Monday, January 25, 2016

The Vertical Slice

If your "agile transformation" is introducing a replacement hierarchy for your existing one, you need to be asking some tough questions.



Take a look at an approach that comes from the software development community.... "The Vertical Slice".

Mike Caspar
Passionate About Agile


Monday, January 18, 2016

The Idea Folder as feedback from Leadership Information Radiators of Sprint Goals

I have been working with a leadership team recently on the concept of transparency and what this really could mean to them as an organization.

The idea that transparency might be two-way has been an eye opening experience for them. Here's a link to an old post about transparency, should you be interested.

As a first step to improving transparency, they are leading by example....

The Leadership Scrum Team is publishing their two week Sprint Goal on an information radiator at all locations for all to see. Awesome. 

They have already learned that once a year or once a quarter feedback loops are far too slow for a modern organization. 

A positive feedback loop for ideas and innovation to help the Leadership Team to create (and adjust) the Organizational Product Backlog Items is needed. This allows the leadership team to serve their organization rather than direct it.

A few years back, I came up with an idea that could help leadership teams find the courage to provide Information Radiators that include a feedback mechanism. 

Instead of asking for "Feedback" or "Complaints", or "Impediments", they simply put an "IDEAS" slot on their information radiators. 

If the leadership team is effectively using Scrum, there will already be active feedback after every sprint from internal and/or external stakeholders during their Sprint Review.

Many people feel good about enhancing and improving good ideas. By making what you are working on visible, you give others the opportunity to join you in your quest.

Something I have seen on an actual card once (modified for privacy of course)... 

That's a great story from the leadership team this Sprint.. Imagine if you also did _______.  Now, that would be great!

By putting the feedback cards next to specific work being done, it creates an implied reference between ideas and what is being radiated. Others might use it for other things. Hey... that's OK too.

I am not advocating that all "problem solving" go away. Regular inspect and adapt cycles are always important.

In this case, it might be more appropriate for you to invest energy on enhancing positive information and ideas coming to you every two weeks!

If you are on a leadership team working on transparency, I'll leave you with a final thought...

In a world where so many negative feedback loops already exist, consider how a positive feedback loop could help to spur innovation and creativity and put you in a position where you can improve your ability to serve.

Mike Caspar