Swarming Blobs

I laughed out loud as I read this post from Tom Perry. He is Co-presenting the topic: Swarming – The Birds and the Bees and Agile at Agile 08. It would not be quite as intriguing if it were titled: Slime Molds, The Birds and the Bees and Agile. I am sure there is something analogous to self-organizing teams in all this. In the mean time it’s worth a good laugh along with a ‘how bout that.’

Defining ‘Agile Software Development’ on Wikipedia

I started another post and got stuck on this Wikipedia definition. The great insight normally found on Wikipedia, in this case, has left me disappointed: Agile Software Development: refers to a group of software development methodologies that promote development iterations, open collaboration, and adaptability throughout the life-cycle of the project. Are these the three bullet points what we should highlight for Agile: Iterations, Open Collaboration and Adaptability?  I think they are all critical, but do they cover the fundamentals? This definition has actually improved greatly over the last couple months. In … Continue Reading >

Becoming Agile Without Help?

I was recently asked how successful can organizations be in transitioning to agile on their own. My immediate response was to evoke the response from a team of panelist. When asked what is the most important thing they did to be successful in their transition, four panelists from across industries and organizational sizes all said essentially, “Getting some good help.”  I’ve been pondering this question for the last couple days. I’m sure it is possible to self-transition, but I’ve never seen it done. I’ve seen new teams start out promoting agile, … Continue Reading >

Fail Early, Learn Often

While moderating a panel discussion recently, one of the first questions after the introductions was asking to explain what was meant by allowing a team to fail. The important understanding that I think was misunderstood is that failure is not meant to allow releases or products fail, but to generate learning opportunities to ensure ultimate success. Saving a company is an extreme example of what learning often is trying to avoid. Roger Ehernberg has a thoughtful post describing the lessons learned from the recent closure of his company, Monitor 110. … Continue Reading >

Measuring Outputs Expanded

I talked at a high level in my Measure Outputs post about the types of measures that are useful. That post stated broadly that input measures do little to help improve, control or predict performance. In this post, I will expand on that concept to cover in more depth what types of measures focus on output and help drive process improvement. Perhaps the best known framework for creating measures is the balanced score card. This sets up categories of metrics that support an organizations strategies and vision. From the Balanced … Continue Reading >

Team Charters

If you need more than one person to get a project done, start with creation of a team charter. Charters document and communicate a team’s purpose. The process of creating and maintaining the charter builds understanding of and broad commitment to that purpose. Continue Reading >