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Scrum Tips: Outer Shell or Gooey Core

Plenty of organizations are using Scrum (the most popular Agile framework) to boost productivity and achieve early results for their clients. However, many get stuck in the outer shell of Scrum without focusing or even experiencing the soft gooey core. Let’s look at three pieces of Scrum to get us started. Daily Scrum The shell[…]

You Are a Mine Rich in Gems, Not an Empty Glass

Our current, and outdated, way of thinking about people is broken. Our societal systems assume much about each of us that is, frankly, wrong. These assumptions stem from a lack of understanding about the true reality of the inner core of human beings. One in particular is very troublesome – for some strange reason we are told[…]

The Four Stages of a Team

Teams are not born. Teams are not created by a senior leader. Teams are not easy to create by using a guide book.

Teams are formed and developed through hard work and plenty of consultation.

Many organizations love to express how many teams they have and how well each of them are doing by sharing metrics, starts and anecdotes. This may or may not be true. One thing is true – it takes time and effort to become a high-functioning team. You may or may be aware of the concept of the four stages a team must progress through to become amazing. These stages include: forming, storming, norming and performing. This model was created by Bruce Tuchman in 1965, yet it is often overlooked. […]

Agile Retrospective: Doodle Your Thoughts

Plenty of Agile teams do Sprint Retrospectives  or some sort of reflection activity at the end of every sprint, cycle or iteration. And this is a wonderful practice to help the team get into a state of innovation (aka a learning mode). Unfortunately, many agile teams or non-agile teams get into a rut. They do the same retrospective activity over and over again. Two such activities seem to be more repeated, including: Pluses & Deltas – where each person identifies things that went well and things that need to be changed, and Mad Sad Glad – where each person identifies things that made them angry, unhappy, or happy.

We must flex our creativity muscles… […]

Agile Retrospective: Strike a Pose

Many of the Sprint Retrospectives conducted by Agile teams lack energy and engagement. Most teams seems to follow a standard format and never experiment. This is unfortunate.

However, more and more teams are viewing this foundational Scrum event (aka ceremony) — the Sprint Retrospective — as critical for their inspect and adapt cycle. Can you name the other two events that a key to inspecting and adapting as a team?

Recently, I created a simple activity when I was participating in an Open Space conference. This retrospective exercise involves each person’s entire body to convey feelings, thoughts, and challenges. I call it Strike a Pose — inspired by the pop song entitled Vogue[…]

Kanban: a Lean & Agile Framework

Agile is everywhere now. And, the awareness around Agile is permeating most industries and environments such as volunteer organizations, educational institutions, and governments. Agile frameworks such as Scrum, XP and OpenAgile are tied closely to the Agile Manifesto which has four values and twelve principles. To get the most out of an Agile framework implement both[…]

Practical Advice for the Agile Manifesto

Many of you already have read the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (aka the Agile Manifesto). However, are you using it daily or weekly with your team or organization? Consider this… You are a grade 5 teacher of 30 children. You have just been opened to the idea that each child is noble and has[…]