Agile

Upwards and onwards!

Yup, the countdown is finished.

A couple of months ago I realised that I wasn't happy working for my employer. I had a lot of ideas and saw a lot of opportunities but within a large company there is always the structure that is in the way. And so I started thinking of going freelance.
Until that Friday afternoon. I already knew what the options were and what the market is like. I started thinking "When would be the right time to do this?".

Agile in a non-agile environment

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to talk to his sister. This sister has her own company teaching Project Management (sorry, gross generalisation but bear with me). She mostly specialises in non-IT projects using information from Prince2, Lean and other platforms.

A lot of the time, though, there are IT components in the projects and programs running in the companies she works for. And lately that means she meets Agile practices on her way. She wanted to know more about Agile in general and so we sat down for a talk.

As some of you may know, my main life goal is Agile World Domination. Any time I can talk to any professional about Agile and what it can do for them, I take that opportunity to further my ominous life goal. The original intent was to see what we can do for each other. We talked about my work, her work, where those two touch and what we can add to each others understanding of the world. At one point she said “The biggest issue I face is with companies that use classic Portfolio Management. How does Agile fit there?”

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Self forming teams

Last week a friend of mine told me a story that I wanted to share with the rest of the world.

A couple of years ago he was working as a line manager. Together with a colleague he managed a group of about 25 people, consisting of two teams. Each team was responsible for their own domain.
Expectation planning forecast that one of the domains would be receiving less work in the future, whilst other domains were destined for a higher volume of work and would require a heightened focus. The team dynamics would need to change.

Delegation Poker

In the transformation process to a modern organisation, one of our managers finds it hard to let go of his tasks and responsibilities. He wants to, but he doesn't really know how to. His own transformation is that of the Operations Manager to Product Owner of our main product.

Agile Organisation

When you talk to Agile specialists about how one should organize the work being done one a product, there are a lot of different opinions. All of them sound logical. Of course you want the team that developed a product to maintain it as well. Of course you want work with a different cadence to be done by different teams. Of course you want to make sure that people that interact often are on the same team. But following all those guidelines isn't always possible....

New challenges

After many, many years trying to convince big companies that Agile is the way to go (and regularly failing at that), it is time for a new challenge. A tiny little company in the south of the netherlands has been way too succesfull over the past decades and now they want to know if Agile can make them even more so.....

Project Management and SCRUM

Lately I've seen SCRUM implementations where a project has a Project Manager, a Product Owner and a SCRUM team. In my opinion, SCRUM should never have a Project Manager. The role does not fit in the architecture of a SCRUM process. Not only because SCRUM is unsuitable for projects (SCRUM does not recognise projects, only products that are in a state of perpetual change) but also because all tasks attributed to the role are assigned already within SCRUM.

Goal of the year: Achieved!

Earlier this year I attended Agile Coaching camp and was introduced to the concept of Sketchnoting by Laurens. A couple of weeks later I met him at SPC training again and damn, that stuff looks sexy! A couple of months after that, Alexey Pikulev used similar techniques in his Management3.0 workshop. That was the last straw! I had to learn how to do that!