Tag Archives: Agile

A Manager’s Guide to Self Managing Teams

An agile team that finds its groove is a precious thing. A group of smart diverse people, passionate about their shared purpose, openly collaborating and continually experimenting can do amazing things. They don’t need managing in the traditional sense so what can leaders/managers who work with these teams do to help them? Don’t tell Ask? […]

From Agile Team to Lean Company

I keep meeting development teams frustrated by the hierarchical organisation around them. Some realise their predicament, others blame. There’s nothing they can do about it alone; generations of hierarchies have developed a strong sense of self preservation. But when there’s a will to change, that goes deep, wide and high enough, we have an opportunity. What can […]

A mindful team

This seems simple, but I think we struggle to appreciate the profound effect our behaviours have on each other. When you ignore my request for help, I withdraw a little bit more. When you tell me what to do, my self-esteem shrinks a little. When you blame me, I strengthen my shields and prepare for […]

Finding the courage to come together

I work with fantastic people and I have done for a long time. I’ve not always appreciated them, I used to blame and judge them, unable to recognise the real causes of the problems. I don’t do this anymore, something has changed and it isn’t the people. For most of my working life I have […]

Sometimes we are free, sometimes we feel pressure

I always feel a few minutes of anxiety before a work day starts, I think it lingers from my first days at Sea as I descended into a noisy sweltering engine room full of fear. When we gather for our standup we start with a few minutes of small talk, to ease those nerves. Small […]


I always dreamt of being able to collaborate more at work. Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence in my own abilities or a desire to be close to others, either way I’m happy and more motivated working with others. Working in an office surrounded by other developers each of us trying to solve the same […]

These moments are precious

The moments when excitement builds throughout the whole team at the delight of discovery and creativity are precious. These moments feel like play rather than work and they breed openness and courage. So what conditions must exist for these moments to happen? Here’s some ideas A shared competence – The feeling that the team has […]

Assumption: Fear causes us to build the wrong thing

The classic tale of a year-long project finally being delivered only to discover it doesn’t meet the needs of the customer sounds ridiculous in the days of short iterations and customer collaboration but I’m guessing we are still a long way from delivering what’s really needed effectively. So what’s stopping us? Is it the fear […]

Assumption: Continous Delivery of Software reduces its cost by 5 times

For me the most fundamental principle in Agile Development is to reduce feedback time in everything you do. This helps us do the right thing more often and waste less time doing the wrong thing. It’s not just the feedback time that matters, it’s the quality of that feedback and when it comes to building the […]

The best tools to calculate WIP limits are your eyes and ears

We have a team of 7 developers. We normally work in pairs and we generally have 3 stories on the go at any one time. The 7th dev, picks up any bugs or chores that come through, happily there aren’t always any. Yesterday as the 7th dev I tried picking up a 4th story myself. […]