Agile Moment

What is organizational agility?

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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

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SAFe VelociPacity Tool

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Iteration Panel

Coaches and Practitioners of Lean-Agile and the SAFe

In my experience the amount of time that we get to spend in Lean-Agile and SAFe courses on the subject of Velocity and Capacity Planning is inadequate. So I spent some time building a tool for one of my client organizations. I have since spent some time greatly enhancing the tool and getting it ready for distribution. I am offering the tool for free. All that I ask is if you decide that the tool has value and you are going to use it, to like my blog and share feedback for improvement. Perhaps even share this article on your favorite social media.  Read the rest of this entry »

Truths about the SAFe

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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.

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Lippitt/Knoster Change Model – useful dive into change theory

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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.

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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.

AGILE MOMENT: Framing a User Story, a Visualization.

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framingauserstoryblogagilityWhat does it mean to frame a user story? This often can be a difficult process to explain. Try to use this technique when you are teaching planning poker and writing user stories.

As we work through the process of doing planning poker to create amazing estimates (based on: knowledge, uncertainty, volume, and complexity) we learn more about the quality of the user story being presented. Newly formed teams (forming, storming) often find that their stories can be difficult to describe and gain consensus (on the estimate) and shared understanding. As a coach this is when I walk to the board and draw the infamous U.A.B. (unknown amorphous blob). Watch the video for the description of the technique.YMMV, but I find it useful for describing part of the intent behind user story telling. Learn more here.

Committing to Sprint Goals

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Is your Scrum team developing a solid set of goals for each sprint? If you are doing so how well is the team meeting the commitment?

Sprint goals are the most important first step in planning any sprint in Scrum. The Scrum team must come up with a set of goals to aspire to during the sprint. Without defined goals, the focus will land on simply achievement of completing the stories planned or a number of story points (or sizes of t-shirts or animals, whatever).

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