My Musings on ten years as an Agile Coach

  • Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team with Scrum and Agile

    Patrick Lencioni, in his book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” identifies the five issues that most often prevent teams from functioning effectively.

    Absence of Trust

    This is the foundation of Lencioni’s model. Without trust, team members are unlikely to feel safe enough to be open and honest with each other. This lack of trust can stem from a fear of being vulnerable with team members and can prevent the building of trust within the team.

    Fear of Conflict

    Teams that …

  • Scrum, Agile Testing and the Role of Quality

    Designing Quality into the System

    You cannot OBSERVE Quality into the system. We have done a continued disservice to our testing organizations by holding THEM responsible to determine the quality of the systems that we develop post development, rather than holding the development teams responsible for quality and correctness at the time of development.

    If you are waiting to determine if you have quality in the system until after development, it is too late, and you have failed to create …

  • Managing Cognitive Load in Scrum Teams

    Understanding Cognitive Load Theory

    Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) is a concept that educational psychologists have developed to understand the load that performing a particular task places on a learner's cognitive system. The theory was developed by John Sweller in the late 1980s. The central tenet of CLT is that the quality of instructional design can be raised if greater consideration is given to the role and limitations of working memory.

    Types of Cognitive Load

    There are three types of …

  • The Five Dysfunctions of Team and Scrum

    Addressing the Five Dysfunctions of a Team with Scrum Values

    Team dysfunctions can significantly hinder the progress and success of any project. However, the core values of Scrum provide a robust framework to directly address these dysfunctions and foster a healthy, productive team environment. Here's how:

    1. Absence of Trust — Respect

    Scrum Team members are implored to respect each other as capable, independent people. In Scrum, respect is one of the five values that guide teams in …

  • Aligning Risk Management in Agile Delivery with PMBOK Principles

    The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) outlines 12 principles of risk management. Here's how we can align these principles with Agile delivery:

    1. Organizational Context

    Each organization is unique, influenced by different Political, Economic, Societal, Technological, Legal, and Environmental factors (PESTLE). Understanding the current Agile maturity, improvement plan, and flow is crucial in developing a risk management vocabulary that fits the organization's context. This includes …

  • The Definition of Ready

    What is the Definition of Ready?

    In the simplest terms, the Definition of Ready is a checklist that determines whether a User Story is ready to be worked on during a Sprint. It ensures that the User Story is clearly defined and understood by all team members, and that it can be developed and tested within the duration of a single Sprint.

    Key Components of the Definition of Ready

    Here are some of the key components that make a User Story ready for development:

    Clearly Defined: The User …