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

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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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Agile Failure Patterns in Organizations 2.0

TL;DR: Agile Failure Patterns — Why Agile is Simple and Complex at the Same Time

Agile failure seems to be increasingly more prominent nowadays despite all the efforts undertaken by numerous organization embarking on their journeys to become agile.

The funny thing is: Who would disagree that the four core principles of the Agile Manifesto

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

— are derived from applying common sense to a challenging problem? Moreover, the application of those principles might be suited to fix numerous organizational dysfunctions and reduce an error-prone and complex social setting to maybe just a complicated one?

Age of Product: Agile Failure Patterns in Organizations

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Team Building Mental Models

TL;DR: Team Building Mental Models

Team building has always been a challenge, not just since the advent of agile frameworks and the resulting emphasis on self-organization, engagement, and achieving a valuable objective. This post covers four team building mental models — or concepts — that have proven useful in understanding the context of creating agile teams: from Taylorism to Tuckman to Lencioni to Dan Pink.

Team Building Mental Models — Age of Product

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Speaking Truth to Power — 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?

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 — When the System Strikes back

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