course to a client in Flanders, New Jersey.  You might want to ask “Bob,…

Crazy Thanksgiving Offer: Let’s Make Your Work Great

Work shouldn’t suck. Whatever your position, you can do something to make your work better. I’m so thankful for the work I get to do,…

New to agile? Give thanks!

Here in the United States we will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 26.  If you are currently on an agile team you…

Agile antipattern: Doing Agile!

I spent the past week in Orlando, Florida  at the Agile Development Practices conference and I heard a number of people say “We do agile…

New to agile? Remember to respect people

One of the Lean Principles is “Respect People.”  I think it may be the most important lean principle.  When I teach a course and get…

WatiN Patterns #3: Don’t Over-specify

After a long hiatus, I’m resuming the WatiN Patterns series. Pattern #1 covered why and how your tests should clean up after themselves. Pattern #2…

Patterns for Splitting User Stories

Update, October 2020: Richard’s latest story splitting resources are available at Humanizing Work. Good user stories follow Bill Wake’s INVEST model. They’re Independent, Negotiable, Valuable,…

Free Event! Agile Adoption: The Real Story

On October 20, the Agile Cooperative will be hosting a free one-day seminar designed to give attendees a lot of information about what is really…

New to agile? Keep it very simple

When dealing with an agile implementation, particularly in the case of a new agile team, we often make things too complex and difficult.  We tend…

New to agile? What does the ScrumMaster do anyway?

I often have people ask me what a ScrumMaster does.  Interestingly, today it came up on a mailing list I read on a regular basis. …

Agile antipattern: Working overtime

Ever feel like the guy over there to the left?  Yeah, me too.  Sorry to offend some people with my language, but working overtime really…

Cuke4Nuke: Cucumber for .NET Teams

Update: If you’ve just landed here, you could get the impression from this post that Cuke4Nuke doesn’t exist yet. It does. Check out this screencast…

I’m a Certified Scrum Coach (CSC) – so what?

I’ve asked myself that question more than once in the 5 or so months since I became a CSC.  I never doubted my decision to…

New to agile? Don’t make it too hard!

OK, so this isn’t my normal type of blog entry.  I don’t usually plug my speaking enagements like this, but then I thought – why…

Resources from our Agile 2009 Presentation

For those who attended my Agile 2009 presentation with Bob Hartman, “The 7 Deadly Sins of Almost Being Agile,” here are the slides and handouts.…

Agile2009 thoughts so far

So far I am having a great time at the Agile2009 conference in Chicago.  There are some amazing speakers at this event.  With approximately 1350…

Wow, this is a Best of the Web Top 100 blog!

I just found out that this blog is now listed as a Top 100 blog by The Daily Reviewer!  I am truly flattered to be…

New to agile? Work at a sustainable pace

Question:  Which is better: a) Working nights and weekends to meet iteration commitments, or b) Admitting the commitment was too much and working normal hours…

Agile pondering: Is it agile to have a “single wringable neck?”

In Scrum one of the named roles is that of Product Owner.  Some people have taken to referring to this position as the “single wringable…

Agile antipattern: Waiting for all the requirements before starting

Time for a short blog entry (I tend to be way too verbose!). I often see teams trying to make sure they have all of…

Making Agile a Reality®

Today is an interesting day. Back in January 2009 I decided to apply for registered trademark status for the phrase “Making Agile a Reality.” Today…

Agile antipattern: Using email as the primary communication tool

Can I just be short and to the point for this one?  I hope so, because that is my intention! Email is LOW BANDWIDTH communication…

New to agile? What to do when you are behind

Wow, has it really been more than a month since I posted something on my blog?  Ouch!  I guess I’ve been busier than I thought. …

Agile antipattern: Insanity! (5 insanity antipatterns)

It is sometimes said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. This definition has…

How to make a LOT more money using agile

Yesterday’s blog post dealt with how to manage scope for an agile project.  Today I have to admit it was a bit of a setup. …

New to agile? 3 ways to cut scope (and live)

The primary way I see teams release products faster is by reducing the scope of each product.  However, this can’t be done in an arbitrary…

New to agile? Remember how to say “No”

No.  Only two letters.  Very simple word.  Yet for some reason, with the exception of when we are at “the terrible 2’s” stage of life…

New to agile? INVEST in good user stories

As a <user> I want <function> so that<value>. Above is a very simple user story template.  How can something so simple be so hard to…

Agile antipattern: Treating symptoms not causes

Agile teams often get to a point where they have a number of problems which must be addressed.  During retrospectives these items keep coming up…

New to Agile? Use a Rules of Engagement document.

How do we work together? Seems like a simple question, right? How wrong you could be!  For an agile team, working together is vitally important,…

Agile antipattern: Hiding unfortunate truths

“Unfortunate truths” are things which are true – unfortunately!  I’ve heard the phrase used by defense lawyers and I have to admit it is pretty…

Agile antipattern: Comparing velocity between teams

I recently saw an excellent blog post about iteration velocity.  Good reading in general, but the last paragraph really got my attention and is why…

Agile anti-pattern: Going to longer iterations

This is another common theme among teams just starting with agile.  It usually goes something like this: The team has an unsuccessful iteration. They determine…

New to agile? Do the simplest thing that works – THEN STOP!

As an agile trainer and coach I often see new teams struggle with a simple question: “How much to do on a user story?”  A lot…

How to Give a Great Sprint Demo

Exciting. Entertaining. Do these words describe your sprint demo meetings? Or are boring and unfocused more accurate? I can’t believe how many times I’ve come…

Agile antipattern: Code freezes during each iteration

Over the past 18 months I’ve encountered a number of teams where it is standard practice to have a code freeze late in the iteration. …

Agile is like… golfing?

Well, if agile could be like cooking and a fishing trip could be agile it only made sense that another of my hobbies would be agile in…

Agile Ponderings: Certification – useful or not?

I’ve had to do a lot of thinking about certification recently. Why? Because I needed to decide if I should apply to become a Certified…

New to agile? Get focused with a vision

Bear with me on this blog entry.  It takes a bit of setup until I get to the main point. Lately I’ve been doing a…

Agile antipattern: Using manual tests

In an agile environment manual testing is fine – except for when it isn’t!  In particular, everyone recognizes manual regression testing takes time.  When using a…

New to agile? Tips for better daily stand-ups

As an agile coach I have attended a lot of daily stand-up meetings.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a meeting…

Agile Pondering: Who leads an agile team?

On Saturday, April 11, I ran a PMI Mile Hi workshop I called “Agile Leadership is Overrated – Isn’t It?”  The workshop was built on…

Agile antipattern: Extending an iteration

I had a previous blog post about stopping an iteration and how it was a really bad idea. Another blog post was about moving work…

Making Agile a Reality for All

I recently saw a Tweet (Twitter message for those of you that don’t know) from Michele Sliger about an interesting premise of using 6 words…

Agile Architecture – It is NOT an Oxymoron!

Many companies adopting agile have a hard time with the architecture and design of their large systems.  They like the concept of agile, but can’t…

Ten Ways to Improve Your Planning Poker Results

People who promote the use of Planning Poker understand some of the main reasons why it is successful.  People like Mike Cohn have been very instrumental…

Agile is like… cooking???

On Monday, during my flight from Denver to Boston I sat next to a delightful couple who were both retired. When they asked the inevitable…

New to agile? Don’t settle for mediocrity

James Shore recently changed the entire focus of his company. This blog entry gives his reasons why. The blog post really struck a chord with…

New to agile? Tools for distributed agile

I’ve been working the past several weeks with some highly distributed teams.  Each team requires a way to track their project effectively (when you have…

Never start a sentence “We can’t be agile because…”

I recently started filling out a form which included a question regarding the training I’ve done.  As I filled it out I realized that in…

Agile Pondering: Should an iteration ever be stopped?

It is accepted in the agile world that if an iteration or sprint is going extremely badly then it can be stopped – rebooted I…

Agile antipattern: Moving work from one iteration to the next

All agile teams start at something less than the completely proficient level.  Nearly all of those teams do not successfully complete their very first iteration. …

Never have a PMP on an agile team

Now that I have your attention, let me be VERY clear I don’t believe the title of this post.  However, many people do believe it, and…

New to Agile? Beware of the elephant in the room!

Like many other agile consultants I am often asked how agile adoptions could fail.  This question has a myriad of answers.  A search on Google…

Being agile is to releasing products, like fishing is to catching fish

I recently read this blog post from Chris Sterling and while funny, it made me wonder about the similarities between fishing and agile development.  Since…

Agile antipattern: But the development lead said it would take way less time than that

I’d be rich if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this, or something very similar to it, in the past 30 years!  Alright,…

Agile Antipattern: Everything is priority 1

I was just working on some Powerpoint slides for our Agile Product Management Boot Camp coming up on March 9 and 10 and I realized I should…

New to agile? Remember to eliminate waste

When I teach any agile course I start out with the principles of lean that Mary and Tom Poppendieck have written about in their books. …

New to agile? Remember one thing: Just enough, just in time

If you lived through the past few decades you have undoubtedly heard the time “Just in Time” (JIT) as applied to manufacturing.  This is the…

When in Doubt Ask “How Will I Know I’ve Done That?”

Tired of not knowing exactly what to create or test? Get in the habit of asking the magic question “How will I know I’ve done…

Holistic vs. Dogmatic Agile Definition – Results Matter!

I originally wrote about this topic in our September email newsletter.  In that article I was trying to explain the difference between two specific types…

Continuous Deployment

I’ve written before about the amazing financial impact of releasing more often. And I know from personal experience the positive impact that frequent releases have…

WatiN Patterns #2: One Assertion and a Name to Match

One way to keep your WatiN tests maintainable is to keep them small and focused. WatiN Pattern #2, then, is a way to do just…

Agile Leadership is Overrated – Isn’t It?

This is the topic of my next Mile Hi PMI Chapter Workshop to be presented on April 11, 2009.  I do workshops on agile topics…

7 Tips for a More Effective Daily Scrum

The main purpose of the Daily Scrum is for team members to make and follow-up on commitments to one another that work towards the team’s…

WatiN Patterns #1: No Browser Left Behind

In my previous posts on WatiN, I lamented the shortage of online documentation and resolved to do something about it by documenting the patterns I’ve…

Real World Agile Testing with Fit and FitNesse

Another short blog entry.  This time it is to announce that we’ll be hosting Rob Myers teaching a great agile testing course using Fit and…

Be Agile to Become More Agile!

I often get the question “How do we get better at agile?”  I imagine a lot of agile consultants get this particular question because the answer is…

Another Look at WatiN

At my current client, we’ve decided to use WatiN, largely for the C# vs. Ruby reason I discussed earlier this week. After spending a week…

Agile Product Management Boot Camp

Bob Hartman and I are offering an Agile Product Management Boot Camp course March 9-10 in Denver. If you’re a product manager, product owner, business…

Web Testing for .NET Teams: WatiN or Watir?

I’ve noticed a pattern with several of my .NET clients who want to get into automated acceptance testing for web applications. They like the idea…

Panel Discussion on Transitioning to Agile

Just a quick post this week.  I just received a link to the panel discussion I was part of at the Agile Development Practices conference…

Denver APLN Meeting Next Tuesday (Jan 20)

Denver’s new APLN chapter is having our first proper (i.e. non-planning) meeting next Tuesday. Date: January 20, 2009 Time: 6:30pm Location: Sigis Cabaret room in…

Follow me on Twitter

I’ve decided to experiment with Twitter as a way to post more often than the once or twice a week I do here and to…