Individuals, Teams, Systems – The Evolution of Agile at Scale

Once upon a time I coached one of the most amazing agile scrum teams. They were able to deliver things that their management found quite unbelievable so much so that they conveyed a meeting to find answers to why this particular group of people were able to so greatly outperform others in the organization. As an aside I was not originally invited to the meeting but the team lobbies for me to be there as they considered me one of the team and, as a team member, partially responsible for their success. Read More →

organizational antibodies, agile, stock photo

The Theory of Change & Why I Get In Trouble

As an agile coach that has been fortunate to work at a good number of clients over the years, you get an opportunity to experience some interesting similarities among clients. Some are tragic, some are funny and some are just downright intriguing. I recently spoke with another agile coach and I discovered one particular pattern that I have decided to refer to as organizational antibodies. The talk in question was about the on boarding of coaches and things a coach tends to experience in the first few days on the ion. As we talked together and related our war stories … Read More →

letters, typewriter

The PMO is Dead. Long Live the PPMO!

One of the most enjoyable parts of my work and my life is delivering presentations or giving talks to outside groups. During one particular Q&A session I was asked a question along these lines – “If you had unlimited power in an organization, what would be the very first thing you would do to ensure agility?” My answer, “Oh that is easy. The very first thing I would do is get rid of the Project Management Office.” At which I unfortunately took a pause. The collective gasp from the crowd filled that void and the ensuing murmur drowned out my next … Read More →

room, lights, black and white

The Gang of Four – How Optimization Perseveres

The impetus for the gang of four was the desire of four agilists (coaches) to try to do the right things with regards to implementing agile and scrum – to do things that were generally acknowledged as good agile practices but things that were not necessarily politically palatable. In other words, we were something of a clandestine organization. Read More →

rockstar, guitar, rockstar team, agile team, larry apke agile

The Difference Between True Rockstars & Pretenders

I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of teams during my time as an Agile coach. I have loved and enjoyed working with each and every one of them. There are some though that are more memorable than others. Frequently it is those teams that I coach first in any organization – in psychology this would be referred to as the primacy effect. Sometimes it is because of the nature of the team. Recently I found myself waxing nostalgic for one very particular team that was my first team and also memorable because they were “rockstars”. Let me make … Read More →

faded clock, larry apke

Timely Feedback – Why Agile Works

Sometimes my passion provokes long stories, explanations or asides. Lately though when I speak to others about why agile works I eschew my sometimes verbose ways and reply with two words – “timely feedback”. Read More →