Written by Joel Norman

“Are these volleyball games or demos?” the senior director leaned over to me and asked during the 7 team demo of the day. She had just taken over this part of the organization, and I was the technical consultant tasked with making her dreams come true: working-tested product in the demo.

Yet another team had been remarkably busy in the last sprint discussing ways to potentially solve problems. The entire last 2 weeks were spent strategizing on innovative ways to implement this web-based crud app, and the team’s next sprint was scheduled to test out some…

Written by Stephanie Davis

Many of you have come to know and embrace the teachings of Stephen R. Covey in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Considered one of the top business and leadership books of all time, it is a true treasure trove of wisdom that I find myself returning to time and time again. Like others have found, the book speaks to you on multiple dimensions, personal and professional, family and community, and more. Lately, I’ve been enlightened by its relevance and application to Agile Transformation.

Though the book has “People” in the title, Covey does well…

By Adam Jennison

Agile transformations are hard. Creating an ecosystem where teams with the appropriate skills and resources are able to organize around a well-prioritized backlog to build working, tested product sounds simple but can quickly become mired in the nuances and details that manifest as all sorts of complexities in product development organizations. Those organizations that invest the blood, sweat, tears (and money!) to get it right are rewarded with accountable, empowered teams with clear priorities predictably delivering quality product. So, imagine the frustration when, after seeing such team-level success, the business results are still just are not there…

By Scott Sehlhorst

I had a conversation with a client today who correctly pointed out that KPIs can be leading or lagging indicators. He was disagreeing with some of our materials, where we treat KPIs as explicitly leading (and not lagging) indicators mapped to the success criteria of an epic. Maybe in a little bit different of a writing tone than I normally use, here’s how I responded to our client — who I will call “Mark” (not his or her real name).

Hey Mark,

Thanks very much for initiating some great conversation. I also appreciate it as feedback to…

Written by Adam Jennison

I have noticed during my time working with various product teams that there is a tendency to treat internal customers as fundamentally different than external customers. When our customers are internal to our organization it can actually be a great boon for product management: it removes a layer of abstraction between customer problems and the team responsible for solving them; there are increased opportunities for obtaining iterative customer feedback at any given point in the pre-production phase of the product lifecycle; there is likely to be convergence in our need to measure the success of our…

Written by Joel Norman

Although there is not a written rule on the difference between an Agile or Transformation coach, in my experience there is a distinct difference.

Agile Coaching

Agile coaching is the outcome of successful Transformation coaching.

In essence, the outcome of Transformation coaching is to establish a structure to change behavior so that Agile coaching can enhance the System of Delivery. Ultimately, the distinction hinges on whether the capability of the team deciding has been refined on the team.

The right type of coaching can be determined by validating: “Can the team make a decision and manage the change…

Written by Camille Abdnor

I had a discussion recently with one of our clients around what a beta release looks like. The term “beta,” which I’ve seen in many organizations, is a misunderstood term or in some rare instances, an almost taboo term. I’ve found that this is especially true in organizations where the stakeholders of the development team haven’t been exposed to Agile or common software practices. Commonly, what you end up seeing in those organizations, is the beta is boiled down to an appeasement to stakeholders because of a deadline — i.e: …

Written by Jamie Bernard

I have largely been exposed to Agile transformations in which the completion, more often than not, results in building more stuff faster. In other words, there’s a laundry list of things in the backlog and organizations want to maximize their output to not only play catch up with business requests but to get things to market faster and more predictably. What many Agile Transformations fail to address, however, is the question of why are we building what we are building in the first place.

When an organization finds itself frustrated and asking: “Why did I spend…

Written by Scott Sehlhorst

When teams are first moving away from, “Epic is a container for a list of features,” and towards, “Epic is a discrete investment decision,” It can be hard to reorient. In their old world, the epic had some sort of field — “list the features contained in this epic” which was straightforward to fill out. The decisions they made were really easy: “Is anything we planned to build missing? Add it.”

When your mental model is, “We need to predictably deliver all these things someone else thought was important,” managing the flow of epics is pretty…

By Will Evans

Effective strategy execution isn’t (just) about alignment, however, cascading goals through common frameworks like OKRs to create alignment to the strategic priorities is the first step towards effective strategy execution. The question for many leaders that have a clearly articulated and well-designed strategy (not just buzz words and wishful thinking), is why their teams seem to struggle to execute that strategy and deliver on the objectives. To deploy a strategy requires a team to first have a shared understanding of what that strategy is and what it means.

One simple exercise we deployed recently with a client…


The Path to Agile Transformation Starts Here | www.leadingagile.com

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