In First, Break All the Rules,1 management consultants Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman report that an employee’s relationship with his or her manager is key to that employee’s success and long-term happiness in the organization. Moreover, if people have friends at work, they are more likely to be successful and happy at work. In an agile team, it’s easy to build camaraderie among team members. But if a technical person’s primary affiliation is with his or her colleagues on an agile team, how does a manager build the relationship key to retention? […]
Posts Tagged 'agile teams'
A spider is an eight-legged arachnid that has a head attached to a central body. Pull a leg off a spider and most can still walk, even if a little lopsided. Cut off the head, and the spider dies. Not so the starfish. While many people know that if you cut off a starfish’s leg, it will grow back, most don’t know that a starfish’s major organs are replicated throughout its body. One species, Linckia, can regenerate an entire starfish from each of its severed parts. A starfish is a decentralized network. A final interesting factoid — “for the starfish to move, one of the arms must convince the other arms that it’s a good Read more
The notion of a self-organizing team runs deeply in the agile community. However, there is a flip side to self-organization, one which agile teams often forget—self-discipline. Just as freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand in a democracy, so do self-discipline and self-organization. Companies cannot empower teams that do not want to be empowered—those who are populated with individuals who refuse to accept any accountability for results, those who refuse to confront reality, those who gravitate to their cubicles and refuse to engage with other team members, those who are unwilling to accept team decisions, and those who disrespect colleagues. Jim Collin (Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t) presents three key Read more
Much of the discussion about agile has in the past been about creating “working software,” team dynamics, technical practices, and even the project management required to get effective and acceptable code delivered and/or deployed. What teams quickly find out is that they depend on other organizational dynamics outside their purview, such as securing customer involvement, issue escalation, and resource allocation; even facility management becomes important. When these issues arise, unless they are in a small enough company where there is only one team working, they will need to become aligned with the rest of the organization to ensure the best collaboration possible. However, what most leaders discover is that by taking on agile as their Read more
Armies don’t fight as individuals, they fight as teams. In the U.S. Army, squads are grouped into platoons, then into companies, and then into battalions, regiments, divisions. If these multi-person squads are the basic building blocks in the military, then why is the basic unit of resource on most IT and software development projects the individual person? There are five individuals in an infantry squad. Three squads, plus a headquarters contingent make up an infantry platoon. As the size of the group increases, specialized groups are added, for example, a division could have a hospital, military police, signal, logistical support, and even a band. XP proponents advocate programming in pairs and agile methodologies in general Read more
Bob Fischer is the newest addition to our Agile Product & Project Management team. Bob is an Agile trainer, coach, facilitator, and change agent. He has amazing expertise in the cultural change required to deploy Agile at an enterprise level. Most recently, Bob was a VP at Fidelity Investments, where he was responsible for deploying Agile to more than 400 people. Bob was an organization-wide catalyst at Fidelity, helping to broaden the deployment of Agile across the large organization. His campaign for cultural change included getting agreement between the business unit president, CIO, CFO, and the head of product development on a common strategy for deploying Agile. (Agile was cited as the key reason why Read more
I had just gotten off the phone with a Merrill Lynch advisor who I know well. She surmised that maybe there is even more capitulation ahead. Maybe we will soon see the Dow at 8,000? Jokingly, I said I would start buying at 6,000. The fear, however, is real and the effect of a big downturn in consumer spending will be significant, not just here in the U.S., but globally. In today’s economy which is driven by consumption, that means tough times for many firms are ahead. From a business strategy standpoint, I see unique opportunities for well-placed firms. I would bet that 95% of all business are now engaging in identical and synchronous maneuvers: Read more