One of our partner organizations, HBI Leadership, has launched a blog called SustainabilityCulture.com. Check it out!
Interesting: The Business Value Game. If you have tried it out with clients or with a team, please let us know in the comments!
First, I did a conference telecast today. You can download the recording of the talk “Recession Proof Your Business with Agile Management“.
Second, Esther Derby has written a good article about what management needs to do to have a successful agile implementation.
From what I understand, this is a measure of the effect of agile on the relative improvement over time of a team. I would beg to differ that it is a measure of productivity. Productivity is value delivered over time. If team A is delivering $5/week and team B is delivering $5000/week, then knowing that team A is accelerating faster than team B isn’t terribly important, particularly if the market can’t bear to absorb $6/week of whatever team A is producing.
Measuring productivity is hard. I would love to hear from people who have tried various means to measure productivity. I measure productivity in our business, but I can do that because we are small and everything we do has a direct effect on the bottom line. Does your business run with that transparency? If not, why not?
For the past three months I have been working with Paul Heidema (our VP of Marketing) to use OpenAgile to run our business.Â I thought it might be interesting for folks to see a screen capture of how we have arranged things in CardMeeting to do our planning and tracking. The yellow cards are labels for our Cycles, the white cards are Work Queue items, and the blue cards are Tasks related to the item.Â The orange cards represent special information (eg. obstacles or ongoing work) and the green cards represent reflections and learning for each Cycle.
The fact that agile methods increase return on investment, accelerate learning, increase stakeholder satisfaction, and enable better control of work are all an interesting result of this final benefit: responding to change.
So far, we’ve discussed learning and value as benefits of agile. Now we turn to a more human side: satisfied stakeholders. Agile methods provide multiple roads to satisfaction for customers, users, business people, bureaucrats (okay, maybe not _all_ bureaucrats), team members, managers, shareholders, and interested passer-by. There are three primary mechanisms by which this occurs: engagement, trust-building and feedback-control. [UPDATED: added link to explanation of Commitment Velocity]
We wouldn’t do agile if we didn’t think it was better in some way. More and more, I am seeing the adoption of agile methods being driven by business management (rather then engineering). There is a clear reason for this: agile methods offer the possibility of early return on investment compared to other methods of working. This benefit is only one of five essential benefits of agile, but it is one of the most practical and easiest to measure. Therefore it is important to clearly understand how agile methods can deliver this benefit… and how they can fail to do so!
So what exactly are the benefits of agile? Why are people, teams and organizations so interested in agile processes? What about agile caused it to become a popular and rapidly growing approach to working? I have seen five essential benefits that come from implementing an agile methodology. Here I describe what I think of as the most important benefit of agile: rapid learning.
Okay, this is only marginally related to agile, but I thought it was interesting nevertheless: How to Write a Detailed Strategic Plan. The main connection to Agile Work, is that you need to have a clear performance goal in mind towards which you are working. This may be a great way to clarify your thoughts about such a goal.
My first iteration using Agile Work for my business development has come to a close. Here is what I did for a “demo” and retrospective.
Dmitri is only looking at one side of the cost/benefit equation. He’s laid out a very convincing argument why Sarah should not interrupt her carefully planned two week iteration, but he hasn’t even mentioned arguments for the other side: the important sale that will be lost.
Okay… I’ll bite.
Starting off on the right foot is just as important as it ever was. However, with Agile Work, this takes on a significantly different meaning than it does in other methods as the emphasis of what is “right” is also significantly different. This is a short guide on how to successfully launch a team using Agile Work.