Category: Scaling Frameworks

Team building patterns for SAFe®

Here are some patterns to think about the next time you are planning an Agile Release Train (ART) launch. The ART launch should be preceded by a successful value stream identification workshop. Even still, old mental models may prevail that are deeply embedded in the culture of the organization.

Mechanical Scrum

Mechanical Scrum is bad for everyone.

You cannot force or assign shared ownership. Management must learn to trust her people and the system. An appropriate quote follows.

Edward Lorenz’s original metaphor for a chaotic system—the world’s weather where the nonlinear nature of forces potentially makes it possible for a butterfly in Beijing to affect the weather a few days later in New York—managers today seem to be living in fear of butterflies.

A potential misstep in launching an ART is allowing management to “assign” team members to teams based off of an overly simplistic view of the value stream or a set of unmanaged assumptions. If the knowledge workers know the work best, then leadership and management should allow the team to be part of the conversation and part of the decision-making process (SAFe Principle #9) for organizing and aligning the ART to the value stream.

This involves a process of self-organization. It is more than just a sequence of steps. If an organizations creation is facilitated mechanically through process steps, then the result will be uncommitted teams and forced misalignment.

Continue reading “Team building patterns for SAFe®”
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Feature Progress Chart Template

If you are a change agent, SAFe® Program Consultant, SAFe® Product Manager, STE, RTE, or practitioner you may find the Blogagility.com™ Feature Progress Chart Template a useful tool for kick-starting your product management (PM) implementation and Lean-Agile reporting.  Continue reading “Feature Progress Chart Template”

RE: #noestimates sidebar in #SAFe #RTE course.

I read several articles on the subject after having a short discussion during class this week with a fellow student (and amazing person!).

#noestimates does not seem to address the rather common difficulty in achieving a consistent, homogenous backlog with deterministic job durations and delay costs in a CAS. The #noestimates solution fails in the same ways that story points can fail. Yin/Yang. Red vs. Blue. Black & White. Whoopee.

260px-Yin_yang.svg Continue reading “RE: #noestimates sidebar in #SAFe #RTE course.”

Paradigm shift: Slicing Features

Adventures in slicing features.

Teams need to learn the artful skill of slicing features into stories a related to their business context and domain purpose. A typical anti-pattern is for teams to waterfall their iterations, as described in the next two scenarios.

The first iteration we will gather all the requirements, the second iteration we will design, the third and fourth iterations we will build, and the fifth iteration we will test…and so on…

interwaterfall
This is an inter-waterfall anti-pattern. It is essentially a pure waterfall approach chopped up into smaller time boxes.

Another derivation of this anti-pattern is to order up another form of phony business agility and/or Scrum.

In this iteration we will pull “requirements gathering” stories first. When those are all finished, we will pull the “design stories”, and then “build” stories…

intrawaterfall.png
In this case, it is an intra-waterfall anti-pattern.

The next common anti-pattern related to intra-waterfall is for dev team members to pull stories and work on them independently. This is a siloing ant-pattern, indicating the team is not cross-functional and is simply a collection of silos and individual waterfalls. Continue reading “Paradigm shift: Slicing Features”

The Knowledge Worker Factory

Does it really exist?

Or are we still working in the blacksmith shop? Will it take AI to bridge the gap?

In Lean manufacturing companies that build physical things have been able to improve quality consistently and dramatically since the dawn of the industrial age.

Here many of us are in the post-industrial, Information Technology or Digital Age.

When we change the channel to knowledge work, companies struggle mightily to match the pace of quality and outcomes of physical manufacturers, even to this day. Why?

XP, Agile, Scrum, DEVOPS, Kanban for Software, Scaling Frameworks

Are these practices, methods, frameworks, and guidance really helping the knowledge worker factory catch up with companies that make physical things? Perhaps there is some evidence to support the claim. Continue reading “The Knowledge Worker Factory”

Lean-Agile Team Metrics Starter Kit

The fourth tool created to date by blogagility.com for the community!

This handy starter kit is for Scrum masters that are using the Shu Ha Ri paradigm for team development. Good coaches help new teams avoid the pitfalls of added complexity involved in “Agile Lifecycle Management Tools” and instead push for good old-fashioned manual BVIR’s, Kanbans, Scrum boards, et cetera. Change is hard enough in a CAS without adding to the problem by also complicating the way of working. Continue reading “Lean-Agile Team Metrics Starter Kit”