It’s NOT About the Money

David Anderson, on the ScrumDevelopment Yahoo! group asked, somewhat rhetorically:
Is agile about economic benefit or not?

I would like to assert, without much to back this up, that agile is not about economic benefit.

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The Wisdom of Teams

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:

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Some Good Links

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:

Recommended Books

Co-location

Best Introductions to Scrum (Mark writes:

I especially like Ken’s video. In an hour he explains the core of scrum. This video is very handy when you’re trying to introduce scrum to new team members etc.

)


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Agile Analysis – Just What is Value Anyway?

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.

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Cool Site: Implementing Scrum

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!


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Burndown and Velocity Spreadsheet

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.


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Financial Models – Another Form of Visibility

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.

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