The Nokia Test (4): You know who the Product Owner Is

In this series, we are going over each question in the Nokia Test. The first section of the Nokia Test is a quick determination: are you doing incremental development? Then second section is: are you doing Scrum? We are now up to the first question in the second section is: Do you know who your […]

Mura, Muri, Muda

These are Lean words, in Japanese, and I always get them confused, especially the first two, so I am doing this post partly to remind me what each word means. They are all in the negative. Mura: Unevenness of flow. Thus, the first thing to do is establish a reasonable pull, an even flow. Muri: […]

Two cheers for the Nokia Test (2)

A comment by Kelly Waters and a discussion yesterday with Peter Smith prompts me to comment. Some are attempted to come up with a long list of all the practices involved with Scrum (or Scrum plus other parts of Agile), and then score each team. I don’t think the long list replaces the simple short […]

Two cheers for the Nokia Test

I am an advocate of the Nokia Test, up to a point. Why do I like it? I think it is a simple way to set some sort of lower boundary on Agile (Scrum) and it tends to make two problems more visible: Cowboy Agile on one side and Agilefall (aka Wagile) on the other […]

The primacy of learning

More and more I am taking the view that learning is the central thing about business. What does this mean? First, learning by itself is not that meaningful. It is learning combined with action. The simple dichotomy (between thinking and action) is really not so simple. For example, one of the best ways to learn […]

Respect People

“Respect People” is a key tenet of Lean. Of course, who wants to disrespect people?! Still, when people study why Lean works in one company and does not work in another; the answer some of the best people give is: Respect. Respecting people is truly realized at  successful companies. Jim Womack leads the Lean Enterprise […]

Do we need a coach? Do we need a coach now?

Here are some questions that come up again and again: Do we need a coach? Do we really need a ScrumMaster? How much time should a ScrumMaster give a team?  How good do they need to be? Will we always need one? I am a coach, so perhaps I am biased. Still, bear with me […]

How do I start an Agile project?

I have been teaching Agile courses for a while now. One of the persistent questions is: “Enjoyed the course, but I want more help on actually doing an Agile (Scrum) project?” In part this question arises from a wish to have a “cookbook.” This cookbook notion is something most of the smart people (at least […]

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. […]