Quotable Quote: Without empowerment, knowledge and vision in a Product Owner the team will struggle

Jerry Doucett 201601 white background - head - 275 squareYour Product Owner needs to be informed, available, business-savvy, knowledgeable, collaborative, and empowered to make decisions about what to build and what order to do it in.  They also need to be a strong negotiator and very capable at conducting business driven trade-offs.  In the end, a Product Owner needs to effectively communicate, convey and deliver on a clear vision to the Team and Stakeholders to ensure a useful solution is created.  Without empowerment, knowledge, and vision in a Product Owner the team will struggle. (By Senior Agile Coach Jerry Doucett)


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Quotable Quotes: Limit Work-In-Progress As Much As Possible!

Jerry Doucett 201601 white background - head - 275 squareScrum team members should be allocated to as few different initiatives as realistically possible.  The more projects you are allocated to, the more task switching you may have to perform, the longer it will take to complete any one item, the thinner you will be spread and the less effective you will be.  In other words, people (and teams) should limit their work in progress as much as possible and focus on completing those things that truly matter most.  This is true for any framework, but it is particularly emphasized with Agile ones.  Note there is a slight but fundamental difference between being allocatedto a team and being dedicated to a team – that is a topic for a future article.

(By Senior Agile Coach Jerry Doucett)

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Jerry is leading a series of SAFe training classes in Toronto, Ontario from September through to December 2016. See here for more details.


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Interview: Garry Berteig Reflects on Being Agile In a Crisis

FortMcMurrayEvacuationOn May 03, 2016 wildfires encompassing Fort McMurray, Alberta forced the evacuation of more than 88,000 residents, including many friends, family and associates of BERTEIG.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

One such resident was Garry Berteig, a co-founder of OpenAgile, and long-time resident of Fort McMurray.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Garry from his home in northern Alberta. He presents some meaningful insights into how living and working with an agile mindset helped him and his family move through the disaster with stability. The following articles shares, in his words, some highlights of his experience during and after the event.

BEING AGILE IN A CRISIS  

By Senior Agile Coach Garry Berteig

Garry portrait

Most of the time, when you are acting with agility you are sort of ready for change or turn in direction anyhow. You know what you have to do so your tasks are already in motion, your tasks are already moving towards “done”, not that you have your suitcase packed already but you already know what is the most important thing.

It’s the same for corporations. It’s just not so direct or life-threatening as this catastrophe was but for some companies catastrophe is a slow burn.

The actuality about what occurred, was quite different than the media reports. The media reports were at best simple, at worst a high-level notion.

Yes there was a line of cars, and they show a line up of cars [in the news] but it doesn’t tell you that some people were in one way or another in a state of calm because they are used to being involved in safety measure. That group was relatively calm.

There’s another set of people who were actually terrified and not able to be rational so they have to be handled carefully.

Then another group of people who were on the opposite extreme were kind of ‘having a good time.’ It was taking them away from their normal routines so they were making light of the whole situation. They were rolling windows down, playing loud music, giving peace-signs, stuff like that.

The real take-home point, having landed in Edmonton and being involved with people here is that the kindness, hospitality, generousity and sympathy that people revealed was amazing.

This is a feature that I share and have been sharing with other people who have also found the same thing. It’s been quite remarkable. Their private lives had an opportunity present itself openly. In my opinion, it represents a spiritual condition. Usually people hold that in to themselves and have no opportunity to express that. [They want to be kind, generous and helpful but keep it internalized.]

The government and non-profits have also been incredibly efficient and helpful. Because of all the other experiences with other catastrophes, their quick response to 90,000 people leaving Fort McMurray was remarkable. Within one week they had arranged for financial support for all those people. That to me is the material future of Canada. It is positive. The material and spiritual future of Canada is very great. And that is what I’ve seen here.

The other point is that before Fort McMurray was black-listed by the media but that has turned 180 degrees. Now people will realize the participation in this city from all over the country. The nation raised 1 million through the Red Cross.

Thankfully, not only is Garry and his family safe and well but all other friends and associates are also settling back into their routines and beginning the long journey ahead of restoration and recovery.

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UPDATE: August 03, 2016 – Unbelievably, epic flooding has now hit Fort McMurray, and in places the flood waters are damaging houses which had survived the fire. More updates will be shared as they emerge. Garry’s family is still doing well.

 


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Video: Agile Project Management in 8 minutes

Highlights of this video —

  1. Scrum is not for EVERY project
  2. Scrum is good when there are changing variables & priorities
  3. Scrum is good when there is a cross-functional group of people
  4. Scrum is good when people work together at the same time in the same place (co-located)
  5. The Agile Manifesto isn’t mentioned directly but its alluded to
  6. 4 weeks is the maximum for a Sprint
  7. A “scrum” is a collection of people working together on the project
  8. Backlog items are a list of stories that shows what you want for your end result
  9. Scrum Meetings happen every day!
  10. In a Scrum Meeting you talk about what you did yesterday and what you’ll do today and any obstacles

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Quotable Quotes: Leverage Technology When Possible!

Jerry Doucett 201601 white background - head - 275 square“For increased chances of success, a Scrum team should leverage technology and engineering practices whenever possible.  Techniques, skills and tools that facilitate Agile approaches such as Continuous Integration, Automated Testing and Test Driven Development all make technical excellence, continuous improvement and truly being “Done” every Sprint a possible reality for a Scrum team.”

(By Senior Agile CoachJerry Doucett)

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Jerry is leading a series of SAFe trainings from September to December. More details are here.

 

 


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Announcements, Links & Entertainment

For 10 years, Agile Advice has been providing useful information, Agile-related announcements & entertaining content for Agile ambassadors.

But Agile Advice is just one of the many portals to the BERTEIG online network.

For your easy reference here is a list of other 5 links which may bring you to the information you are looking for.

  1. Register for Training & Learning Events 
  2. Sign Up for BERTEIG’s Loyalty Program
  3. Find out More About BERTEIG’s Corporate Experience
  4. Join the 1000+ others in the LinkedIn Worldmindware Group
  5. Visit the BERTEIG-hosted Facebook Scrum Group with 2600+ members

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Link: How To Manage the “I’m the bestest” persons in Agile

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Can you believe there is an actual disorder which prevents people from seeing their own limits? It makes them over-cofindent to do things and yet under-skilled to achieve them. If you have a person with a disorder like this on your team, it can lead to disaster.

But you likely are not aware of what exactly is going on. Not until it’s too late.

You can read for yourself the nature of this condition and how a Scrum Master can help a person who perpetually under-estimates or over-estimates their capacities.

It’s called The Dunning-Kruger effect and here is the article entitled, “How to manage the “I’m the bestest” persons in Agile – The Dunning-Kruger effect.

What I like so much about this article is that despite the challenges of working with someone who is largely unaware of what they don’t know, is that the author offers encouragement to Scrum Masters.

Basically, a scrum team turns no one away. We are all capable of some degree of contributing. This article shows that the more a Scrum Master knows the individual team members and the collective capacity of the whole team, the better everyone can be!


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Announcing: New Course Offerings!

BERTEIG Provides World Class Training For Agile Teams & Organizations

Join the BERTEIG team for Training in the GTA and throughout Canada.  Register for an upcoming class near you!

Imagine that you could learn the secrets to high performance teams, management and organizations! Double your productivity! Dramatically improve quality! Create great working environments! Delight your customers! Our Learning Events give you the tools and practices to transform your team and your organization. Whether you are a team member in a small startup or an executive in a Fortune 500 organization, we have something for you. Learn about the performance-enhancing methods of Scrum, LeSS, Kanban, SAFe and others!

Types of Training

Scrum Alliance Registered Education ProviderCertified ScrumMaster (CSM)Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
Large Scale ScrumScaled Agile FrameworkReal AgilityProject Management Institute (PMI) Registered Education Provider

See our complete schedule of Learning Events!

Earn PDUs! Earn SEUs!

BERTEIG is a Registered Education Provider with Scrum Alliance and Project Management Institute. Our training courses qualify as professional development units for IIBA, OpenAgile Institute, and others.


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A Safe Approach To Developing High Performance Teams

Jerry Doucett 201601 white background - head - 275 square
Improving Teams Means Changing Culture

By Jerry Doucet

Under the right conditions Scrum can be a tremendous success story, but it often requires hard work to get there.  For new Scrum teams it means learning to fundamentally work very differently than they are used to, such as relying on a lot more collaboration, making and delivering on shared commitments and building a high degree of trust.  For existing Scrum teams it means constantly renewing the team commitment to each other, the cause, and to the Scrum framework.  This includes the rather painful practice of revisiting the fundamentals and ensuring any deviations from accepted processes or practices were for the right reasons and had the right results.

To have a chance at achieving high performance a new-to-Scrum team will not only need to just change their processes, but fundamentally change the culture and behaviour of the team and all of the supporting roles (that includes their leadership).  Meanwhile, a mature or well-established team should never assume they are high performance; they should always be checking (and rechecking) that they are still living the Agile values.

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Jerry is offering a number of SAFe training opportunities in Toronto, Ontario from September through December 2016. More details here. 


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LINK: Virtual Retrospectives

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The Agile Manifesto says face-to-face interaction trumps all other forms of communication and colocated teams are the ideal.

But what to do when a team is distributed across a province, or a country, or internationally?

Mario Lucero shares his solution in “Virtual Retrospectives”.

He suggests using a virtual board and if anyone has had experience with this please leave a comment below. It would be great to read how this has been used with success.

With or without this virtual board, I really think he is on to something. With tact and wisdom, virtual meetings through online forums such as Google Hangouts or Skype can really give the impression of being face-to-face with people.

It provides more visual body-language cues which are missing in phone calls and this is bound to help keep communication among a distributed team much stronger.


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Agile Coach Profile: Michael Sahota

Michael Sahota - Profile Picture (2016)Michael Sahota: Sage Advice For Organizational Growth 

By Rachel Perry

 

BERTEIG is proud to announce that in September Michael Sahota is offering a brand new Certified Leadership Training in Toronto, Ontario.

  • this is the first training of its kind in Canada!
  • Michael was the second trainer to be approved, based training he  developed & delivered over the last few years.
  • Michael was the first to deliver this training worldwide!

A Bit of Michael’s Background

In 2010, Michael was approved as a Certified Scrum Coach, a prestigious certification for someone capable of coaching enterprises. He says he was and continues to be very proud of this since certification which demonstrates extensive experience and qualifications.

He openly shares that several years ago, he experienced his own personal inner transformation which has enlightened him and opened many new doors of opportunity.

When reflecting on this process of growth, he describes it like this.

 “I looked at myself in the mirror and [saw] I was in no position to invite leaders on a transformational journey. I needed to work on myself. So I set about reinventing myself.”

The journey of reinventing himself is a whole other story which he shares in his blog Agilitrix.com.

He writes,

“I had a hypothesis that if I changed how I showed up, I would be able to invite leaders on their own transformational journeys. This hypothesis has been proven several times over. I have become the change that I want to see in the world. And at the same time I continue to be a work-in-progress with edges around ego, seeking attention, too attached to ideas, etc.”

He says he is excited to delighted to help managers, executives and coaches become more effective in fostering Agile environments through Scrum Alliance’s new Certified Agile Leadership training program.

 

 


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Announcement: BERTEIG is launching the first course of its kind in Canada!

The Certified Agile Leadership training is a new course. At the Orlando Scrum gathering the program was announced and shortly after, CSTs and CECs with strong leadership coaching background and formal education in this field were invited to apply to teach the class.
Michael Sahota - Profile Picture (2016)
Michael Sahota was one of these selected coaches.
The course is an acknowledgement that Agile transformation can only go so far if it is driven from the grassroots level, or without the full support of the leadership.
As a leader, they are driving a culture change in the organisation to get better results. This goes far beyond corporate mantras and motivational speeches. Participants can expext to learn the intracacies required of a leader to bring about lasting change.
The target audience is C-level executives, VPs and Senior Directors with decision making capability. The training is also for Change Agents who are catalysts in an organisation, who have the drive and willingness to make a difference.
Michael is known by the Scrum Alliance and since he has had taken formal non-Agile related Leadership training, his application was accepted making him the second global trainer to be approved after Pete Behrens (who is part of the creation committee of CAL) and another chap.
BERTEIG is honoured to be a part of this global launch of a brand new training and we look forward to the positive feedback from many more participants!
CAL1

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LINK: What is an Agile Manager?

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This article, posted on Oikosofy’s blog, gives a pretty good introduction into the way things were in manufacturing and the way things are now. In “Agile-Manager — What is an Agile Manager?” he goes back to the time of FORD to explain how things have progressed.

It shows that not only have agile methods changed the way things are made, but they have also changed the corporate environment which houses the teams who make the products.

He also address how so many businesses now offer services and how that effects development.

I found this article insightful and worth a read.


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Announcement: NEW Certified Scrum Developer Training!

Reasons Why BERTEIG’s Certified Scrum Developer training stands above all other offerings:

  • Mike is an Agile and technical trainer who has been writing code for over thirty years
  • Berteig Consulting is the premier Canadian Agile services organization
  • team of coaches & trainers to support Mike
  • Excellent hands-on training: focus on participant simulations and discussions, no slides
  • Mike blends his strong technical background with a deep understanding of Agile methods to help teams consistently improve how they deliver value to their customers
  • Mike has been an active member of the Agile community for the last fifteen years (since the beginning)

Praise for Our Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) Training:

“Mike inspires you to want to improve your craft as an individual and as a team. You will learn skills to improve your development instantly, and skills that will allow you to continue improving every day.” – Developer – June 2016

“This is one of the best trainings I have ever had. Learned everything in real-time in much fun way rather than total theory. When taught with live examples, that create more impact. Mike is just so awesome in his teaching style.” – Front-end Developer – June 2016

“The course is very useful and it is relevant to our daily work. Exercises we did in the course helped to understand the agile/ scrum process a lot.” – Technical Specialist – June 2016

“I feel reinvigorated to take my job and team performance to a higher level.” – Developer, Feb-Mar 2016

“Mike is a great instructor and his details in explaining concepts and applying them during the training was a great learning experience.” – Developer, Feb-Mar 2016

“The class was incredibly beneficial to help illustrate the benefits of TDD, and improved code quality yields better productivity over time. It also helped emphasize Agile works best for Complex systems.” Senior Developer, Feb-Mar 2016

“The course was really interesting and helpful. Some of the topics were eye-openers. Would recommend to any SCRUM team member (developer or tester).” – Technical Consultant, Feb-Mar 2016

“This course gave a practical experience to most Agile development skills in a short period of time.” – Technical Specialist, Feb-Mar 2016

“This is a very good course for Scrum Developers as you can practise all learning on the spot.” – Scrum Developer, Feb-Mar 2016

“I loved this certification course! What I learned here would have taken lots of time to learn and observe in real life and now I know I can apply it into my job.” — Reynaldo 2015

“I really enjoy learning from Mike. He’s flexible and willing to listen for feedback to adapt his course/agenda to fit our groups needs. I’ve learned a number of topics relevant to what we do in our company and will definitely try them out.” — S/W Developer, November 2015

“I like the time I spent here. It was useful for myself as a software developer. I’ve learned several new techniques and technologies.” – S/W Developer, November 2015

“Opened a new window for doing my job.” – Developer, November 2015

“This was a very fun and useful course because it was delivered by an extremely experienced coach who is a developer. PS and he likes LEGO.” – Developer, November 2015

“Mike is an ‘agile’ trainer w/ for both technical and agile approaches.” – T, November 2015

Bonus #1: attendees get one free book from the list of recommended reading on Agile and Scrum topics. You select a book at the end of the course. The book will be shipped to an address of your choosing after course completion.

Bonus #2: attendees get free Planning Poker decks. Every attendee gets at least two. If you need more, please let us know when you register; if you are from a large enterprise company, we can ship you 100 decks at no charge!

Audience:
This course is ideal for those who desire to create high-performance product development teams. Professional developers will gain tremendous understanding about Scrum’s amazing transformational power and the critical role of the Scrum developer. If you are a member of the Project Management Institute, this course counts for 40 PDUs (5-day) or 21 PDUs (3-day), and can be used as part of the requirements towards the PMI-ACP designation.

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