Agile metrics

No More Agile Checklists – Can We Concentrate on Outcomes?

As an agile coach and change agent I am always asked how maturity can be measured at the team and organizational level. What I have found over the years is that there is no lack of different checklists that can be used to give us these “metrics”. In fact, a recent Google search gave me a page that contains links to literally 41 checklists. In addition to these I have personally worked on many different custom checklists myself as if the 41 currently available do not adequately address the needs of teams transitioning to agile! Why is it that these already existing measures are not enough? Read More →


quality inspection for blog

We Must Inject (not just inspect) Quality

Not sure where I first heard the phrase “you can’t inspect quality into a product” but I have certainly used the phrase myself all too often in my consulting gigs. After a quick Google search, I found the originator of the quote was Harold Dodge and it was first used in a manufacturing context. While I generally eschew appropriating manufacturing analogies for comparison to software development, in this case, it is certainly apt. Read More →


building for scaling agile blog 2

Individuals, Teams, Systems – The Evolution of Agile at Scale

Once upon a time I coached one of the most amazing agile scrum teams. They were able to deliver things that their management found quite unbelievable so much so that they conveyed a meeting to find answers to why this particular group of people were able to so greatly outperform others in the organization. As an aside I was not originally invited to the meeting but the team lobbies for me to be there as they considered me one of the team and, as a team member, partially responsible for their success. Read More →


organizational antibodies, agile, stock photo

The Theory of Change & Why I Get In Trouble

As an agile coach that has been fortunate to work at a good number of clients over the years, you get an opportunity to experience some interesting similarities among clients. Some are tragic, some are funny and some are just downright intriguing. I recently spoke with another agile coach and I discovered one particular pattern that I have decided to refer to as organizational antibodies. The talk in question was about the on boarding of coaches and things a coach tends to experience in the first few days on the ion. As we talked together and related our war stories … Read More →


letters, typewriter

The PMO is Dead. Long Live the PPMO!

One of the most enjoyable parts of my work and my life is delivering presentations or giving talks to outside groups. During one particular Q&A session I was asked a question along these lines – “If you had unlimited power in an organization, what would be the very first thing you would do to ensure agility?” My answer, “Oh that is easy. The very first thing I would do is get rid of the Project Management Office.” At which I unfortunately took a pause. The collective gasp from the crowd filled that void and the ensuing murmur drowned out my next … Read More →


room, lights, black and white

The Gang of Four – How Optimization Perseveres

The impetus for the gang of four was the desire of four agilists (coaches) to try to do the right things with regards to implementing agile and scrum – to do things that were generally acknowledged as good agile practices but things that were not necessarily politically palatable. In other words, we were something of a clandestine organization. Read More →