Changing to Agile, in an Agile Manner

A while back I was contacted by a potential client who wanted to “go agile.”  But they wanted to do it in a deterministic manner.  They wanted a plan, complete with milestones and dates–mostly indicating that other people had changed their behavior as dictated...

Team Trap #1: Messing with the membership

One summer, long ago and far away, I was on a softball team.  It would be an exaggeration to say I played softball, but I did participate in practices, showed up for games and imbibed of the general post-game joie de vivre (beer).  There were a lot of team members...

Team Trap #8: Ignoring the Role of Trust

Trust is a foundation for effective team work (and effective organizations). Teams don’t need blindfolded trust walks, ropes courses, or crash courses in sailing to develop trust. Activities like these may indicate absence of pathology. (If you’ve hired people...

Team Trap #5: Withholding Information

I’m not talking about information related to the task and context, here, though that can damage a team. Withholding that sort of information is unacceptable, and probably pathological. I’m talking about a different sort of information: information about your internal...

The fundamental attribution error and accountability

A while back I was talking to a manager who complained that “no one” in his organization was “accountable.”  Of course, he exempted himself form that category. This manager, (I’ll call him Tom) feels like he’s accountable— he knows that if they people creating...

Resources don’t write software. People do.

Resource 1. a : a source of supply or support : an available means —usually used in plural b: a natural source of wealth or revenue —often used in plural c: a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life d: computable wealth —usually used in...

Public humiliation is not feedback

@mick_maguire asked me about “Differentiation” and how it could possibly fit with an Agile team. It can’t. Not with any team. Mick also pointed me to a blog post where the writer, a fan of Differentiation, described how he implemented the process on...

How Much Self-management Is Right for a Team?

The  answer is (of course):  “It depends.” But first, a puzzle: There are lots of teams in small companies and start-ups who are self-managing and self-directing.  They manage themselves, they set product direction, and set company priorities.  As...

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