Organizational Pain Killers

In any organization, managers and leaders must deal with issues. Conflicts arise, schedules slip, and other unplanned events inevitably occur. This is to be expected, and most managers leap into the breach, doing any number of things to confront these challenges. This may include  lending their own technical know how, working “on the line”, adding

Continuous Improvement: Feel the Change

Continuous improvement sounds great. Most companies have policies that state continuous improvement is what they seek. If we all actually did it, think how great our companies would be! The reality is that most people and companies do not continuously improve. I certainly don’t! There are many reasons that continuous improvement is so hard. One

Agile Transformation: Some of What This Agile Coach Has Learned

I had the pleasure of “meeting” my online friend Daniel Markham this week. We had an interesting talk about agile transformation and agile coaching. We still need to shake hands someday but recording a conversation is still pretty great! Agile Transformation, Agile Coaching, and Everything In an unscripted interview, Daniel hit me with some difficult

Subtractive Transformation (or “How Improving a Company is Like Improving a Golf Swing”)

After living overseas for two years and not playing golf the entire time, I returned to the states, joined a golf league, and quickly realized how out of practice I was.  I had always had good luck taking lessons or “tune ups” from a particular golf pro in Boston, but now I was living in

Lack of Co-location: Problem or Symptom?

I was doing some training with middle managers the other week. We were exploring ways that they can help support their teams and organizational change. The topic of agile team co-location came up and we dove right in. For them, co-location was a hard problem. They had little control over where their team members were

Organizational Culture: Map or Maturity Model?

A special thanks for this article is due to several coworkers who have helped create these ideas, further them with discussion, and offer invaluable feedback. While our blogging system only allows one author, a special thanks is due to Skip Angel, Erin Beierwaltes, Carlos Buxton, Devin Hedge, Michele Madore, and Jeff Steinberg. As part of our recent

It’s Not Scrum, It’s You

I was recently teaching a Certified Scrum Master class and was told by a student that Scrum didn’t work because management still comes and demands additional features or projects and sets or keeps the deadlines and not asking for estimates of how long it will take. That is not a Scrum problem. That’s a business

Organizational Agility: Beyond Agile Teams

For years, companies and teams have focused on adopting agile at the team level. Team members and ScrumMasters work to improve their sprint planning and collaboration techniques—the things they do on a day-to-day basis to execute work. Product owners, ScrumMasters, and team members also focus heavily on delivering projects—learning how to use a product backlog,

Case for Organizational Agility: 7 Reasons Why Teams Lack Creativity

Summary: Leadership is crucial for defining a shared vision and generating buy-in from employees. C-level managers are responsible for creating a learning organization that values systems thinking, craftsmanship, and team learning. C-level managers must design an organization whose structure, processes, metrics, rewards, and talent align with the organization’s mission. Managers are responsible for creating a