Scrum, Lean and Kanban: The Pragmatic Webinar Series Recordings

Session 1: Key Kanban Practices – Explicit Policies, Managing Work in Progress and Visibility
Session 2: Using Theories of Flow to Manage Work involving Multiple Teams
Session 3: Using Service Level Agreements to Manage New Work

Session 4: Starting a Non-Agile Team with Kanban
Session 5: Kanban is More Than a Set of Tools – the Mindset of Kanban
Session 6: Management’s Role in Lean-Agile

Session 7: Transitioning to Kanban from Scrum
Session 8: Creating A Kanban Board from a Value Stream Map
Session 9: Comparing Scrum and Kanban

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Creating a Kaizen Culture for a High Maturity Agile Organization

Everyone I know working to help organizations to become Agile agree that…

Becoming Agile is a Process

I know teams that have been maturing for 3+ years and they will tell you they still have room for growth.  That tells me from first hand experience as well as talking to organizations that have committed to this journey so they can be more responsive to their customers and business, that not only do you have to be committed to being patient with the growth process – you can help the process by creating a Kaizen Culture.

What is Kaizen?

Kaizen is a Japanese word for “improvement”, or “change for the better”.  It refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes.

Kaizen is a daily process, the purpose of which goes beyond simple productivity improvement. It is also a process that, that can humanize the workplace, helps people work smarter, not harder; and teaches people how to spot and eliminate waste in their own work and business processes. It covers five main areas: Read more


Transitioning to Agile Webinar Series

Business Agility enables an organization to respond quickly to external forces (such as new market opportunities and competitive forces) as well as to respond quickly to new insights attained internally.

So, how do you achieve Business Agility?

While many organizations have achieved the local optimizations of more effective teams, few have achieved agility at the organizational level. Even when team agility has been achieved, if improvements to how the business is selecting their product enhancements isn’t done, overall return on investment of software development may not have significantly improved.

This webinar series is organized around roles so each person in an organization can be introduced to what they need to know for their business to achieve business agility.

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Scrum Alliance’s Learning Consortium Report

Scrum Alliance opened an exciting new chapter for the organization. This involved 11 companies, including Microsoft, Ericsson, and Magna International, which conducted a series of mutual site visits to investigate the hypothesis that a fundamental management makeover is underway in organizations around the world.

The site visits revealed a striking convergence toward a set of management goals, principles, and values that are markedly different from the management practices of hierarchical bureaucracy. Noting a variety of labels that include Agile, Scrum, DevOps, and Lean.  The site visits revealed a common mindset that included:

  • Goals that focused on adding value and innovation for customers.
  • Managers acting as enablers rather than controllers.
  • The use of autonomous teams, and networks of teams, in some cases operating at large scale on complex and mission-critical tasks.
  • The coordination of work through iterative, customer-focused practices.
  • Embodiment of the values of transparency and continuous improvement.

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ScrumMaster or Armchair Psychologist

New ScrumMasters tend to focus on the perceived administration they see in Scrum: facilitating a sprint planning ceremony or a retrospective, for instance. But what tends to get overlooked is the “people stuff.” When ScrumMasters embrace their new role, they ask:

  • “My team is sticking to their old roles. How do I get them to work together?”
  • “Nobody updates our information radiators. How do I get people to do this?”

These are not truly “Scrum” problems but, rather, are people problems. Ah, enter the armchair psychologist now known as ScrumMaster. How do you get people to do anything?  This is more art than science, and it requires ScrumMasters to be willing to roll up their sleeves and engage in active facilitation.

This webinar hosted by Scrum Alliance will focus on practical tips to help any ScrumMaster tackle the greater task of improved teamwork.

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Visually Communicating Project Progress

One of the traits of a great PM is their ability to communicate visually – presenting the progress of a project in a single glance so that one can see if things are going to plan or not. When you look at your world through visual lens that help you solve problems in business in new ways !

Edward Tufte teaches the gift of visualizing information in a way that people can take action on.

Agile teams often place large charts and graphs in their workspaces to radiate important information.  It doesn’t matter if you are developing software, delivering IT infrastructure solutions, building a house, hardware products or systems – you can visually see if you project is on track or not.

Burn Charts

Agile teams often track project progress through ‘’Burn charts’’ (burn-up, burn-down and cumulative flow) which are a very popular way to give visibility into a project’s progress. Burn Charts are a graphical representation of the work left to be done and of the progress that has been made. The chart is typically drawn to show progress against predictions.

They are extremely simple and astonishingly powerful.  They reveal the strategy being used, show the progress made against predictions, and open the door to discussions about how best to proceed, including the difficult discussions about whether to cut scope or extend the schedule.

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Successful Collaboration requires Team Engagement

Each person on the project team is essential to a successful outcome. The level of engagement that each team member has can significantly influence the level of success the project will have.  Here are a few ideas for engaging your team.

Understanding the Pain

If you can involve the entire team in reviewing requirements, then the team will understand why change is needed to reduce or avoid the pain being experienced.  Don’t just tell them what you want changed.   This not only helps all team members better develop their piece of the solution for better test planning, it allows the entire team to discuss the problem and possible solutions so the best solution can be selected by everyone – including the customer/business. Read more


Becoming Agile for Project Managers

Learn how Project Managers using traditional Waterfall methods are becoming Agile…


(click book to purchase)


  • Is Agile only for software projects?
  • How and Where to identify areas to leverage Agile
  • How do you move to Agile?
  • How does Agile affect the traditional Project Manager role?
  • and more…

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What’s a Good Measure of an Agile PM’s Success?


Most agree that an Agile  project managers measurement of success is NOT “product adoption” – rather it includes various metrics.  Some metrics are from PMBOK, such as the triple constraints:  Time – Budget – Scope/Features.

….I would argue there are other key metrics to an Agile PM’s success.   Being an Agile PM is an art, so lets talk about some of that artistic magic…

(1)  Enabling your team to own the project – When everyone owns the project – they also own the success of the project or product adoption.   Many PM’s today are contractors that are handed a project from a PMO department with an End-Date, Budget, and Scope already dictated to them.   How does a PM hit these expectations handed to them?    If a team is going to truly “own” the project, then they must buy into these set expectations to have a chance of being successful.  Agile PM’s success will be directly tied to their ability to build that “buy in” by all team members.

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7 Ways to Avoid Being a Project “Micro” Manager

Micromanaging a project team is akin to managing each task or deliverable with extreme control.  This suffocating management style is likely to put a damper on creativity and inhibit individual growth. There are many reasons why this happens, but in general, it is not a healthy situation for the project manager, employee or team. As a program manager, you want to help project managers improve their performance without stepping on their toes or stepping into their projects. As a project manager, you are keen on making the project a success while balancing the needs of the team, the sponsors, and the organization as a whole.


So, what should you be focused on while others are tackling the work of the project?

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