Team

Automating manual work, such as deploying your application or running tests, can be a daunting task. Most teams agree that automation is important. But not knowing where to start with this 'huge and important thing', they keep pushing it into the future. In this post I offer a practical approach to get started with automation tomorrow. Automation is one of the cornerstones of Agile software development. The idea is that manual work is tedious, error-prone and therefore something you're likely to do as infrequently as possible. This includes tasks such as testing your application and releasing a new version of…

The header is a wonderful sketchnote, by Laurens Bonnema, drawn during the masterclass.  I recently visited a Scrum masterclass on working with (geographically) distributed development teams. The meeting was professionally organised by Prowareness and was attended by over fifty people, ranging from coaches and scrum masters to entrepeneurs, managers and developers. Overall, the masterclass was interesting and educational and I highly recommend going there if you’re from the Netherlands. I’m interested in distributed software development because I’m curious about the benefits. From what I’ve read and experienced, there are several…

In this article I present a participative action research approach for implementing Scrum. I have developed this approach during my search for an implementation strategy that fosters and encourages a democratic, participative change philosophy without losing focus and becoming too pragmatic. The approach is based on insights from action research, organizational development and appreciative inquiry and assumes that by involving employees in a focused manner, change will be more sustainable, effective, ethical and hopefully also more fun. During the past few years, I’ve been in the fortunate position to assist and coach several organizations in their…

When we implement Scrum, it's not just a matter of changing superficial behavior. Simply following the Scrum framework to the letter will not make us a perfect Scrum Team. For Scrum to truly work, we have to address and change core values about communication, leadership, change, failure, learning and teamwork that are deeply rooted in the culture of our organization. If we don't change these values, change will only be superficial and will not be sustained. In this post, I will describe the relevance of organisational culture when implementing Scrum (or any other change programme) and explain why organizational culture…

What I really like about Agile (and Scrum) is its revolutionary potential for organizational change. But change is difficult, and many Scrum implementations fail or don’t achieve their potential. How we can successfully implement Scrum? In this post, I will discuss one such approach, called Shock Therapy. Although it certainly has its share of success stories, I will present three arguments against this approach and provide a critical perspective. The bottom line is that it is doubtful if Shock Therapy can achieve sustainable change. I will round up with a few approaches that may help in achieving sustainable…