Intermittent Internet Service Outages

Sorry folks… over the past day and a half, and expected for the next day or so Agile Advice and other web sites hosted on the Berteig Consulting Inc. servers are experiencing intermittent and poor internet connectivity. If things are very slow or fail part way through a page load, this is why. Hopefully we’ll be back up at full steam soon.

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The Freedom of Limited Capacity

Something that I would have thought impossible has happened. By understanding how incredibly limited my capacity to do work is, I am getting a greater and greater sense of freedom and contentment.

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Leadership for the Agile Organization

I found an interesting blog post on cio.com called Leadership for the Agile Organization. This is a neat little piece that covers some of the essential aspects of leadership for empowering teams… but I believe that there are some critical bits missing, and if leaders _only_ did what was in the article, they would have a chaotic mess on their hands. I’ve added a comment to the article so you can read more about my thoughts there :-)

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The Agile Zealot’s Handbook

This is great! I often call myself an Agile Zealot to my clients. (Usually, they smile… and if they don’t I tend to have a short relationship with them!) So here it is, the Agile Zealot’s Handbook.

And, since I’ve got a dead horse lying around waiting to be beaten up some more, I’ve re-written it (the Agile Zealot’s Handbook, not the dead horse) to be non-software oriented. Presenting… the new and improved… non-software oriented… readable by anyone… Agile Zealot’s Creed:

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Foundations of Agile

What are the foundational documents (online or otherwise) that constitute the basics of what it means to be agile? There is one obvious one: the Agile Manifesto. If you know of others, please let me know in the comments!

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Iteration 4: Restart

My third iteration was a big bust. I have re-planned, but there is very little different from my iteration 3 plan. I have chosen the same 4 items from my Work Queue. I have updated the tasks slightly based on experience from the last iteration so that I have 22 tasks. Even with more tasks, I have actually reduced scope slightly so that the tasks are finer-grained.

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Cancelled Iteration

Last week went totally wonko for Berteig Consulting. My planning was bad, bad, bad!

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Never Spread Your Facilitator Butter too Thin

I like butter, and when I eat a piece of freshly baked bread, a good hunk of butter thickly spread is an essential ingredient. I don’t skimp on the butter. Using the butter for one piece of bread and spreading it across two or three slices saves cost, but at what price!? Why, the price is my enjoyment.

So how does this relate to Process Facilitators?

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Aspiring Writer? Agile Guru Wanna-be?

Agile Advice gets about 600 hits per day. This number is growing. If you would like exposure and don’t want to start your own blog from scratch, I am always looking for people to contribute. Topics of interest include teams, organizational development, agile outside software, metrics, appropriate tools, interesting challenges, good books, links, short articles or long, and anything else that you think might be interesting. You can email proposals to me: mishkin@berteigconsulting.com.

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The Inner Ring

Here’s a slightly off-topic, but nevertheless excellent read: “The Inner Ring” by C S Lewis. This is a talk given by C S Lewis to what seems to be a group of university students. In it, he describes the notion of the inner ring and the desire to be “in”. It is amazing how much our culture in North America and our corporate culture is driven by this desire. I’ll leave it to you to decide if this is good or bad.

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Arg! Bitten!

Two things I realized that have almost certainly thrown off my ability to complete all the work I committed to for this iteration:

1. I’m doing a course on Thursday and Friday that I completely forgot about thus lowering my capacity by at least 28%!
2. I discovered that my “Save a Spot” feature on my agile course signup page was broken.

There are consequences to these things! Read on for a little treat…

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The Wisdom of Teams – Generalizing Specialists

I’ve almost finished reading The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization. I wanted to share a couple of paragraphs that give a great example of the idea of Generalizing Specialists that is such a key part of Agile Work. Here’s the passage:

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Minor Update to Recommended Materials

I’ve added the Evolving Excellence blog to the Lean section of my recommended agile materials list. Again, if anyone has any suggestions for the list, please let me know in the comments here.

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End of Iteration 2 (“Capacity”) and Start of Iteration 3 (“Automation”)

This second iteration when much better than the first. I committed to an amount of work that was much closer to my real capacity, and I stayed more focused on that work. Here are the results of my demo, retrospective and planning for Iteration 3 which I am calling “Automation” for reasons which will be described below.

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Comparison of Project Manager and ScrumMaster

This is an interesting, short comparison of the role of the Project Manager in a traditional project setting and the ScrumMaster as a facilitator. The comparison is very light on details and so it does not present a clear picture of the motivations and advantages for choosing one scenario or the other. Rather, it compares only the surface features of the two systems.

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