Happy to announce that the VUCA MBA website is now live. I have felt for sometime that there is a … More The VUCA MBA (Mindset for Business Agility) Website is Now Live (and open for business)
Earlier this morning I completed by last class as a member of The Job Hackers. Thank you to everyone for … More Open Sourcing of The “Agile MBA” Recordings
Between these presentations and my daily coaching practice, I am reminded yet again at the importance of forming a good scrum team. This, along with proper backlog compilation and maintenance, can make the difference between success and endless frustration. In my experience, proper scrum team formation is the area where companies who are unsuccessful in Agile transformations fail most often.
I am often reminded of the difference between a cook and a chef in my agile practice. I have used this story numerous times with developers to explain agile development practices. Like me, it seems that some developers will always be cooks. While there are some who don’t know the difference, I have even run into some that prefer to be cooks instead of chefs. Not that there is anything wrong with choosing to be a cook, but it helps when one is aware of the choice and makes a conscious decision to be one.
So when my friend mentioned that a good indicator for agile transformation success was a company had hit rock bottom I knew exactly what he was referring to. In this particular case he used the examples of the FBI Sentinel Project and Healthcare.gov website debacle. In both cases, it wasn’t until each was a total disaster that Agile was actually tried with any seriousness and rigor and in both cases the results were amazing.
I am often faced with explaining the various aspects of Agile to people new to Agile and I have come up with a very simple way to remember (and explain) Agile. I present to you now the “3Ps of Agile Software Development” with the hope you find this useful to your own understanding and an aid in your ability to explain Agile to others.
This particular problem manifests when a company desires the potential benefits of Scrum without really understanding Scrum. Without a good understanding, people attempt to map their existing roles with those of Scrum. Let me make one thing perfectly clear. The role of Scrum Master is unique to Scrum and any attempt to map it to existing roles will only result in confusion, frustration and less than optimal outcomes.
While other scaling frameworks have detailed flowcharts, organizational structure documents, etc., Wagerfall avoids such complexities. Mindy Minter, Head Architect at Great Big Company, praises Wagerfall for its simplicity. “We are big believers in the KISS principle. You can’t get more KISS than Wagerfall. Pay your fee. Get your certification. Claim you’re Agile.”
This begs the question of what should those who are not Google or Facebook, those without unlimited resources and legions of potential candidates, do to improve their hiring of software development professionals? The first thing is to be aware of the true costs and benefits associated with pursuing one path over another.
With scientific evidence questioning the effectiveness of brainstorming vast, the real question is why does the use of brainstorming persist? The question is at the heart of much of my agile practice in that the prime issue is not whether one is merely effective, but that one is optimal. It is obvious to me that several cognitive biases are in play in keeping brainstorming around.