Order Up! Agile & Lean Lessons From The Restaurant Industry

| By Resalin Rago in Agile, Lean | 0 Comments

Three weeks ago. It’s Friday night. We’re in a lazy mood so we hop in the car and go to the new neighborhood pizza place, Aviator Pizza. It’s our second time to go and it’s even busier than the first time, which is a good sign. The burger joint that occupied this space prior to Aviator didn’t last long.

Seems like blue skies are ahead for Aviator.

We order at the bar and find an open table to wait for our food and I spot the sign next to the side door. Written on a small chalkboard, “Grand Opening – March 4th.”

Since I started working in the Agile industry, I’ve started to see Agile and Lean thinking outside software development. Apparently, work followed me to pizza night. Read More »

7 Agile Coaching Roles Besides An Agile Coach

| By Braz Brandt in Agile, Coaching | 0 Comments

juggling roles


Vince Lombardi. Phil Jackson. Pat Summit. These are some of the greatest coaches in the history of sports. But what does being a coach really mean? While they are experts of the game at hand, chances are, being an SME is only 50% of what a coach does or is.

A great coach takes on many different roles throughout the relationship,from a defensive coordinator to a father figure. The same is true for an Agile Coach. By effectively and fluidly moving between these roles, a good coach can apply their knowledge and talents to help their clients achieve their best results.

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The News Cycle, Breakpoints, And Coaching Opportunities

| By Braz Brandt in Coaching | 0 Comments

broken lightbulb


During the first session of the Professional Coaching Course with New Ventures West, we discussed the idea that we as people live within our own self-sealed and self-reinforcing narrative. Within that narrative, our interactions with the world around us are interpreted and, through that interpretation, used to reinforce the strength of our narrative. Similar to the current political news cycles, we select the interpretation of the world that fits our worldview which further provides more sources to convince us that our narrative is “correct”.

An opportunity for coaching, and thus learning, happens when someone has a break in their narrative because of a new piece of gained information or a new event that despite best efforts will not fit in the current narrative and pops the filter bubble.

The same is true when developing software.

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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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Do You Know Your Company Objective?

| By wpengine in Process | 0 Comments



In 2014, Rick Klau gave a seminar on OKRs at Google. He explained how the multi-billion dollar company started using this methodology as their internal grading system since they were a 40 man team. What is more astonishing is that more than a decade later, Google still uses OKRs across the entire organization. Suddenly everyone wanted to jump on the OKRs or Objectives and Key Results bandwagon. Quite a few Silicon Valley companies already use OKRs extensively to manage their goals.

So what sets OKR’s apart from other goal-setting frameworks?

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Technical Skills And The Product Owner

| By Resalin Rago in Product Owner, Scrum | 0 Comments



Product Owners are in high demand. Searching on Indeed for “Product Owner” pulled up 103 new jobs posted this month. While, its existence is relatively new compared to a Product Manager, it’s gaining attention as Agile and Scrum begin to overtake traditional methods of building software and managing creating projects.

The Product Owner (PO) is responsible for creating the product vision and guiding the team as they work to make the vision a reality. They are the bridge between stakeholders, team, and the end users. It’s a job that requires a number of different hard and soft skills, from knowledge of Agile and Scrum to a Mama bear instinct to protect the product.

One of the most frequently asked questions in our CSPO classes is whether technical knowledge is required in a Product Owner role. The short answer is no, but the long answer is that technical skills are helpful, but not in the way you might think.

When you’re looking for a new PO, you want someone steeped in product development experience (clearly). The list below consists of hard and soft skills required in the PO role in addition to the years of experience needed. Because this post pertains to product ownership, we prioritized it in order of least to most important. You’re welcome.

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Lessons Learned from an Ice Cream Social (A Retro On A Sprint Retrospective)

| By William Baxter in Agile, Scrum, ScrumMaster | 2 Comments



Sprint Retrospectives…the other bookend to Sprints. Retros mark the official end of the Sprint and serves to provide teams the opportunity to reflect so that the next Sprint is even more efficient.
Like all meetings, Sprint Retrospectives can be very useful or attendants can leave feeling confused and even angry if they feel like their time was wasted. They require planning from the ScrumMaster for teams to reap its full benefits. There are a lot of Retrospective activities out there; it helps to know what kind the team needs.

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21 Flavors Of ScrumMaster Role Combinations – Pros and Cons

| By David Hawks in Scrum, ScrumMaster | 1 Comment


In the perfect Agile world, a ScrumMaster is a ScrumMaster…and that’s it. There’s not a never-ending custody battle where a person goes back and forth between two roles. Unfortunately, we live in the real world. Often, people come to our CSM workshops with a divided workload and wearing different hats: Product Owner and Manager or Software Lead And ScrumMaster.

This post will discuss the pros and cons of various ScrumMaster combinations, beginning with the ideal combination, ScrumMaster – ScrumMaster (dedicated ScrumMaster).

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Sustainable Pace For Everyone (Including Agilists)

| By Reese Schmit in Agile | 0 Comments



Nod your head if you have said the following:

  • “I need a day off so I can get some work done.”
  • “I’ve been in meetings for the last 6 hours solid.”
  • “It feels like I haven’t been at my desk in two days.”
  • “I’ll get to that this weekend.”

You’ve likely heard phrases like this around the office or said them yourself too many times. According to a Families and Work Institute study one in three American employees are chronically overworked. Multitasking, interruptions, too many meetings and an overwhelming workload are sited as some of the main contributors to their inability to maintain a reasonable work week.  As Agilists we drive home the concepts of focus, prioritization and sustainable pace for our teams but the rest of the company is left out to dry, including ourselves.

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