I recently had my first in-person client meeting after 17 months of remote working. Wow, it was almost like I didn’t know how to act.

For some of us, getting back to the workplace is something we look forward to.

There are others who don’t want to or won’t go back to the office. Reasons range from convenience, health and some people have relocated to a place where they cannot join in-person.

What is the “new normal” going to look like for teams? What is it going to look like for the agile coaches and trainers that support those teams…

I recently received an email from a colleague I’ve known for nearly 20 years. It started with this line:

“You should be speaking here…”

I flagged it as junk and blocked my colleague. Which may seem like a dramatic overreaction. I felt triggered and controlled by the word “should”.

You see, when people use the word “should” or offer unsolicited advice, they are making a judgment. That judgment is that they know what you should do and that you don’t. They know better and they want to impose their will on you. It is a form of control.

And it…

I spoke recently on the topic of retrospectives and continuous improvement. Readers of this blog may recall that I have written no less than 10 articles on this site on the topic of retrospectives. IMHO, the retrospective is one of the most important meetings in the Scrum Framework. Sadly, it is also the agile technique that is most frequently butchered by hacks.

I know, I know, that sounds like hyperbole. And perhaps my own experience is jaded from working with so many brand new Scrum Masters who may or may not have had much training in the role. …

I know what you are thinking, with so many ways that organizations can undermine their steps toward agility, how could you pick just one single biggest mistake?

Well, I keep bumping into this mistake with organizations and increasingly I think it is the single biggest mistake. It is the quickest way to undermine the benefits of agile ways of working. That mistake is organizing around projects, rather than organizing around teams.

Why is organizing around projects such a big problem?

Buckle up, this is going to take some explaining.

Why is Organizing Around Projects a Mistake When Adopting Agile?

#1 — It is Incredibly Inefficient and Disruptive to keep Starting new Projects

Imagine that you had a fast food restaurant that served burgers…

I think most of us would agree that this last year has been decidedly weird and disruptive. As we mark a year since the start of the global pandemic, I wanted to get a sense of what other agile coaches were going through and what they were seeing in the market. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

I personally have seen an uptick since the start of 2021. More clients are reaching out for helping with coaching which is terrific. We are also getting requests for more training. There is still some demand for traditional 2-day…

I was excited to read this New York Times Article describing research done by Google to determine the characteristics of their high-performing teams. In the Aristotle study, Google investigated the data on team performance to glean what they could about how to create high-performing teams. The results were surprisingly simple: high-performing teams created safety for their team members. The implications are important.

At 5,500+ words, the article is definitely TLTR. You can read my summary of the article below and then decide if you want to read the whole article.

Key Takeaways on Creating High-Performing Teams:

Teams are Important

  • Teams are a fundamental building block of the organization and…

Earlier this year I provided some good agile coach tips in my post, What makes an Agile Coach Effective. I talked about how agile coaches won’t succeed if people aren’t ready or able to take in the coaching and how coaches fail when they tell people what they should do.

I wrote it out of my own shortcomings as an Agile coach and my recognition that I am still very much a work in progress.

I continue to practice and hopefully evolve as a coach. I make mistakes and I try to learn from them. One of the key things…

If you have been following this blog you know that I’ve been keeping an eye on the Project Management Institute (PMI) and what they are doing in the agile space. In this article, I want to share some recently released statistics about the popularity of the Disciplined Agile Certifications. I also have included some details about a recent salary survey that includes data on agile certifications. …

In my previous post, I talked about some of the ways that Agile leaders foster negative behaviors on agile teams by measuring the wrong things. The recent shenanigans at Wells Fargo serve as a great example of what can go wrong when measurements are set up poorly. These approaches don’t lead to high-performing teams.

Stop Measuring the Easy Things for Agile Teams

For Agile and Scrum teams, I recommended that the leaders stop measuring the easy things like hours worked since it leads to undesirable behaviors and ultimately decreased productivity. In this post, we will look at what should be measured instead.

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about agile assessment tools. Whether it is comparative agility or the AgilityHealth assessment, it seems that people want to be able to measure the relative agility of one or more of their teams.

Most agile coaches that I know have developed some form of assessment. I had a 20 question Scrum test and used a more elaborate 50 question assessment built in Excel years ago. But why roll your own when great tools already exist?

Why Measure Agility?

Different reasons exist for measuring agility. Most people want to see some progress; to know whether they…

Anthony Mersino

Enterprise Agile Coach and Trainer. Founder of VitalityChicago.com. You can reach me at amersino@vitalitychicago.com

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