Agile 2007 Day 1

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Agile 2007 Day 1

Today we offered the first public class of our Product Owner Training as a tutorial at Agile 2007. We had 40 people in the 3.5 hour tutorial that was presented by Mark Pushinsky and myself. The session was very well received by the participants, who had a high level of engagement with the exercises and material. The Product Owner Framework developed by Dymond and Pushinsky is based in part on Jim Collins’ fantastic book Good to Great. The Hedge Hog Principle, a foundation for all of the Good to Great companies drives clarity of purpose throughout the business. It gives a single economic metric with which to measure decisions and investment. The business case study includes determining the Hedgehog concept for this business, and using this information to influence the backlog creation process. This innovation, combined with a product owner framework that transitions the business case to a flexible product backlog and release plan allows participants to really get a feel for the decisions that will need to make as Product owners. With less that 40 slides, most of the time is spent working in groups and learning from the hands on exercises. As instructors we try to keep a class engaged with both the material and their colleagues, both within their group and outside of it. The strategy seems to work as their is a clear emotional engagement by the end of the session. We plan to offer this training with additional valuable material in the future, please let us know if you are interested in this training for your customer team. You can find an earlier version of the session materials on the Agile 2007 web site.


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Why Agile and Lean? Why Change?

Many IT centric business executives are starting to hear about Agile, and wonder if it is something they should implement. A key to adopting Lean and Agile is having a clear and pressing issue to motivate people to change. We like to refer to this as “the burning platform.” In most organizations people become comfortable. Comfortable with there position, comfortable with their role, and even with their cubicle. Agile changes all that. It makes people uncomfortable. At least initially, then, most start to really like this new way of working. However the burning platform is the energy source that drives the motivation for people to put up with their discomfort, to suppress their resistance to change. What is your burning platform? Why will you adopt Agile?


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