Monthly Archives: December 2013

Thoughts for a Holiday break.

I’m taking a break this week and possibly next. I didn’t want to just disappear for two weeks though. I leave you with a short simple thought.

As an Agilist I have a mindset I approach projects and planning with. I go beyond just projects with it though. It is the same approach I use in direct development of software. I use the same mindset in setting up my work space and picking the tools I use to do my job.

I even take this mindset beyond the workplace. In parenting two preschoolers an Agile mindset is essential. Imagine taking a road trip with preschoolers. What approach would work better? Creating a strict plan completely built up front with deviation only allowed in extreme circumstances or creating a loose plan with room for adjustment made available?

This is the Agile mindset. A mistake many make is in thinking the Agile mindset is about taking that road trip with planning limited to a vague idea of where you want to end up. In reality it is planning the important parts of the road trip (destination, overnight stays) and allowing for the details (gas stops, meal times) to be worked out as close as practical to the time they occur.

So practice this mindset over the Holidays. Go ahead and have a plan for visiting family, for how the evenings and mornings will go with your family. At the same time, be ready for things to change. Be OK with the fact that there are things about the time you don’t yet know. Allow reasonable change to occur. Sometimes, even the end goal will change by the time you get there.

Don’t just use Agile practices at work, start to really be Agile. Become an Agilist.

Cross-Functional: Teams vs Individuals

Last week I was reading through some old posts on Scrum in preparation for my PSM exam. One on Ken Schwabers blog caught my attention. I will not pretend to know more than Mr. Schwaber about Scrum or Agile. I did pose a question with some explanation to my thinking in the comments. I have expanded on that comment here and would love to know what other people think about it. Continue reading

Professional or Certified?

Certified. Adjective. Having met the official requirements that are needed to do particular type of work.

Professional. Adjective. Conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession.

Do you prefer your football players to be certified or professional? What about your auto mechanics? Does it matter?

Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Certified Scrum Master (CSM).

Initially I had no preference for either of these certifications. I chose to enter the realm of Agile Project Management through the broader avenue of the PMI-ACP. As I have been immersing myself in the Agile world over the last year I have come to realize something. Many people seem to act as if Agile and Scrum are interchangeable. (They are not.) As I strive for Agility in all I do I started to look into Scrum certification. I found two recognized and competing certifications. Continue reading

Do What You Can Now

If you haven’t read last weeks post yet I would encourage you to spend some time going through it. In fact, I really would like you to read it over before finishing this post. Usually a writer at this point will tell you that they’ll wait while you go read it. I’m going to be brutally honest with you. I’m not waiting.

I’m not going to pause in my typing for the approximate amount of time it would take to finish the previous post. I’m also not going to try to get some cool web wizardry cooked up to prevent the rest of this post from appearing until after you’ve finished reading that one. It would be relatively pointless since we both know I wrote this whole thing before you looked at the first word. What I am going to do is assume you’ve read it. With that in mind I say I have to ask, what did you do in the last week to move closer to being truly Agile?

Continue reading