Do team members and executives in your organization see retrospectives as a waste of time and expense? If so, maybe your retrospectives aren’t providing the value they should, from establishing a culture of team learning and stressing continual improvement, to tracking metrics and celebrating successes.
Anna Schlegel has led global technology initiatives for Cisco, VMware and Xerox. Author of a new book about the theory and practice of expanding into international markets, she shares insights on globalization and tips for managing and measuring distributed teams.
Agile teams are self-organizing, and sometimes self-managing, but they still need leadership. Agile leaders create space for failure (and learning) while ensuring that individual performance is aligned with organizational goals. Four "lenses" — areas of focus — are helpful: mechanism, culture, process and motivation.
Leaders and executives in agile organizations must embrace the idea that the future is not only unpredictable but unknowable. They must focus on creating an environment where self-managing teams can thrive. And they must get comfortable with being wrong a few times in order to find the correct path.
There is a big difference between being “book” Agile and actually practicing Agile in the work world. For those who are just starting their Agile journeys, here are five helpful lessons learned from an IT team that successfully brought Agile practices in-house and moved from a production-support mindset to a product-focused one.
Many business leaders are unacquainted with the wealth of knowledge about how software projects behave. No surprise, they are unable to explain why these projects fail repeatedly, much less do something about it. Here are five fundamental “laws” of software development that all executives (and teams) should understand and follow.
The more rigid an organization is about dates, the less agile it can be. Still, it is legitimate for executives to ask for delivery dates, and there are strategies to meet this need, from time-boxed releases to work-forward planning. Yes, executive visibility is possible in Agile, it just takes some compromise and participation.
Managers in agile organizations remain not only relevant but critical to supporting high-performing initiatives. They recruit and construct teams, gather and provide feedback, guide career paths, and coach results. If a manager isn’t engaged in these areas, it’s likely no one is, and the team will eventually suffer.
A disciplined team is going to get the job done and produce satisfactory results most of the time, but a motivated team offers the possibility of delivering outstanding outcomes that go above and beyond expectations. Here are some strategies and tactics for motivating your team members.
The only thing you can reliably change or control in any company or team is yourself. So start there and be a truth-teller, says Mindy Mackenzie, author, McKinsey senior adviser and former WalMart executive. It’s the first step in building a credible partnership with your boss and collaborative, reciprocal relationships with your peers.