Self organization is defined as a phenomenon in which the internal organization of the system increases in complexity without being guided or managed by an outside source. However, successful self organization needs the right level of support from not only the team members but also the management and the organizational environment.
High-performance teams constitute a mere 2% of the workforce, but Agile processes appear to stimulate the formation of these types of teams. This article discusses Steve Denning's perspective on how such teams can be nurtured in the workplace; it also looks at a recent talk by Ominlab Media's Stefan Gillard on how to select and employ for the formation of high-performance teams.
An executives job is not over once they've justified agile to their teams and paid for training. To make a transition successful, its required this executive provide sustained support. Esther Derby takes a moment to describe what she believes to be the 3 most important aspects of this ongoing support.
Sebastian Hermida has put together a free online tool to help teams get a better understanding of how well they're doing adopting agility. The site, abetterteam.org, is based on the "Assess Your Agility" quiz Jim Shore and Shane Warden include in their book, The Art Of Agile Development.
A major goal of sprint planning is to make a commitment to what is intended to be delivered by the end of the sprint. However, many teams either over-commit or over-deliver. Both situations are considered as smells and lead to lack of predictability along with other related pitfalls. The team is required to walk a fine line between the two.
Recently there has been an active discussion in the Scrum Development Yahoo Group about handling an "under-performing" team member. In the 130+ response thread, "Rotten apple in Scrum team", talk ranged from advice for the primary question, to talk of team morale and who manages it, to the classic debate of measuring individuals, to distinguishing whether a team is really a "team", and more.
Kevin Schlabach discusses using a "Snake On The Wall", a lightweight approach targeted at helping your team get a better handle on the things that are slowing the development process.
At Agile 2008, Don McGreal and Michael McCullough ran a session that showed how to use games and exercises to help improve our understanding of Agile principles and practices. After the conference they created the Tasty Cupcakes as a repository for all Agile games.
Sustainable pace is known to help teams with improved velocity. Jeff Sutherland and Clinton Keith quote studies to prove that it works. However, there is an underlying word of caution which suggests that teams should take their sprint goals seriously and a couple of crunch sprints might not hurt after all.
Beginner's Mind is the idea of approaching things without preconceptions, pre-conceived ideas or prior judgements. This approach is useful to agile practitioners and coaches, inviting us to enter situations and observe what is really happening before we act.
In this presentation filmed during Agile 2007, Mike Cohn talks about the transitioning process towards an agile organization, why the process is inherently difficult, and what it takes to see self-organization emerging in a previously tightly controlled environment.
Joseph Pelrine promised to teach us “how to be a manipulative bastard” with respect to coaching teams. Joseph feels that coaching as a discipline lacks the scientific background and rigor that it needs: "Air guitar and attitude" won't do - Allan Kay. His goal to is to supply that rigor.
On Agile teams there is a definite possibility of having a team member who is not a good fit. Members of the Agile community discuss the reasons and possible ways of voting someone off the island.
One of the most simple and yet most talked-about agile practices is the Daily Stand Up Meeting (a.k.a. Scrum). The most recent round of discussions around the subject is occurring right now on the scrumdevelopment Yahoo! group. This discussion has resulted in suggestions about what is important about a Daily Stand Up, how to perform one correctly, and several links to articles on the subject.
Sustainable Pace is a well known XP practice however, different people relate to it in different ways. Could an Agile team increase its sustainable pace by working longer? An interesting discussion on the Scrum Development group tries to debate the correlation between the number of work hours per week and sustainable pace.