Agile Leadership Patterns: 15 Minute Video

Want to understand agile and its challenges fast? Check out this comprehensive 15 minute video.

Dan Greening (Senex Rex) and Brent Barton (SolutionsIQ) explore the fundamental patterns of agility; how leadership inhibits and nurtures agility; why agile is hard to maintain; how to tell rapidly if a person, team or organization is agile; how to build agile manager teams to tackle tough strategic problems; and how to hire agile leaders.

 

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Agile Cancer: Does team-only agile cause developers to quit?

Creación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)

When agile coaches have no access or influence with high-level managers, agile transformations won’t work; Zach Bonaker walks away from those agile coaching opportunities. Ryan Ripley observes that when low-level agile coaches teach engineers there’s a better way, and management won’t become agile themselves, many smart developers will leave the dysfunctional company and join a company with agile managers. We need new ways of communicating with executives, to help their companies become more agile and keep their best talent.  Continue reading

Agile Supply Chains Take the Lead

Make Your Supply Chain Agile, or (zoom) Roadkill

Dustin Mattison interviewed me on how one could apply agile principles to supply chain management. The interview shows how to map Agile Base Patterns to a non-software field.

You can listen to the podcast here: The Five Characteristics of Sustainable Agile Methods, from the Future of Supply Chains blog.

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Agile Cancer: Stop Whining and Cure It

Agile Cancer: Stop Whining and Cure It

As we speak, agile leaders are killing their children. Dave Thomas proclaims that Agile is now for “people who don’t do things”. Giles Bowkett argues that “Scrum should basically just die in a fire.” Alistair Cockburn stood in front of Agile 2009 to proclaim “I come to bury Agile, not to praise it.” Like spoiled children whose oversights were exposed, the shock jocks among us are happy to pound their chests in defiance, yet simultaneously cry over their own spilled milk. Continue reading

Religion vs Science in the Battle for Agile

While agile has zealots, it is not a religion. Agile is a scientific method that converts economic chaos to profit.

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Develop Agile Managers, or Agile Dies

Something is Wrong, It Must Be Agile

To sustain rapid adaptation and innovation, we need good agile managers. But management talent is rare, and agile management talent even rarer.

Danger lurks when executives and managers don’t understand agile. You can tell when managers don’t understand agile: they don’t use it themselves. Agile methods, Scrum particularly, are perfect for managing creative teams, including management teams planning and executing strategy (see Strategy Scrum Teams). [suth2014]

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Are We Agile? Answer 6 Questions to Find Out

Iterations of the Light Bulb: Slow Motion Agility?

Are we agile? The highest performing, most resilient agile organizations, teams, and individuals follow 6 progressive agile base patterns. To assess your agility, ask how well you follow those patterns. To stay agile, follow the agile base patterns indefinitely. Audit your business agility with this guide. Continue reading

Top-Down Agile Beats Bottom-Up

Leaders who publicly demonstrate agile methodologies and promote them top-down drive their organizations to sustain agile practices and succeed. But bottom-up agile transformations lack resiliency and generate cultural strife.

Top-down agile

Taiichi Ohno, agile coach for Toyota and its executives

Agile methodologies are now widely recommended for managing software development, but most large companies require transformation from entrenched “waterfall development,” an intuitively appealing strategy that has created massive project disasters (see Why Software Fails). Traditionally, most large agile transformations have been pursued bottom-up. One approach starts with a single team, proves agile works, and then expands further and higher in the organization. Hopefully that agile team’s success inspires others to become agile. Another approach religiously converts all engineering teams to adopt a specific agile methodology, but leaves management teams and hierarchies, dependencies, promotion policies, job titles, roles, recruiting and budgeting in their previous form. The developers adopt agile, but the managers don’t. Continue reading

What is an Agile Methodology? How does it beat Waterfall?

Using an agile methodology for project management can help CEOs, organizations, managers, teams and individuals rapidly adapt to change, beat slower competitors and win profitable markets. Agile methodologies were created to prevent the frequent and expensive manufacturing and development failures that arose in “waterfall” or “ad hoc” projects.

Waterfall vs Agile Methodology

Waterfall vs Agile Methodology

Most people tackle large projects using an intuitively obvious approach called “the waterfall method”: plan a sequence of activities upfront (for example: design, prototype, build, test, deploy), then focus on one type of activity after another until they have completed the whole thing. Only in the end do they have something of value. From software development to car manufacturing, the modular sequencing in waterfall has proven extremely risky, resulting in multi-million dollar project cancellations and corporate bankruptcies. The problem arises from the enormous costs that precede real-world testing. There’s a lot of risk riding on the final stage. Continue reading

Agile Leadership Patterns:
The Agile Way of Doing

 

Agile Leadership Patterns

Agile Leadership Patterns

Dan Greening and Jeff Sutherland will discuss Agile Leadership Patterns: The Agile Way of Doing at the Agile 2015 Conference, August 3–6, 2015. Join us and learn to answer the questions, “Am I agile?”, “Is my organization agile?” and “Are my leaders agile?” You only need to know five patterns.

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