18 Signs of a Systemic Toxic Team Culture

TL; DR: 18 Signs of a Systemic Toxic Team Culture

What looked like a good idea back in the 1990ies—outsourcing software development as a non-essential business area—has meanwhile massively backfired for a lot of legacy organizations. While they try to become more appealing to product and software developers, they still have difficulties understanding what it takes to build an attractive product/engineering culture. Learn more about typical anti-patterns and signs that an organization is causing a toxic team culture, impeding its efforts to become agile.

18 Signs of a Systemic Toxic Team Culture — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading 18 Signs of a Systemic Toxic Team Culture

Lipstick Agile — 15 Signs You Probably Need a New Job or to Roll-up Your Proverbial Sleeves

TL; DR: Lipstick Agile — Happiness in the Trenches?

Have you noticed how many people in the agile field are unhappy with their work situation? A situation where an organization already struggles doing agile, not to mention ‘becoming agile?’ This is what I call lipstick Agile.

Scrum Masters and agile coaches are close to either burnout or indifference. Product Owners who “own” the product by name only, and developers questioning why “Agile” is imposed upon them and often turns out to be just another form of micromanagement.

Lipstick Agile — 15 Signs You Probably Need a New Job or to Roll-up Your Proverbial Sleeves
Continue reading Lipstick Agile — 15 Signs You Probably Need a New Job or to Roll-up Your Proverbial Sleeves

Agile Metrics Survey 2020

TL; DR: The Agile Metrics Survey 2020

Let’s stop guessing and start crowdsourcing data and information on this critical topic: Who is using what metrics under which context to what success? Participate in the agile metrics survey now.

Update 2020-07-21: We reopened the survey! We have joined forces with empiriks.de, a German consultancy specializing in statistical analysis, and we plan to take the study to the next level. The Agile Metrics Survey already complies with academic standards. However, what we need now is more participants to improve the sample size. So far, we have 535 contributors; let’s strive for 1,000 contributions. A first article based on the preliminary findings is already in the works. I will keep you posted!

👉 🔬 Start your contribution now!

Agile Metrics Survey 2020 — Age-of-Product.com

Do you want to get this article in your inbox? You can sign up here and join 24k other subscribers

.
Continue reading Agile Metrics Survey 2020

Scrum’s Nature: It Is a Tool; It Is Not About Love or Hate

TL; DR: Scrum’s Nature: It Is a Tool; It Is Not About Love or Hate

Regularly, we find articles from developers detailing why ‘Agile’ in general and Scrum’s nature, in particular, deserve our collective disdain.

What has always struck me in this discussion is its emotionality. Scrum is a tool, useful to accomplish one primary task: delivering value to customers of emergent products in complex environments while mitigating an organization’s exposure to risk at the same time. So, if Scrum is not working in an organization, maybe it is because Scrum is applied to the wrong cause in the first place. Or, that its application has been mechanical, driven by folks who don’t know what they are doing. (Seriously, how hard can Scrum be if the manual comprises of 18 pages, right?)

The question then is: Why would I “hate” a tool unsuited for the intended purpose or applied incompetently? Would I hate a hammer for not being capable of accurately driving a screw into a wooden beam? Probably not, as the hammer wasn’t designed for that purpose, and neither sheer will-power nor stamping with your feet will change the fact.

Scrum’s Nature: It Is a Tool; It Is Not About Love or Hate — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Scrum’s Nature: It Is a Tool; It Is Not About Love or Hate

Speaking Truth to Power 2.0 — Taking A Stand as an Agile Practitioner

TL; DR: Speaking Truth to Power

Do you need an emergency fund as a change agent—whether you are acting as Scrum Master, Product Owner, or agile coach—because conflict is inevitable, but change is not? Speaking truth to power probably comes at a price.

In my experience, speaking truth to power, pointing at the emperor’s new clothes and the reality in the trenches, is necessary a trait for every change agent — including Scrum Masters and agile coaches — in organizations that lack strong leadership.

Learn more, how this form of professional honesty can backfire when the incumbents, privileged by the existing system, strike back.

Speaking Truth to Power — Taking A Stand as an Agile Practitioner When the System Strikes Back— Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Speaking Truth to Power 2.0 — Taking A Stand as an Agile Practitioner

Agile Laws & Distributed Teams: From Conway to Goodhart to Parkinson

TL; DR: Agile Laws and Remote Agile

On many occasions in the recent past, working with distributed agile teams has amplified existing organizational, technical, and cultural challenges in many organizations. Starting changing, and I am not referring to the introduction of a new video conferencing tool, always requires the acceptance that there is a problem that needs attention. In that respect, the current issues that many distributed teams face may also act as accelerants to become more agile. The following article addresses some of the most current impediments to achieving agility by revisiting several agile laws that are particularly relevant to distributed agile teams.

Agile Laws & Distributed Teams: From Conway to Goodhart to Parkinson — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Agile Laws & Distributed Teams: From Conway to Goodhart to Parkinson