I was just working on some Powerpoint slides for our Agile Product Management Boot Camp coming up on March 9 and 10 and I realized I should post a blog entry about the point the slides are making. Actually, I’m trying to make two points with the slides. The first point is we tend to work in organizations where the phrase “everything is priority 1″ is common. The second point is my personal distaste for using the phrase “prioritized product backlog.” I’ll cover each of these points separately. [Read more...]
When I teach any agile course I start out with the principles of lean that Mary and Tom Poppendieck have written about in their books. The very first of these principles is Eliminate Waste.
What does this really mean in practice? Let’s start with a definition – waste is anything which does not add value. We’ll leave the blog post about what value is for sometime in the future. For now let’s focus on what some non-value adding activities could be. [Read more...]
If you lived through the past few decades you have undoubtedly heard the time “Just in Time” (JIT) as applied to manufacturing. This is the lean breakthrough that allows companies to get rid of large amounts of inventory and unfinished goods. In a nutshell it means that parts show up just in time for manufacturing, and production happens just in time for purchase. This is the opposite of “Just in Case” manufacturing where production was at a given level and usually ramped up as high as possible. Agile is based on lean, so you’d expect it to have similarities to JIT, but in my opinion it goes far beyond JIT! [Read more...]
Tired of not knowing exactly what to create or test? Get in the habit of asking the magic question “How will I know I’ve done that?” In other words, ask the Product Owner (or whatever person you have filling that role on your team) to express some acceptance criteria! Asking this question will make miserable days seem bright and sunny! Well, ok, maybe not that, but asking this question will brighten your mood. There are at least three good reasons why asking this question is important. [Read more...]
I originally wrote about this topic in our September email newsletter. In that article I was trying to explain the difference between two specific types of agile coaches. Those that believe agile is a very specific set of practices (dogmatic) and those that believe agile is more about following principles leading to good results (holistic). I’ll let you click the link to read more if you are interested.
In this post I’m following up because I recently came across some interesting stuff which made me recognize other people are making some of the same points I’ve made. An example is this blog entry mentioning agilists (the more common term seems to be agile purists). In doing some research I’ve discovered some things I’ve said which I could say even better. For example, my answer to the question “What is agile?” [Read more...]
This is the topic of my next Mile Hi PMI Chapter Workshop to be presented on April 11, 2009. I do workshops on agile topics for the local PMI chapter a couple of times per year. They are great opportunities for me to stay in touch with the project management population. I also believe the more PMI members exposed to agile, the more likely agile will be able to attain status as the product development methodology of choice. After all, I am working at Making Agile a Reality™!
There will be two sessions of this presentation. The morning session runs from 8:30 until noon. The afternoon session runs from 12:30 to 4:00. For PMI members it is $20 to attend and you receive 3 or maybe 3.5 PDU’s (I don’t remember which!). For non-PMI members it costs $45 to attend, but it’s a great presentation and well worth the price of admission!
I hope to see some of you there. I know the economy is tough right now. If you would like to attend, but money is an issue, please contact me so I can see if there is anything I can do to help. If you are in, or hope to be in, a position of agile leadership, this presentation is a must see!