I would like to assert, without much to back this up, that agile is not about economic benefit.
I’ve read a lot of books lately about agile, organizations, teams, work systems, lean, etc. This one really stands out: “The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization” by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith. Right now, there is a huge discussion on the ScrumDevelopment Yahoo! group about, among other things, the importance of Self-Organizing teams in the definition of Agile/Scrum. Without doubt, this book demonstrates over and over that Self-Organization is a critical component of high performance “real” teams. I haven’t yet finished the book, but already it is proving invaluable to me as an Agile coach, inside my family, and in my understanding about how to develop my own business. The following is an extract from the book:
Mark Levison, a regular contributor on the ScrumDevelopment Yahoo! group and now a student of mine (at the Certified ScrumMaster class), sent me this bunch of links to his blog which in turn link to other great resources. Check them out:
Best Introductions to Scrum (Mark writes:
“I especially like Kenâ€™s video. In an hour he explains the core of scrum. This video is very handy when youâ€™re trying to introduce scrum to new team members etc.“
Just a quick anecdote: one client I have has decided to use Agile Work to develop the user stories as part of a large project they are embarking upon.
An agile coach that I have worked with in the past, Mike Vizdos, has teamed up with an artist to create a web site about agile with a weekly comic strip. This site, Implementing Scrum, has a few comics already there. Each comic examines an aspect of Scrum and Mike provides some interesting commentary related to the comic. Take a look, bookmark it, and check back regularly!
Jay Conne has posted an Excel spreadsheet tool to use for teams doing agile. The spreadsheet includes a lot of flexibility to account for a single team working with different types of work (e.g. maintenance work). Check it out! This is the link to the burndown and velocity tracking spreadsheet.
Folks, there are still spots left in the course next Thu. and Fri. (19th and 20th). The details including location can be found here. There are only 5 spots left.
I recently had an eye-opening experience with one of my coaching clients. We were trying to find a way to reasonably have a single team work with several important stakeholders throughout an organization, each of whom had a different project for the team. Up to this point, the team has been time-slicing between these stakeholders. It is stressful work, constantly switching gears. The last time we were there, we started to look at the value the team was delivering to each group. This is where the surprise came.
I’ve had an article published at the Agile Journal called Managing Process Facilitators (Coaches, ScrumMasters, Agile Project Managers). Please check it out and tell me what you think.