How Spotify Do It – Part 2 of 2

Everytime I watch this series… yep, I watch them regularly… hey why not learn from the very best(!) I learn something new.

As your level of agile maturity grows you will face issues.  Architecture, design, fit into assurance frameworks in large organisations, skill set sharing etc.  Spotify seem to have faced them all… and found sweet solutions.

Watch and enjoy!

Continue reading How Spotify Do It – Part 2 of 2

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

Steve Ranked #10 in Top 25 Agile Evangelists On LinkedIn

Today I received an email from linked in telling me that I am ranked #10 on their worldwide list of Agile Evangelists.  I have to say I am pretty pleased with this info!

Me being me I had to check this so off to google I went and yep sure enough, there I am.  Woohoo!

Continue reading Steve Ranked #10 in Top 25 Agile Evangelists On LinkedIn

How To Put The ‘Fun’ Into Work Environments

So you have, or you are implemented Agile in some form, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe…  These are both exciting and scary times.  You’ve convinced your boss that this is a better way to create software, to create and deliver business value earlier, quicker and to build an amazing team.  You have told your boss you can take him or her to management utopia!  Well now it’s time to deliver…

So, why is it then that some many companies that I see have made this massive paradigm shift in thinking, expect their team members to do the same… even though they are still in a work environment that was, to be quite frank, devised in the late 1800’s.

Agile + Fun = Management Utopia
(Massive results, happy staff and happy bosses!)

Continue reading How To Put The ‘Fun’ Into Work Environments

4 Easy Ways To Inspire Performance & Creativity On Your Project

Want to inspire a high performance team?  Want to inspire creativity on your project? You need to create an environment that is so ‘awesome’, creativity and productivity is never an issue.  Here’s some ideas to get started…

Here is a short list of simple ways to inspire your teams creativity and get them cranking out the productivity and creativity…

DO A SETH AND BUILD TRIBES

People want to belong to tribes.

I remember taking over a troubled project for a company in the UK.  The moral of the team was shot to pieces, the output non-existent, the budget exceeded.

I started on the Monday.

On the previous Friday the company had made the team sit through a ‘we value our employees’ presentation… then fired them all!  Go figure…

I walked in on the Monday… to only 1 team member.  My boss thought he was helping me, when what he had just done is thrown the baby out with the bath water.  After a rather uncomfortable conversation with him I was able to call the guys back in for a chat. Continue reading 4 Easy Ways To Inspire Performance & Creativity On Your Project

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

The $1,000,000 Hackathon – Watch!

A colleague just send me a link to this youtube video and I just had to share it.

Why did you share this with me Steve?  What has this go to do with Agile?… a lot actually…

It is a good question tho.  Well you see I started my career as a developer… creating software is in my blood and I think this type of event is really cool… and very Agile.

These guys pump out two weeks or more worth of work in two days.  Sure they work like mad dogs, and have a great team around them, but this is very Agile… here’s why…

Continue reading The $1,000,000 Hackathon – Watch!

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