Five Characteristics of Successful Teams

OpenView Partners is a venture capital firm. They have some wonderful stuff on their blog, and Jeff Sutherland often posts there. Here is another great post based on research at MIT about successful teams. Five Characteristics of Every Successful Team & How to Build Cohesion Let me list the five characteristics. Everyone on the team […]


I speak to you today as a New Yorker — I lived there 20+ years. On the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 I flew to New York LGA. I stopped to get Beanie Babies for my children, and then took a taxi that lovely September morning toward the World Trade Center. I needed to […]

Scale down!

In some situations you feel forced to scale. We recommend: Scale down. George Harrison has a nice song called “Cheer Down!” which is a play on the idea of “cheer up!” Similarly, in my opinion, too many people want to scale up and create more and more layers and add complexity to scaling. This is […]

Spotify Scaling Model

Here is some reference information about the Spotify scaling model. Most of this information is via Henrik Kniberg. Here is the key article: “Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds” — A blog post (2012). It also links to a longer article in the third paragraph which is pretty key. Here are […]

How to start a group on Agile

QUESTION Hi Joe, [Slightly changed]  We are looking for an approach to getting our group started. [50 to 150 people] We have one team that is doing Scrum pretty well.  The other teams are not Agile. It will be completely new for them. Management is looking for ‘How’ to best train them to be Agile. […]

Self-organization: The secret sauce for improving your Scrum Teams

Here is a video of Jeff Sutherland speaking at the Googleplex in NYC a few years ago. It seems very relevant still. A couple of things to emphasize: If you are not enjoying the “Where the Hell is Matt?” video at first, bear with it. I think you’ll enjoy Jeff’s explanation. One of the hardest, […]

Starting an Agile Transformation

Imagine you are a medium-sized company. Your innovation team might be in the range of 300 people. You are not a start-up, and equally, you are not a huge company. Let’s imagine, at least for now, that you have no special issues. Your situation is fairly normal. (To be fair, every situation is different to […]

Aggressive Scrum to produce real value – Jeff Sutherland interview

Brent Barton has a good interview with Jeff Sutherland on a great topic.  Watch!

Happy 4th of July!

We hope you have a wonderful day. Let freedom ring! Since we were born in Virginia, we must remember the Virginian who famously died on this date.  His words (or mostly his words) were: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with […]

Topics for the Executives (managers)

I was brainstorming what kinds of topics or exercises the executives (or senior managers) need. This also includes things for the managers close to teams, but it is not especially for them. OTOH, we’re not addressing the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, either. In an example with that kind of firm, we mean the ‘executive’ […]