I released my 4th book Problem? What problem? It’s a book about dealing effectively with impediments using agile thinking with problem-solving practices.
Dealing effectively with impediments
Agile emphasizes to establish teams and give them whatever they need to do their work. This book on impediments explores how teams can effectively deal with the problems that will happen in their daily work. In agile these problems are called impediments: anything that slows down a team and needs to be dealt with. Agile teams need to be able to handle impediments.
This is the first book specifically about dealing with impediments using agile thinking with problem-solving practices. In this book, I explain why dealing with impediments matters. The book also provides approaches for you to effectively handle impediments in teams and beyond the teams. I’m also sharing experience stories from my practice.
Here’s a sample of Problem? What Problem? for you to download and read 🙂
Praise for the book
Johanna Rothman, management consultant and author of Modern Management Made Easy, wrote the foreword for my book:
Ben masterfully detangles the various ways problems expose themselves to the teams. And, he includes several ideas about adapting existing practices to help your team. (…) Ben leads us through ways to recognize [systemic problems] problems, how to explain the impacts of these impediments, and how we might start to resolve these problems. (…) Use this book to add more capabilities to your problem-solving toolkit. Integrate Ben’s tips and keys as you read and you’ll start to recognize your signals and impediments — and resolve them.
And here’s what some of the early readers are saying about my book:
Impediments. Problems. Nobody wants them. You probably can’t avoid them. They’re often no fun to deal with. They may push you into difficult conversations/discussions. This book is a very useful resource for figuring out how to navigate them. Ben has collected a wide range of experience-based advice that you will find helpful.
Scott Duncan, Lead Coach & Trainer at Agile Software Qualities
Teams find problems that impact their ability to deliver value. The question is, what then? Ben Linders steps into the gap between finding a problem and living happily ever after with his new book, Problem? What Problem? This book directly addresses problem-solving at a level that agile teams can use, right now!
Thomas Cagley, Transformation Coach
When working in an agile way, problems and impediments are quickly revealed. But what then? What are we actually supposed to do about it? With years of experience in the software development industry, Ben Linders provides a go-to resource in Problem? What Problem? that is full of practical advice for individuals, teams and organisations seeking strategies to deal with their problems.
David Spinks, Agile Adventurer, PST, AKT
Problems and impediments are common to those working in agile. It is important to quickly identify them and find ways to means to either resolve the impediment or work around it. Ben Linders, with all his experience, comes up with a great book on how to address these issues and gives practical solutions to problems and impediments. This book is a great reference with the tools and techniques to navigate impediments both at a team level and at an organizational level.
Srinath Ramakrishnan, Agile coach and consultant
I really enjoyed the book: I found it to be right-sized and practical in the tone of advice offered. There are many techniques described in the book that will be useful to people in any role in an agile team, regardless of experience level or the framework preferred in your current context. I loved the ideas of signals and the difference between impediments and blockers. For anyone dealing with impediments, finding a way forward can feel challenging. This book will refresh your mindset and systematically offer tactical approaches.
Paddy Corry, Scrum master at eShopWorld
Thanks for your help
In 2015 I published a blog series on handling impediments. The articles provided an approach and many practical agile tips. Being hands-on, these articles became very popular. I used them as a starting point for this book.
In my workshops, I teach people how to deal with impediments to truly become self-organized. I created cards with signals about possible impediments and a board game for dealing with impediments. I use them in exercises where people practice recognizing potential problems and learning how to handle them.
Having a set of short articles and two agile coaching tools on impediments I started thinking about what more I could do to help the world to become better in dealing with impediments. Noticing that my third book The Agile Self-assessment Game, released early 2019, has become very popular I decided to share my knowledge and experience in dealing with impediments also in a book.
I want to thank the many reviewers of my book for investing time and coming up with ideas to improve it (in alphabetical order): Mike Caddell, Tom Cagley, Glaudia Califano, Sunish Chabba, Paddy Corry, Scott Duncan, Madhavi Ledalla, Erwin van Maren, Jonathan Orgel, Kamil Puk, Annemiek Quirijns, Srinath Ramakrishnan, Carina Silfverduk, and David Spinks. Thank you for proofreading earlier versions of the book and providing many suggestions. Your feedback has helped me to make this a better book!
Become a better problem-solver
Problem? What Problem? is a book for agile teams, Scrum masters, tech leads, agile coaches, consultants, developers and testers, project managers, line managers, and CxOs; basically, anyone who is looking for an effective way to handle impediments or support people in doing that.
In essence, it is about dealing with impediments when you are working in an agile way. This book also explores how you can handle impediments using an agile mindset and thinking. It’s about agile applied to problem-solving.