Friday, February 23, 2018

"The only way you can (insert topic) is to (insert method)"

"The only way you can (insert topic) is to (insert method)"

We have all seen these types of posts.

I know from experience....

There is rarely only one way to achieve a goal.

Consider using ....

- for many people, 
- for many organizations,
- effective approaches include 
- I have used 
- I have seen (x) used 
- (x) might work
- (x) might be appropriate to the situation
- generally
- often
- experience shows

(none of these are definite and fixed)

Add your own to your own personal list.


Note: I was careful not to say "There is only one way to achieve a goal".

Friday, February 9, 2018

The many who help

There are many, many people involved day-to-day in changes to improve their work environments, teams or companies. This can be challenging work and cause many sleepless nights.

Although I greatly appreciate bloggers, authors and conference speakers, it would be awesome if more time was spent thanking the quiet people.

To all of you....

You are appreciated. Thanks for what you do.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Discovery Approach to learning about leadership

Hoodoos - Mike Caspar, 2017

Ask someone you consider to be a leader how they might answer this. What you discover might surprise you.   (will bring you to a popular social media site).

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Could you stop development?

In your environment... 

If you wanted to stop development of a product or feature... Could you?

A few potential questions to consider about your context...

Does the system you have in place, provide a mechanism to stop non-valuable work for the benefit of the company without fear or recrimination? 

Do teams know what to do to stop non-valuable product development?

Is it considered Failure or Success to stop development of a product that will not deliver value?


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sponsors and Users and Sustainable Pace

In reference to the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto, (

Consider this principle:

Agile processes promote sustainable development.
The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

During workshops and sessions in software development groups there is almost always discussion about sustainability for development team members. 

However, there is rarely discussion about the sponsors and users being able to continue at a sustainable pace.

Written a different way, the principle could read....
  • The sponsors should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • The developers should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • The users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Ask yourself... In your discussions about the Agile Manifesto, is any time spent getting feedback to determining if what you are doing allows Sponsors and Users to be able to maintain and constant pace indefinitely?

Ask yourself... What does this mean in my context?

Have fun.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

CapEx, OpEx and the Enterprise Agile Coach

Are you considering becoming or do you identify yourself as an Enterprise Agile Coach?

To me at least, this implies a certain degree of knowledge of enterprise financial reporting.

As incremental or agile approaches to the delivery of value grow in popularity, the ability to understand the difference between CapEx and OpEx becomes increasingly important.

A large organization may need time to prepare or learn more to properly support some of the changes in approach. 

If for no other reason, consider your ability to be taken seriously during discussion with financially oriented people. 

Imagine that the difference might be the building of a 100 Million dollar asset versus the building of a 10 Million dollar asset and 90 Million dollars worth of expense (an oversimplification only to inspire research. My apologies to my accounting contacts).

Of course, there is much more to the enterprise agile coaching than this one topic, but ignoring it is not good for anyone.  I really dislike lose-lose situations.

Consider ......

At a minimum, you should be able to explain the difference between CapEx and OpEx and the potential impact to Balance Sheet and Income Statement.

If you can't do this basic task with understanding, think about your circle of influence or the circle of influence of the person you are trying to help.

Some ideas for you to get started....

- take a basic accounting course 

- ask a finance or accounting person for insight (a great way to build a new relationship)

- Ask yourself.. "How would I feel as an Investor in the company with the different results ?" (public or private)

- Read some books or articles.

- Ask yourself... "How will I prepare my client for inevitable discussions with regulators, shareholders, or auditors?"

- Consider finding an experienced person with enterprise experience to help you navigate and learn about this.

- Bring someone into your local meetup that understands this topic well.

Many transitioning companies will need some time to learn and assimilate new ideas. In some cases, lawyers may need to get involved to help navigate the change. 

A sample trigger phrase to remind you that you are in an environment where this is fundamentally important: "In service date".  

Enjoy what you learn :->

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Consider a simple thank you.

I recently witnessed a situation where someone put a huge amount of effort into a post to clarify a topic that many people are confused about. 

In the complex domain being discussed, they were not advocating their explanation as the complete (or best) solution... They were simply helping others to understand based on the specific context of the questions involved.

That person knows that that only one answer cannot solve a complex situation and believes that small steps matter. They are willing to respond in a way to help others instead of trying to correct an entire system in one post.

Many people understand that there will always be something to add or improve in a complex system or understanding.

When a poster creates an article to help others (or simply move the needle a bit), this does not mean they lack knowledge of other approaches or parts of the complex domain.

Please consider that sometimes simply thanking them will help keep everyone engaged and comfortable sharing and learning..... 

One-upping someone is not always necessary (or helpful)... 

How about just saying ... 

"Thanks for the insight"...  

Just a thought.