Agile Manifesto

What is organizational agility?

Aside Posted on

Enjoying the questionnaire Nissreen Barakat. I have pondered this question for a while too. I don’t feel like the answers I’ve found so far tell the whole story, although most are decent. What are your thoughts?

From your point of view, what is the definition of organizational agility?

My take at starting the discussion:

An internalization [permanent] of the capacity of an organization to consume simple, complex and/or complicated problems quickly without requiring a formal reconfiguration or restructuring (adaptability) of the organization’s internal structure while being able to deliver on the mission and value delivery in a way that customers of the organization would consider successful outcomes. Measurable organizational agility would be reflected as a learning culture focused on relentless improvement with no regret failure. “Pivoting without mercy or guilt” as Leffingwell and Knaster would say. Learning cultures in organizations should also be able to consume chaotic problems by bringing order to the chaos through iterative experimentation and study of outcomes and generation of new hypothesis. Also, organizational “agility” is possible without “Agile.”

#SAFe #Agile #agility #organizationalagility #howto #whatnext


SAFe PMPO Course – Lean-Agile Open Space Learning Plan (experiment)

Posted on Updated on


Background for the SAFe PMPO Lean-Agile Learning Plan with Open Space Experiment

Earlier this month I co-instructed the SAFe PMPO course with my coaching team (Papa Joe “The Marine”, Joe Sr. “The Arbiter of Lean-Agile Justice”, Giuseppe “Amazing Joe” (Joewe call them), and Scottie “The RTE Guy”). It was by far the most impactful course we have instructed as part of the transformation using the SAFe as best practice guidance. The team has been working for over a year to transform my client’s (FAA-ESC) organizational culture from traditional into a continuous learning and innovation culture based on trust, stewardship, servant leadership, systems thinking, empiricism, and the Lean-Agile value system and mindset (all as The Agile End Game). Read the rest of this entry »

How Do Committees Invent? /Conway’s Law

Posted on Updated on

Have you ever worked in an organization run by committee? All decisions requiring consensus, even the minutiae? Immutable command and control structures that were often too busy to collaborate with underlings? What did their results look like? I like how Mel ties in the social construct and communication into the discussion of organizational structures. How we work together is important, just like what we are working on.

To the extent that an organization is not completely flexible in
its communication structure, that organization will stamp out
an image of itself in every design it produces.
… Because the design that occurs first is almost never the best
possible, the prevailing system concept [the design] may need to
change. Therefore, flexibility of organization is important to
effective design. Ways must be found to reward design managers
for keeping their organizations lean and flexible.

-M. Conway

Essential SAFe and the Agile End Game

Posted on Updated on

Essential SAFe 4.0, Scaled Agile, Inc.

The good folks at Scaled Agile, the SAFe® community, Agile agnostics, consultants, and some in the “Agile” community are onto something incredibly important in defining the elusive and dynamic Agile End Game for organizations. Read the rest of this entry »

Truths about the SAFe

Posted on Updated on


S_Fe is not Agile. S_Fe is not even Scrum. – Mike Beedle

In response to Mike Beedle on LinkedIn. Mike is wrong about the SAFe of course. And not just because of his childish method of attack. Facts, evidence, experiments, my experience and dozens of business case studies back up the experiments of the SAFe. Mike sounds a lot like project managers that swear the PMBoK/waterfall works better than agile for large scale “projects” with high complexity, significant uncertainty, many dependencies and new knowledge to be obtained to deliver the product. Project management works in those scenarios (fantasy). But not as well as Agile (reality). Read the studies (Chaos Report, Standish Group; State of Agile, VersionOne; others). A sea change is in play — right now. Customers want predictability, results — and truth. Not endless “Change Requests” and contract modifications for more time, more money and more people. One truth about the Agile Manifesto is that it is great guidance as a value system and principles for software development. The big problem is that it [Agile Manifesto] is STATIC. Relentless improvement drives us to go beyond yesterday. Study the Scaled Agile Framework for the enterprise and come to your own conclusions. Evolve or join the museum with the other artifacts of the information age.

Responses below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippitt/Knoster Change Model – useful dive into change theory

Posted on Updated on

Studying up on Lippitt / Knoster change models I learned about from Construx videos. Steve McConnell of course being one of the greatest software development thought leaders is the presenter. Interesting how these change theories are baked into some of the Agile frameworks and mindsets like the SAFe / Agile Manifesto. As a coach, these are useful strategies on how to build our approach to managing change (like fear, unknowns, budgeting/money, et cetera).

Get a Grip on Managing Change – Michael Nanfito

Agile Transformations – Change Model – Construx

Focus on family with an Agile mindset and Scrum.

Aside Posted on

Focus on family with an Agile mindset and Scrum.

I read a parenting article a few months ago about family dinner table discussions with your kids. It was great stuff. The recommendations centered around three questions. 1. What was the favorite part of your day? 2. What was the least favorite part of your day? 3. Is there anything else that you want to talk about? Amazingly, just like in the Scrum ceremony these questions generate amazing discussion (collaboration) with the family. My three children have become accustomed to the ceremony now. So, it is even more fun playing the experience through. Anything that I can do to bring my family closer together as a unit is premium! Sound familiar?

Try it out and report your findings here on my blog or at Microsoft LinkedTwo.