Category Archives: managing agile

Managers : Impediments

It should not be confusing how to manage in Scrum (agile). Let’s put a scope on this. We are talking about the management of innovation, using Teams. Not the management of BAU or regular production or whatever your firm calls that. I am less sure these principles (below) apply in those cases, but I do […]

Agile Adoption: Two Styles Contrasted

Imagine a smallish organization with 10 Scrum teams (or what will be 10 Scrum teams).  I want you to be thinking of a relatively uncomplicated situation. Imagine that you offered two ways to implement agile. Let us assume that we believe that agile will lead to better lives for the workers and better lives for […]

What does the Executive Team do in Scrum?

In an earlier post, we described an Executive Team in a smallish company (aka an oversight group in a larger company).  And we described a simple situation.  For example, the oversight group is responsible for 8-10 initiatives. Or, basically, 8-10 Scrum teams.  For now, let’s make it simple, and imagine that each Scrum Team is […]

3 Ways a Scrum Team is Managed

We think it is reasonable to manage a Scrum Team in at most 3 ways. (Context: To simplify, we assume a smallish firm with teams that are mostly working independently.  There are lots of other contexts.) There are two main rules. A. Do NOT over-manage or over-control the Team.  Over-managing is not what you do […]

Why Managers Should Crave Agile

One idea in the Agile community is that with Agile, we do not need managers anymore. For those of us who have had Dilbert managers, this is a happy thought. But actually, a silly thought.  Because managers add value and we should have good managers.  And ‘good’ means not only morally sound, decent, reasonable, and […]

EPMO for a Smaller Company

In Waterfall we might need something else, but in Agile, what do we want from an Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO)?  If we have a relatively small company (total employees near 1,000, innovation group near 100).  (Obviously, if the company were 300,000 people, it would be a different game.) Let me discuss this in 7 […]

Metrics and Managers

Dan Greening gave an excellent talk about some aspects of metrics at the Scrum Gathering in New Orleans in early May 2014.  Go here to download his presentation:  (You must at least be a member of ScrumAlliance to have access to that page…sorry.) Dan inspired me to discuss metrics. First point: Managers like metrics. This […]

Is It Really important to estimate initial velocity?

Question: “Is it really important to have a SP estimate before the first Sprint starts?” I think he means an estimate of the initial team Velocity before the first Sprint Planning Meeting. Answer: The short answer to his immediate question: Yes, it is important. Why? It makes it a tighter meeting (SPM, Part 1), and […]

What to tell the Executives – Part 2

Last week I discussed this issue with the Agile-Carolinas group.  Wonderful conversation.  Many great comments. One thing I was struck by was that there are many many different types of situations.  And that we need to address, possibly, many different things, depending on the situation (including the people). In the session, I focused on the […]

Organizing a small-ish company to do Scrum and ‘regular work’

Holly asks: “I am relatively new to this methodology, and I would like to learn more about how resources are assigned to Scrum teams.  Resource allocation – do Sprint team members need to spend 100% of their time in a Scrum Team?  If so, how do we account for existing job responsibilities?” *** Good question […]