An Exercise in Flow, Value and Teamwork: The Dice Game

Games are a great way to learn…especially as a team.  Here is one simple but powerful exercise that can be used to demonstrate several aspects of flow, value and teamwork: The Dice Game, by Lithespeed.

You can have several teams – each representing a different method of delivery:  Watherfall, Continuous Flow/Kanban, Scrum.   And compare results afterwards.

Key Learning Points:

  • Value is delivered more rapidly in small batches
  • Steady delivery of features mitigates the risk of non-delivery
  • Small batches reduce the impact of customer changes
  • Teamwork is more prevalent when activities are shared and there is frequent interaction
  • New skills can be built over time by frequent interaction between those performing neighboring activities, leading to more polyskilled team members and hence more fruitful collaboration
  • Work in small batches is less complex
  • Optimal release strategies can maximize the flow of value, hence the necessity of the Product Owner role

>> Click here for Full Game Instructions



WEBINAR – Scaling Agile Across the Enterprise

Agile software development has been gaining momentum and mind share in software development circles for well over a decade. Its emphasis on incrementally delivering business value by teams that are both cross-functional and self-organized has resulted in getting innovative products to market faster. However, most large enterprises have failed to embrace the Agile movement even though they have earnestly tried by sending scores of their people through Certified Scrum Master and similar Agile training programs. What has been lacking is an Agile framework that addresses the needs beyond the Team.  In order to succeed, the Program and Portfolio levels of an organization must be fully engaged in building an Agile Enterprise.

This webinar will discuss “proven” advances in enterprise scale Agility and present a framework that has been proven to scale to meet the needs of large product development organizations such as BMC,, Google, John Deere and Nokia.

SPEAKERArmond Mehrabian (PMP, CSM, CSP) is the founder and President of Portofino Solutions, Inc. He is an Agile instructor and coach with a deep passion for innovation and continuous process improvement. He has been in the technology and IT industry for over 23 years. For the last four years he has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to implement large scale agile solutions. Armond is currently working with Dean Leffingwell and the Scaled Agile Partners (the creators of the Scaled Agile Framework™) and consults to larger clients on scaled Agile transformations. Armond lives in San Diego, CA and can be reached at and @armond_m on Twitter.

Earn PDU: ***PDU information is provided in the recording ***
COST: Free

Click here to LISTEN to Webinar Recording


Learn SCRUM in Under 10 Minutes (in HD)

All new recording…in HD just released !

Learn Scrum in under 10 minutes. This video is an introduction to the Scrum software development methodology. By the end of this fast-paced video, you’ll practically be a scrum master. You’ll know about the follosing and will be ready to start implementing Scrum in your own team.

  • burn-down charts,
  • team roles,
  • product backlogs,
  • sprints,
  • daily scrums
  • and more…

Read more


NEW – The Agilista PM Facebook Page

The Agilista PM is now on Facebook !!!

Our mission is to enable organizations and project teams to be as Lean-Agile as possible — by helping them determine HOW, WHEN and WHERE to utilize Lean-Agile practices along side their Traditional Waterfall methods to “Deliver Results Quickly”

Go to The Agilista PM Facebook Page



Webinar – Does Risk Mgt have a place in an Agile Lifecycle?

We often have questions about relating traditional PM practices to Agile practices. This is especially true in the area of risk. In this one hour webinar, Greg Smith (Author of Becoming Agile) and Donna Reed (The Agilista PM) will cover traditional risk management techniques and contrast them to the Agile risk management practices.

You will learn how to use traditional risk management in harmony with an Agile lifecycle and how to perform risk management at a level that minimizes waste and over-planning.

Areas covered include

  • BURP (Big Upfront Risk Planning),
  • daily risk management,
  • and Team involvement in risk identification.

Hosted by: PMI Agile Community of Practice
Duration: 1 hour
PDU’s earned: 1

Click here to LISTEN to Webinar Recording


FREE eBOOK – Kanban and Scrum: Making the most of Both

This FREE eBOOK DOWNLOAD by Henrik Kniberg and Mattias Skarin is excellent !   It clears up the fog, so you can figure out how Kanban and Scrum might be useful in your own environment. Thanks to InfoQ for posting it.

There isn’t a single “best” way to do things; you have to think for yourself and figure it out – based on your situation !


  • the difference between Scrum and Kanban.
  • their strengths and limitations,
  • when to use each
  • how and when to improve upon Scrum, or any other tool you may happen to be using.
  • how to apply them in real life situations
  • and more….

Mary Poppendieck writes:

Henrik Kniberg is one of those rare people who can extract the essence of a complicated situation, sort out the core ideas from the incidental distractions, and provide a crystal clear explanation that is incredibly easy to understand.  He makes it clear that these are just tools, and what you really want to do is have a full toolkit, understand the strengths and limitations of each tool and how to use them all. The important thing is not the tool you start with, but the way you constantly improve your use of that tool and expand your toolset over time.

David Anderson, the founder of Kanban, writes,

Kanban is proving useful to teams doing Agile software development but equally it is gaining traction with teams taking a more traditional approach. Kanban is being introduced as part of a Lean initiative to morph the culture of organizations and encourage continuous improvement.

Click here to LISTEN to Webinar Recording


WEBINAR – Different Agile Approaches: XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban, Scrumban

Get an overview of Agile approaches starting with eXtreme Programming (XP) & Scrum and then hear about Lean-Agile and its team oriented Kanban for software process.

Early Agile methods have been overly-team centric and have eschewed management.  While 2nd generation Agile methods build on a decades old history of Lean thinking and have extended agility in three ways that are not only required for an enterprise engagement but also for creating synergies that improve Agile at the team level:

  1. Extending the Team to across the Enterprise
  2. Extending Individual skill sets to Systemic Thinking
  3. Extending the Worker to include Management

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How To Implement Scrum in 10 Easy Steps

Scrum is not a hard concept to understand.  But there are a lot of parts ot making it successful.    I found a great article that explains how to implement Scrum in just 10 easy steps from getting your backlog in order to tracking progress through burn charts, and more…  Thanks goes out to  Kelly Waters, from All About Agile, who writes:

When I first encountered agile development, I found it hard to understand. Okay, I might not be the brightest person you’ve ever met! But I’m not stupid either, I think :-)

There’s a myriad of different approaches, principles, methods and terms, all of which are characterised as ‘Agile’. And from my perspective, all this ‘noise’ makes agile software development sound far harder, far more scientific, and far more confusing than it really needs to be.

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Agile Open Southern California Conference 2011 (Sep 15-16)

THEME:  People, Principles and Performance

WHEN:  Thursday and Friday, September 15 & 16
WHERE:  University of California, Irvine

What is Agile Open California?

You don’t want to miss this! Imagine an event where experienced Agile practitioners and newcomers alike come together for two days to discuss, examine and otherwise brainstorm the most timely and relevant topics in Agile development today.

Agile Open California is a coalition of agile practitioners and advocates intent on providing an opportunity for learning, networking and growth to the Agile community in California and to others who are interested.

What Will I Get?

  • A 2-day conference pass – up to 24 sessions to choose from each day
  • Continental breakfast and lunch both days
  • A networking reception on Monday evening
  • Free Agile Alliance 1-year Membership – a $100 value! With your registration and attendance, you can receive a free one-year membership in the Agile Alliance, which is a $100 dollar value. Just check the option when you purchase your ticket!

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Agile / Lean / Waterfall in the same Project – Is that possible?

I was asked recently:

“Do you believe Agile and Lean methods can be used along side traditional waterfall in the same project ?”

I quickly answered,

“YES I do – and I’ve done it with amazing results”

Agile methodology evangelists often find it difficult to obtain management support.  

They are often seen as trying to implement dramatic changes.  Or trying to fix something that is not broken.   Agile requires that developers, managers and users alike must change the way they work and think – when I’ve found that people resist change – especially change that they don’t understand.

XP practices is an example of this:  where pair programming, test-first design, continuous integration, and an on-site customer can seem like almost impossible changes to implement.

So is there another way to become Agile?

Read more