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.
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.
As I think back on my coaching work in agile, the blogs I have written, the many discussions I have had and the presentations I have made, I think that all of these boil down into one very simple thing – my work is all about helping people understand the true nature of the software development business process and, thereby helping them to make better decisions.
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.
Sometimes my passion provokes long stories, explanations or asides. Lately though when I speak to others about why agile works I eschew my sometimes verbose ways and reply with two words – “timely feedback”.
As a consultant I try my best to keep abreast of industry trends in technology and software development. Often one … More How I Know You Are Flailing at Agile
Story Points Revisited from Larry Apke If you missed it, here’s my newest presentation about story points that I gave … More Story Points Revisited – Presentation
As an agile coach who has had the wonderful opportunity to work with many diverse companies in many different fields, … More Why Agile is Leadership & Waterfall is Management
I have presented in the past something I called Rapid Release Planning. While I stand by this method for teams … More Silent Grouping – Rapid Story Pointing and Story Value
When I tell people I am an Agile Coach, unless they are in IT, I tend to get a lot of strange looks. Most of the time they will say something like, “I get the coaching part, but what the heck is Agile?” It is at this part of the conversation that they experience immediate regret as I launch into an endless barrage of commentary on Agile development.
Lately, however, I have begun to re-examine my own assumptions about what it the Coaching aspect of an Agile Coach is, especially now that there are so many professional coaches looking for work after the end of the regular NFL season.
Continue reading Thoughts on Agile Coaching