Scrum Master

Scrum Master as Scrum Maester, a game of thrones

The Scrum Guide update video with Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, and David West made a case that I know some things. Though I am not-quite-ready to say that “I know nothing”, I acknowledge the danger across Scrum that pulls good people and good intention into a game of thrones. When I ponder Agile transformation all around me, I found Scrum has a clear point to revisit: the Scrum Master role. The Scrum Master role is an unfortunate political challenge to adopters and court jesters alike who question what is a Scrum Master master of? Likely, the thinking is that a Scrum Master knows nothing. The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these …

scrum, daily, stand up, pawnee, native american, peace

Stand up to daily scrum

Successful Agile development is principles over practice. Many an Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Agile roles assure people the difference between doing Agile with being Agile. The Scrum Team’s Daily Stand Up is a practice that many adopt, try to do, but ultimately fail to understand the principle being Agile in a daily Scrum. The most widely practiced Agile method, is Scrum. As both the focus on incremental delivery, Agile software development using Scrum methods highlights team success dynamics. Across Agile and Scrum the key: everyday calibrate, shift, plan, and validate. In the spirit of feedback and transparency Scrum co-creators Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber revised the Scrum Guide and took the opportunity to introduce many of their thoughts on the state of Scrum in an excellent video, moderated by David West. In this Scrum refresh I have a few items that …

podcast, agile, user experience, Donald Fagen

Podcasts for modern design

The bright side of a one- to two-hour commute: I now bundle a set of podcasts on modern design to my commute and learn an incredible amount to and from work. Until recently my digital community of interest did not include podcasts. Perhaps my hesitance was the preferred immediacy of reading, clicking, and browsing that has delayed my entry into the podcast community, but reality podcasts are very distant from blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other community of interest engagement to share, learn, collaborate. That has changed with new commuting, habits: see drive time. Design in Context Design is key to organization, marketing, product, and projects. The past year or so, some might assume this blog has migrated to Agile and away from other objectives. Not so, intrepid reader: Agile is a management technique more than a simple project method and Scrum is a …

Agile example, Scrum design, Toby Elwin, Lord Business

An Agile example of Scrum by design

From startups to corporate leviathans the business directive is be more Agile. The most often employed project method is a Scrum design, an Agile framework for projects. Without Agile management adoption the executive call to “be more Agile” really means: Get faster results, in less time, with less resources. Forbes touts Agile, The World’s Most Popular Innovation Engine, Agile expectation does not align to Agile implementation and adoption. In practice Agile is more a fragile mismanagement mindset of misplaced expectation that others do Agile while management retains control. Scrum is the most popular Agile adoption of a lean mind. Scrum, itself, unfortunately, becomes a confusion multiplier for organizations looking to adopt an Agile organization or team design, without shared understanding of Agile. Agile Example for Some What, however, is Agile? Agile works as a: Project management framework, Business management tool, Manufacturing discipline, and Cost control Yes. Agile is about lower cost and faster response. Agile gets talked about, planned, trained, and expected. Teams …

Being Agile by the book

Our digital world demands ‘just in time’ connection, transparency, and community engagement. In an agile environment, classic project mindset and process are challenged to meet Agile method and Agile practice. Agile – Your Roadmap to Successful Adoption of Agile by international speaker and Agile raconteur Mario Moreira is a book to help cross the Agile chasm. This book takes Agile beyond the way you “do Agile” to the way you “become Agile”. … if you reach every scheduled release date, you bring the project in on budget, and you build it with quality, but you do not build features that customers want, they will not buy it and you have failed. This is why I contend that if you align your culture and processes around building customer value (e.g., what customers need and when they need it), then you will …

Steve Jobs, technology, liberal arts, innovation

Apple’s technology formula

Too often there is a chasm between the technology design and the user need. Technology alone is not enough.  Whether a business area or a consumer product, delight is a unique feature requirement. In 2011 Steve Jobs, hosted an iPad 2, special event and I take two great points within this three-minute and 11 second video clip: Technology married with the liberal arts or the humanities creates results that delight. Apple competitive advantage is that product architecture and the organization architecture that build the products align. Intuitive products rely on user objective, not technical wizardry. From an email to a presentation, we design for reaction, from communication to technology, the goal is reaction. Features and functions of the software, hardware, and applications need seamless integration to meet user objective, not technical architecture. The design function is the user objective. Function goes beyond the lab and into the environment objective. This video reminds me, again, about good …

IBM1620A, reengineering, marketing, Toby Elwin, blog

Reengineering marketing

New conditions demand new business management strategy. Technology enabled a disruption greater than any department or team level at a company can solve.

Customers severed the business message and took control of marketing channels.

Media lost privilege, marketers lost their minds, business lost their playbook, and customer’s rewrote the rules of engagement.

We need to reengineer marketing from the outside in and then align people, process, and technology from the inside out.

one flew over the cuckoo's nest, project management, Toby Elwin, blog

Portfolio project management — seeing not perceiving

Bias derails evidence for perception and perceiving is most certainly not seeing.

Bias is both a decision shortcut as well as a communication wall.

Portfolio planning, from finance disciplines, presents projects as financial portfolio option mix to meet organization strategy. Project communication deserves risk and return criteria to project a financial portfolio, not bias.

more beautiful question, berger, book, Toby Elwin, blog

A More Beautiful Question by the book

People are born to inquire and to discover. Between two to five years old a child asks 40,000 questions.

Then we are taught to stop asking, stop seeking, and stop inquiring.

Questions are the fuel of curiosity.

Seems the concern is more about the answer and we have lost the patience for questions. Questions challenge authority. The impact: no questions, no innovation.

From the board room to a bored room, there is much to gain from Warren Berger’s new book, A More Beautiful Question.

deloitte, corner office, analytics, Toby Elwin, blog

Fast Start — Corner Office Analytics

Rule #1 in communication demands you know your audience. Since there is more than one corner office rule #2 states all analytics are not equal.

Corner Office Analytics (Infographic), presented by Deloitte, offers a guide to questions each CXO needs to be able to answer. If your CXO needs to answer these questions, you can be sure they expect you provide accurate context for connection.

ben hur, social media, organization, culture, Toby Elwin, blog, engagement

Company social media strategy reflects organization culture — engagement

A company that does not engage their market lends little confidence they engage their employees. A persona-driven strategy identifies characteristics through insight, data, and feedback to develop pertinent images of an ideal customer’s goals, needs, and objectives.

Social media reveals organization culture through more transparent ways than any HR engagement program.

What people want, may not be what you want to say. That gap is more realistically a chasm.

capable company, book, cover, Toby Elwin, blog

The Capable Company by the book

When I hear capability model I think competence, competence naturally leads me to motivation. So, capability model, to me, represents a human capital knowledge, ability, and skills framework.

Enterprise, systems, or business architects, view capability models as what a company needs to do to execute strategy.

Any link is a system link and strategy is only as good as the ability to execute. Within the pages of The Capable Company: Building the capabilites that make strategy work, I intend to find capability model methods that identify business and technical details needed for strategic links to execute those capabilities.

columbus, capability model, Toby Elwin, blog

Capability model incompetence

Capability models rarely aggregate the sum of people capability. Organization capability is sabotaged by people capability, the organization capability model rarely covers the contingency of the unwilling, the unable, and the unmotivated.

Organizations are a product of social interactions, not industry feature. People decide to avoid each other or work together and that is the sum of individually-motivated competence, not organization capability.