Organization Pitfall: Specialization and Cost Cutting

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In a discussion with another coach earlier today, I described what I have observed is a common path that organizations take. A path that leads to stagnation and business failure.

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Agile Work Uses Lean Thinking – Whitepaper Published

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Berteig Consulting Inc. has published a whitepaper about some of the relationships between Lean and Agile. The paper is based on three prior entries here on Agile Advice relating to Queuing Theory, Empirical Process Control and Self-Organizing Teams.

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Minor Site Updates

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I have updated the category names to be a bit more descriptive and to allow for entry headers to be styled by category. This announcement is an example of that! I have also added an indicator for the number of entries under each category on the category listing on the right side of this page. Hope these minor updates make the site just a wee bit easier to use!


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Improvisation for Agile Facilitators

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Once in a while I will announce events, classes, etc. that I think might be of particular interest to readers of Agile Advice. This one is for people in the Seattle area and comes to me through Tobias Meyer.

Improvisation for Facilitators is a one-day workshop offering core improvisation skills to Agile facilitators and coaches. See the full entry for more details.

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Three Concepts for Value Stream Mapping

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One of the first tools to use when looking at process improvements for any type of work is a value stream map. This tool can usually be used to find substantial and immediate improvements to process efficiency even before considering any Agile Work practices. There are only a few basic concepts to understand before jumping in…

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Timeboxing: A Critical Agile Work Practice

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When you think of the show “Saturday Night Live”, you probably think of things like “funny” or “stars”. You probably don’t think that this show epitomizes the idea of timeboxing.

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Something a Little Different: 19 Leadership Capabilities

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This list of nineteen leadership capabilities, hosted on the web site of a private school in Ontario, Canada, is inspiring and in many ways closely related to the work one must do in an Agile context. The list is written in the language of a moral or ethical framework. The whole list is interesting food for thought so I have reproduced it here as well with a few additional comments.

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Daily Status Meeting Disfunction

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There are many ways that the daily status meeting for self-organizing teams can be done incorrectly. One of the most common, particularly early in a team’s adoption of Agile, is that people report to the Process Facilitator. Why is this bad?

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Something a little different on Work-Life Balance

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The Juggler, collage with appropriated images, Deborah Hartmann, 1995 This is one of my favourite works – at the time, I was both working and studying the fine arts, a true juggling act. My boss was a believer in Balance – he sponsored my second show, and he bought this picture. Happily, he let me buy it back when they moved to a new space, after I’d moved to another city. Now, more than ever, I need its gentle reminder.

The juggler keeps a balance between work, play, obligation and passion.

If you’d like to use this image, to remind yourself or others to strive for a good balance, feel free to use it under the terms of this Creative Commons License. Enjoy 🙂

See the full image of The Juggler (collage with appropriated images, Deborah Hartmann, 1995).
Free for commercial use with attribution. Ask me about other uses.
Please note: Creative Commons License


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Two Sister Conferences

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I’ve applied to run two discovery workshops at Agile 2006 (I’ll make a complete announcement if/when I am confirmed as a presenter), and there are going to be a great number of excellent speakers and topics at Waterfall 2006. I hope to see you there!


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