The Nokia Test (3): Agile Specifications

The third line in the Nokia Test is: “The Iteration must start before the specification is complete.” What does this mean? The first practical goal was to eliminate the analysis paralysis and delay associated with waiting until the specification was “complete.” I don’t know all the details at Nokia, but I have lived them at […]

What’s a ScrumMaster Worth?

You may have noticed that some people are feeling a recession out there (these days). So, money can be a bit tighter. So, can you afford a good ScrumMaster? The answer is obviously yes. In fact, they are even in greater need (since there is greater urgency). Now, let’s unwrap this from a financial viewpoint. […]

Suggested Reading – For Two CSM courses last week

Here are some of the resources we mentioned in the courses. Caution: “Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.” — W. Shakespeare. Ground your learning in the heart, and in the fire of experience. “The New New Product Development Game” by Takeuchi and Nonaka. It costs $7 (softcopy). If you need to see […]

“How to Tap IT’s Hidden Potential”

“How to Tap IT’s Hidden Potential” was the title of an article in the WSJ on March 10. Published in collaboration with the MIT Sloan Management Review. The subhead read: “Too often there’s a wall between a company’s information-technology department and everything else. That wall must go.” I remember getting a paper back in the […]

Toward a general theory of Business Value

The title of this post is a little highfalutin, but it gets the idea across I hope. After many discussions with people about this subject, I find that the words “Business Value” tend to mean something very narrow to most individuals. For example, the words often mean, mostly: “the numbers we put on the story […]

Suggested Resources for CSM Course NYC Feb 28-29

Here are some of the resources we mentioned in the course. First, a suggestion and two cautions. Suggestion: Always tightly link thinking and action. Caution: “Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.” W. Shakespeare Caution 2: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” […]

Business Value and Money: Killing Low Priority Projects

This topic is leading somewhere. It may take a few posts to fully get there. First, let me say that in my personal opinion (and Peter Drucker’s and many others’) business is not mainly about money. Money is a measure, but it is not why we run the race. Business is about delivering satisfaction to […]

The Nokia Test (2): Working Software

The second line in the Nokia Test says: Software must be tested and working by the end of each iteration. This is the second of three items that confirms the team (project) is “iterative.” There is a series of small tests (within the Nokia Test) if the team is really doing Scrum (in Nokia’s opinion). […]

Tell Her No

Yesterday, I was teaching a class where many of the attendees were from the same company. They had one major issue: At almost every Sprint, either the Product Owner or a Stakeholder would add one or more stories in the middle of the Sprint. I find this to be a common problem. Indeed, the new […]

5 Whys: To get better, ask why.

If you have a 2-year-old, or remember one; you are familiar with the word “why.” Repeatedly. Now, here is a more adult way to use that word. Lean tells us we should ask “why” all the time. In fact, the Five Whys to discover the root cause of a problem so we fix it once […]