Jobs Don’t Fit in Boxes

Most job descriptions break work down into discrete chunks. They define activities a person must do, list required behaviors and desired qualities. Job descriptions aim for standardization. I understand HR departments desire consistency. Yet, it seems to me, job...

Change Artist Super Powers: Experimentation

In previous Super Power posts, I wrote about the importance of curiosity and observation in change. Both of those play into the Super Power I’ll discuss in this post: experimentation.  Tiny changes, done as experiments, may feel like you’re dancing around...

Change Artist Super Powers: Observation

Why does observation matter? Let me tell you a story.When I was a kid, we played a birthday party game called Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The game involved a large wall poster of a sad-looking, tailless donkey. The parent-in-charge handed out replacement tails and...

Change Artist Super Powers: Curiosity

In my work, I draw on models, frameworks, and years of experience. Yet, one of my most valuable tools is a simple one: Curiosity. In an early meeting with a client, a senior manager expressed his frustration that development teams weren’t meeting his schedule....

Forgotten Questions of Change

When people set out to change their organizational system, they think about the desired future state. But they don’t give sufficient attention to what is. I call this blindspot the forgotten questions of change. However, change starts from where you are. You...

Seven Ps for Profound Change

Captured from my keynote, Still No Silver Bullets, at Big Apple Scrum Day, May 17, 2016. The 7 Ps  for  Profound  Change. I’d add an 8th question: What do you want to preserve?

Using Data in Problem-Solving

Many problems are easier to solve when you have data. However, there is a difference between having data and using data. Several years ago, I worked wit an organization that was experiencing system outages. After months of outages and no effective action, they...

What Does Your Product Do?

What does your product do? When it gets dark, I turn on a light. I can work, cook, read—long after sundown. I can see where I’m going, avoid the dog toys on the floor, and not run into furniture. If I need something that’s in the house, I can find it. The simple flip...

Assessing Team Improvement

Managers who have invested effort and money in training teams in Agile methods want to see team improvement–reasonable enough. I describe a handful of measures that indicate the organization is improving over all in posts( here and here. Some of these measures...

Seven Agile Best Practices

Someone I don’t know offered to teach me Agile Best Practices recently. I tend to think there are “generally good practices,” some of which are broadly applicable.  In my experience, the search for Best Practices is often a search for Silver Bullets,...

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