My Product Owner will kick ass

My Product Owner is my business owner. He deserves all the credit when we succeed, and all the blame when we fail. He has the most important role in my Agile team. He should be the highest paid, because he takes the greatest risk: if he fails, he’s fired. So says Mike Dwyer, and I agree. [...]

By | 2017-08-04T08:24:23+00:00 November 30th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Get Ready to Get Done: Definition of Ready

Once upon a time, the team was having trouble getting things Done. We asked why, five times. We found a root cause: we struggle to get backlog items Done because we aren't Ready on sprint planning day. So we brainstormed a Definition of Ready. We use it as a checklist to ensure we understand each backlog item well [...]

By | 2017-08-03T15:33:03+00:00 October 13th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dear Future Product Owner

Dear Future Product Owner, Congratulations on your new job.  I want you to play a strong Product Owner role. I am excited about this. We haven’t had a strong Product Owner. The backlog is yours. You define it: you tell us what you want, and you understand what our customers want. You prioritize it: you [...]

By | 2017-08-03T15:36:49+00:00 August 23rd, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stop wasting your time: use Agile

A colleague writes: Is Information Overload Wasting 40% of Your Time? In general, multiple studies have indicated that >50% of people feel like they are experiencing "Information Overload”. At the more detailed level, Basex (a consulting firm that focuses on this area) derived the following from a survey intended to determine “How does a typical [...]

By | 2017-08-03T15:40:22+00:00 August 16th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

National cultures: know your team, know yourself

Playing well together is important: communicating, learning, sharing, getting things done. Our native culture shapes how we think, how we behave, and how we perceive our coworkers. Geert Hofstede is a master of understanding culture. In his book, Culture’s Consequences, 2nd ed., he shares the data and analysis of many years of research on national cultures. [...]

By | 2017-08-03T15:48:12+00:00 June 28th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Rock-paper-scissors Happiness!

Happiness is important.Happiness is a leading indicator of your team’s success. Many economists think a happiness metric is more important than GDP and other metrics. Want to knew whether your team is happy--whether your team is trending toward success? Play this game, and find out. Rock-paper-scissors Happiness In this game, team [...]

By | 2017-08-03T15:56:32+00:00 June 7th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Low tech andon: it’s all green

High tech andon lights are great. Your build breaks, your tests don’t pass, a server goes down, and the bright red light goes on. The team swarms, someone fixes the build, and the light goes green. It’s all good. But it takes some technical effort to set up that magic red/green light. Why not go low [...]

By | 2017-08-04T07:33:13+00:00 May 11th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Lean optimization of the home brewery

Lean optimization: a case study (Alternate title: Lean optimization of the home brewery) Subtitle: Why does my back hurt? (Alternate subtitle: How to convince my wife I need a kegerator) Beer is good. Homebrew is better. I don’t brew often enough, but when I do, my back hurts the next day. I must be [...]

By | 2017-08-04T07:29:45+00:00 May 11th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Highlights from Agile Games 2011

Here are some highlights from the amazing Agile Games 2011 conference . First, my major themes from the event: Learn Fast, not Fail Fast Teach People Early, not Disappoint People Early Luke Hohmann of Innovation Games gave a rousing inspirational keynoteabout how awesome it is to work on software. One key problem he noted is that we don’t talk to our customers [...]

By | 2017-08-04T07:40:14+00:00 April 29th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments