Category Archives: People issues

The PO Role — some controversy

Here is a quote: This is far different from the Product Owner role in Scrum, which directs the PO to simply hand the development team a prioritized backlog of work to do. This quote is from a post on LinkedIn, and a bunch of senior agile people are fervently discussing it, on at least two […]

What happens to Project Managers?

From one of our students: Thank you Joe, I took the exam and passed 34/35! One question if I may: I noticed in the top mistakes list that ‘having a project manager’ is listed. Why is Project Manager so bad here? Does that just mean that a team tries to implement Scrum with a typical […]

Honesty and Scrum

Are people honest and transparent? Short answer: Not completely. Let’s digress first, and then come back to a better answer.     To digress… why are honesty and transparency important? IMO, in two ways. The main reason: we can manage better with the truth. For example, we get better feedback in the Sprint Review. If we […]

The ScrumMaster should not be a people manager – 2

This is a continuation of this post.     Before we start, some more basics… 1. The PO has an important role. Especially key in deciding which PBIs or user stories the team will get next, and important in many other ways, too. 2. The ScrumMaster has a key responsibility in making the ‘continuous improvement’ engine […]

The Truth: Scrum is Not Easy!

May I tell the truth? I am a trainer, and people come to my courses.  And often they want an easy answer.  A magic answer that is not disturbing, or bothersome, but is in every way good, easy, friendly and just better. In other words, they come to change, but they don’t want to change.  […]

Changing culture

I am giving a presentation at Southern Fried Agile on Oct 18th, 2013. On “Culture & Agile & Change”. Here is the presentation slide deck so far.  To me, it is mainly a reference and a take-away.  It does highlight some of the key things I will say (and many things I am sure I […]

Getting the right people in the Team – Richard Branson

For useful innovation, truly good and fast innovation, I think a Team is essential.  They must do knowledge creation in a Team. As Takeuchi and Nonaka have explained pretty darn well. A real team, not a group of individuals. As a friend just reminded me, probably the most important thing in getting a Team started […]

Scrum 201: Desire

Any sports coach knows the Team must have desire. In my classes I talk to people about how much improvement they expect to make in 1 year, with 1 team.  Often their expectation is in the 20% range. I use Henry Ford’s famous quote: “Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”  So, […]

We Band of Brothers

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”  Another great phrase that Shakespeare wrote, this time for the mouth of Henry V. Here it is explained. The leadership in the real field of battle, against great odds.  You may find this interesting as well. Here it is enacted with Kenneth Branagh. You may wish […]

Who is Scrum for?

A few months ago someone I know and respect in the Agile community said that they do agile to make the world safe for programmers. This phrase has stuck with me. I don’t know how seriously the person meant it. I suspect it was partially a joke and partially a stronger statement than one might […]