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

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Remote Agile Transitions — The Top-Ten Challenges

TL; DR: Remote Agile Transitions

We are used to saying the Scrum is a perfect probe for organizations, as it will reliably discover all dysfunctionalities. Since the pandemic has forced many of us to work remotely, this unique capability has been kicked into overdrive regarding remote agile transitions.

Here are my top-10 challenges of organizational change that remote Agile has made more urgent to address than ever before.

Remote Agile Transitions — The Top-Ten Challenges — Age-of-Product.com

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32 Scrum Stakeholder Anti-Patterns

TL; DR: Scrum Stakeholder Anti-Patterns

Learn how individual incentives and outdated organizational structures — fostering personal agendas and local optimization efforts — manifest themselves in Scrum stakeholder anti-patterns which easily can impede any agile transition.

Scrum Stakeholder Anti-Patterns by Age-of-Product-1650

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Faking Agile Metrics or Cooking the Agile Books

TL; DR: Faking Agile Metrics — An Eye-Opening Exercise

Imagine you’re a Scrum Master and the line manager of your team believes that the best sign for a successful agile transformation is a steady increase in the Scrum Team’s velocity. Moreover, if the team fails to deliver on that metric something is wrong with the Scrum Team. Alternatively, something is wrong with you as you are the Scrum Master and hence responsible for the team’s performance. (Apparently, not faking agile metrics, or being transparent in this case, does not seem to be valued here.)

Learn more about how to coach these kinds of line managers and help them overcome their preference for the industrial past with a simple exercise on how to cook the agile books.

Faking Agile Metrics or Cooking the Agile Books — Age-of-Product.com

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Agile Leadership — A Brief Overview of Concepts and Ideas

TL; DR: Agile Leadership

I recently started aggregating my notes, links, and references related to agile leadership to understand better what it — in the context of an agile transition — may look like. In the end, becoming agile is not the goal of a transition; surviving as an organization is. Hence I appreciate whatever appeals to business leaders and their motivation to delve into agile ideas, frameworks, or practices.

Let’s examine some favorite ideas and concepts around agile leadership. (Please bear with me that the following text is rather bullet-point heavy to concentrate its information.)

Agile Leadership — A Brief Overview of Concepts and Ideas

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Survey Results: Scrum Master Problem Dealing

TL;DR: Scrum Master Problem Dealing — The Survey Results

Scrum Master Problem Dealing: We all know it; changing the way we work is extremely difficult. It requires us to find novel solutions to wicked challenges, to deal with cultural baggage (‘the way we do things here’) and to bring along the people needed to make a change successful. And yet, this difficult challenge is a core responsibility of Scrum Masters: How can your organization work effectively with Scrum if it is not considering the entire system?

But how do Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches go about this? What strategies do they use to change the system? Who are their most important allies? And what else can we learn from them?

We teamed up with The Liberators to identify what works in the field. We gathered both quantitative as well as qualitative data from a survey completed by over 200 participants.

Survey Results: Scrum Master Problem Dealing — Age of Product

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