How Spotify Do It (Is this Agile at its best?) Part 1 of 2

Those of you who know me, know that I am a raving fan of Spotify and their Agile culture.

Spotify is an amazing free, legal online music streaming service check out their product here (https://www.spotify.com/au/)

You see spotify have engaged the Agile philosophy properly.  Agile is about trying, measuring, then retrospectively looking at what worked well, didn’t work so well, and well… what totally ballsed up.

Lets be honest here… every project has its issues.  Any project worth is weight has to solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before, so it will come across some stumbling block.  People will make mistakes.  That’s normal and that’s ok with me.  Its how we learn, its how we innovate.  If we never try anything new, we wont create anything new.

The video below, with a huge thanks to Spotify who made it available, explains their engineering philosophy so well that I thought I’d use it here.
Continue reading How Spotify Do It (Is this Agile at its best?) Part 1 of 2

Welcome To Agile Espresso For Highly Collaborative Meetings

Have you ever sat in a meeting and thought “OMG… when will this end?… I’ve gotta get out and get xyz done.”  You didn’t feel engaged, you didn’t feel valued.

A silly question I know, of course you have!

Sadly meetings like this are common place.  It’s how most meetings around the world are run… and they kill productivity and collaboration.

I’ll let you in on a secret… If I have to sit through another rambling meeting… one that I cant add any value too, I’ll lose the will to live.

Recently I was having a coffee with a friend and this topic came up.  He started telling me about the Lean Coffee framework and how it had transformed his company.   Ummm… no… it’s not a skinny coffee as the name might lead you to believe.  It’s actually a framework for running lean meetings.

Driven by the fear of another life-sucking-meeting Continue reading Welcome To Agile Espresso For Highly Collaborative Meetings

How To Run A Company (or Team) With (Almost) No Rules

Here’s a thought… If Ricardo can run a successful multi-billion dollar group of companies using his version of Agile, then we should all be striving to instill this mindset into our teams and departments.

What’s exciting is that its not just us dev types who are rethinking better ways of working.

What do Ricardo’s principles and Agile have in common?  Well, if I was to pick a commonality I would have to say this…

Continue reading How To Run A Company (or Team) With (Almost) No Rules

The Role of Project Manager On An Agile Project

I talk to a lot of project managers and they always have the same question for me…

“What is my role in an agile organization?”

They see the scrum roles of scrum master, product owner and scrum team member and they say, “Wait a second, there is no role for a project manager in there.  Do I even have a place in an agile organization?”

Well the answer to that is an emphatic yes.

I think that most project managers have a skill set that transfers over very well to scrum, but the key is understanding which skills do transfer over well and which ones are going to have to adjust.

Continue reading The Role of Project Manager On An Agile Project

7 Ways Managers Can Support Self-Managed Teams

One of the cornerstones of Scrum is the self-managed team, and managers often struggle with this change in thinking.  Here are a few tips I have picked up on how to best deal with this issue.

A common question I get asked is:

“How can I support my teams in doing a better job of self-organizing and self-managing?”

Well, there are actually several things you can do to support your teams as they learn these new self managed behaviors and get better at them.

Straight up, don’t manage your Scrum team.  I will repeat that…

Continue reading 7 Ways Managers Can Support Self-Managed Teams

Why Happiness Is The New Productivity

This is the best video I have watch in a long time.  This is how all leaders should be striving to lead.  It wont take you long to realise that I am a big fan of Vishen Lakhiani and his leadership ideas… they fit with Agile so well.

In 2009 Vishen Lakhiani was asked to speak at Engage Today in Calgary along with such luminaries as Sir Richard Branson, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Stephen Covey, Nobel Prize Winner F.W De Klerk, Tony Hsieh, the founder of

Continue reading Why Happiness Is The New Productivity

What to do if your teams continually miss their commitments

What should you do if your teams continually miss their commitments?

That’s a question I get all the time and it is a serious problem. Interestingly, though, the answer to this problem might not be what you think it is.

Sometimes people naturally think my teams are terrible at estimating or maybe they just don’t take commitments seriously. That might be true but there are some other things I suggest you investigate first.

By far the most common reason for a team continually missing commitments is they are being Continue reading What to do if your teams continually miss their commitments