Category: Uncategorized

Agile Team Coaches: What Do They Even Do?

| By agilevelocity in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Agile coaches are subject matter experts in Agile principles and practices and they apply their knowledge towards guiding struggling individuals, teams, and organizations. They are called when teams and organizations begin their Agile transformation, or if they when teams start and see realize that the road to high-performance may be rockier than expected. In both settings, the mission for the Agile coach is clear: help make the people, teams, and organizations they’re working with better by unlocking their potential.  

Hmmmm….a little nebulous?

What “better” means is different for every organization. Organizations embark upon an Agile adoption because of concrete goals they hope to achieve: faster time to market, improved quality, or happier customers. At the beginning of each engagement, the coach will work with stakeholder to define success and how it will be measured.  

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The Frozen Middle And Agile Transformations

| By David Gardner in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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I was recently asked what in my experience was the most likely cause of gummed-up Agile transformations.  I didn’t hesitate in answering “the frozen middle.”  

Top-level management buys into a transformation because they hear faster, better, and more predictable. Teams buy in because it is simply more fun (I’m told “funner” isn’t really a word) and they get to build cool stuff. What about the  folks between the teams and executive management? Middle management may be ill prepared for what is needed from them in the course of a transformation.

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In agile, “Resource” can be a 4-letter word

| By agilevelocity in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

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Sometimes I get emails from recruiters inquiring if we have open positions. The following is an example:

Good afternoon,

I was just wondering if you got any open spots for BA ( Financial ) or Network Admin.

I have these senior resources based out of CA but open to relocate nationwide.

Each time I receive these emails, I have to think about what he’s really saying. “Resources?” Oh…he’s talking about people. Then I get this icky feeling similar to when people hear the word Voldemort.

I grasped early on in my agile journey that “resources” can be a dirty word when used interchangeably with “people” or “person”.

By definition, it is accurate to refer to a person as a resource. According to the Oxford English Dictionary:

Resource (n): A stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively.

It’s the connotation that makes its usage provocative and careless.

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Why You Need To Jazz Up Your Boring User Stories

| By William Baxter in Process, Product Development, Scrum, Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Jazz_Flickr_Jose Hidalgo

This picture was found on Flickr under the Creative Commons license. Thank you, Jose Hidalgo for the great picture.

 

User stories are a staple of Agile practices. Most teams use the following standard three-clause template:

As a USER

         I want FUNCTIONALITY

         So that BENEFIT

Teams are generally successful at creating conversation around user stories following the prescribed format, especially if they add acceptance criteria and adhere to the (3Cs) (Card, Conversation, Confirmation). Many teams also work hard to endow their stories with the INVEST qualities. Using the template, the 3 Cs, and infusing with INVEST, create sufficient user stories. Passing. Maybe even a B. But how do you get to an A+ and does it really matter?

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Millennials And The 9 – 5: 18 Statistics Important To Attracting And Retaining Millennial Talent

| By agilevelocity in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Millenial woman working

You may have seen them working on the couch in the common room or maybe you haven’t actually met them at all. Perhaps you have only interacted with them via Slack, email, phone, or, their favorite, text. At this moment, they are between the ages of 22 and 34. They are either just entering the workforce or coming into management roles. According to the US Bureau of Labor, 2015 was the year they surpassed the number of Gen X’ers and Boomers in the workplace. Meet the Millennial.

Understanding how to attract and retain Millennials should be an important part of your hiring strategy, particularly when data shows “loyalty challenge” is very real. According to the 2016 Millennial survey by Deloitte, nearly ⅔ of Millennials plan to leave their job by 2020.

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How to Deliver Double the Value in Half the Time [Video]

| By David Hawks in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

If a baker wants to double the number of carrot cakes he can produce in a week, he has two options:

  1. Hire another baker
  2. Optimize the recipe

The first option means the added cost of a full-time employee in addition to the time (and thus money) spent training the new baker on precisely how the shop makes carrot cake: number of carrots, coconut flakes or shredded, sifting the flour, etc.

The second option is the most cost effective. Perhaps he switches to using an electric mixer instead of manually mixing the batter. By optimizing his process, the baker can increase production without adding cost. He can literally have his cake and eat it too!

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5 Tips to Overcome a Stalled Agile Transformation

| By Kirsten Maitland in Agile, Agile Training, Agile Transformation, Leadership, Process, Scrum, ScrumMaster, Uncategorized | 0 Comments

You finally received executive support to move forward with the agile transformation that you spent months trying to sell to them. The team is excited to start, and so are you. The department is large, approximately one hundred people, and there are several initiatives underway. You start to plan the transformation but feel paralyzed, as there are so many different ways to approach this. Panic ensues. Where should I start? What if I run into hurdles? How will I convince the teams?

Don’t worry. As agile coaches, we are faced with these questions almost daily.

In this article we will share some tips which we have found to be invaluable in overcoming this hurdle.

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