Dirty Agile

The other morning I was a guest presenter (I really don’t like that word… I interacted with people) at a breakfast with Deloitte in Brisbane.  The topic was, agile, how I’ve implemented it and the results achieved at my latest client.

Half way through this session I chuckled to myself and coined the phrase ‘dirty agile’ – agile from the trenches.  Since then I have received a lot of interest in dirty agile.

The term dirty agile reflects scrum after many retrospectives.  The flavor of agile that we now run throughout this program can be clearly traced back to the manifesto principles and you can see its roots are in SCRUM, however it fits the organisation, their risk tolerance and low project maturity very well.

Jeff Sutherland – the founder of SCRUM explains that SCRUM is ‘onboarding for agile’.  It is a set of ‘rules’ to get you going, it is not Continue reading Dirty Agile

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

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!

Is your company infected with SCRUMBUT?

If you’ve been around SCRUM long enough you will be familiar with the term SCRUMBUT. SCRUM what? SCRUMBUT.

First off it makes me chuckle, it’s a great name.  Then my stomach churns.

“We use SCRUM… but…”

Memories of bad senior stakeholder initial meetings come flooding back… “We run Agile here, so we don’t create requirements”, “The guys just build whatever I tell them too” – OMG, SCRUMBUT.

So, what is SCRUMBUT, how can you identify it and what can you do to clean it up?

Continue reading Is your company infected with SCRUMBUT?

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