On agile projects, different teams can have different definitions of effort when estimating work. It is one reason why velocity can vary greatly on teams whose productivity is similar. It is also why using a story point value of zero can prove helpful in planning. Here are three scenarios when the practice makes sense.
Scrum trainer and coach Maria Matarelli discusses applying agile principles in marketing departments, from creating user stories to inspecting and adapting. The benefits include a deeper understanding of both existing and potential customers, which leads to greater returns on advertising campaigns. [30:30]
Agile coach Johanna Rothman discusses the skills that go into becoming an influential agile leader, including indirect problem-solving, relationship-building, feedback, working with senior managers, being in the moment, and the art of saying “no.” But you have to actually practice these things to get better at them. [45 min.]
Agile and Design Thinking, two leading trends in project management, follow an iterative approach and emphasize the importance of the team. But it is their differences that offer great potential when combined as complementary tools for complex problem-solving, customer interaction and value delivery.
Dean Leffingwell believes in business results over method debates, be it Agile, Lean, Scrum or Kanban. Here, he talks about the latest update to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe 4.0), which features extensive refinements and new guidance to help enterprises organize around value delivery. [38 min.]
An Agile approach to budgeting recognizes the need for frequent course correction by outcome owners who can respond to the business when they have autonomy. It favors accountability over expenditure tracking; it's using road intersections with roundabouts (cooperation) rather than traffic lights (compliance).
Team innovation can be greatly influenced by conflict (either productive or destructive), experiential diversity, a sense of empowerment, and organizational boundaries. An Agile approach can help, though there are pros and cons to consider. Spotify offers a real-world example of how it works.
As an organization transitions to Agile, executives play a key role. And they too must transition, modifying their leadership approaches as well as their operating methods. It takes dedication and work, and even the best may fall into bad habits if not careful.
Scrum Alliance CEO Manny Gonzalez discusses a newly revised mission to guide and inspire individuals, leaders and organizations with “practices, principles and values that create workplaces that are joyful, prosperous and sustainable.” In addition to a new knowledge platform, this year brings a concerted effort to strengthen existing certifications and create a career-long path of professional development, from team members to executives. [12:24]
Leaders in an agile organization serve their teams, not the other way around. They are committed to developing and supporting team members. They listen, trust and get out of the way — always in the name of creating greater value. Here’s how it looks and works in the trenches.