Killer questions you must ask agile deniers

Out there in the wild uncharted world of software development, those who would deny Agile is a good thing are still living in caves and grubbing around beneath waterfalls. But negotiation theory suggests that if you can shape a vision by asking incisive questions you can help even vehement challengers reach agile decisions. So what is an incisive question?

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How We Kick-Off New Squads

Let them be in control of the way they work …

After having been though a day of letting people self-organise into squads David Mole, Trade Me’s head of projects (and my Agile partner in crime) and I are often being asked how we kicked off the new squads and how we make sure they work in a disciplined but creative way.

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How we measure output and productivity

… getting more stuff done

At Trade Me we want to measure the overall health of Tech (that’s our team of 125 designers, developers, testers, BAs, and Squad Masters) to identify trends and to know if we are getting better (or worse!). We know that when we measure something it is a strong way of saying “This matters” which is why we put a lot of effort into deciding which metrics to collect.

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Spotify’s Scaling Agile with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds at a Glance

Spotify’s Scaling Agile at a Glance

Spotify’s whitepaper on how to structure an organisation with Agile tribes, squads, chapters and guilds has been the most inspiring and interesting idea to come out of the Agile scene in the past three years.

For anyone who has read the excellent paper we have created a one page infographic on how it all works. Continue reading

Total Squadification – Large Scale Self Organisation

Total Squadification – Large Scale Self-Organisation

I fundamentally believe that organisations get the best results when people can choose what they work on and who they work with. In that spirit Trade Me decided to let people self-organise into small, cross-functional teams called squads.

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Portfolio Kanban talk

Here are the slides for my presentation “Portfolio Kanban – Seeing the Bigger Picture”.

I had a great time at AgileWelly last night – thanks everyone for coming along and for all the lovely feedback!

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Daily stand-up with a goal

Why your daily standup should be driven by a daily goal

Let’s face it, the daily standup can be a boring affair. I’m not talking about abominations with 16 people or half-hour long status reporting meetings. I’m talking about the ones that are kind of okay and adhere to the rules but nonetheless are a bit boring and lack focus and enthusiasm.

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Every day should be Fedex day!

5 things that happen when you let ‘em loose …

Last Friday we had Fedex day at Trade Me. The aim of a FedEx Day is to complete something deliverable within a 24 hour period, i.e. to go from idea to a shippable product within a day. It was fun, lots of great projects saw the light of day and I enjoyed doing some hands-on work for a change.

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Risk registers and meetings are boring – try a project premortem instead …

What is a premortem?

A premortem is a project postmortem that’s run before a project. During a postmortem people analyse and discuss what went wrong, what went well and what could be improved.

While postmortems are very useful the problem is that by the time we run them the project is usually over and not much can be done about success and failure.

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