Quotes from Ben Linders: an Independent Consultant in Agile, Lean, Quality, and Continuous Improvement, based in The Netherlands. Author of Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives, Waardevolle Agile Retrospectives, What Drives Quality and Continuous Improvement. Creator of the Agile Self-assessment Game.
Agile is a journey. Don’t pack too much, travel light and be flexible!
No time to improve? Do it anyway – no time to waste!
When I say that the team knows best how to do their work, I mean the whole team including the Scrum Master and Product Owner
Results matter. When working in an agile way, focus on outcome and value, not on output and cost.
Agile isn’t binary, and you’re never finished. Keep on working on your agility, every step on your agile journey matters!
Imposing change on people isn’t just ineffective, it’s also unethical and inhuman.
Quality is not just about how the code is written, it is closely related to the process used to develop the product
Quotes from Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives #RetroValue
My first successful book Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives: A Toolbox of Retrospective Exercises is available in paperback on Amazon and many on-line book stores. You can download the eBook at InfoQ and Leanpub. The translated editions are available in my books.
Before starting a retrospective, you need to think about which exercises would be most suitable.
With agile retrospectives, teams drive their own actions!
Getting feasible actions out of a retrospective and getting them done helps teams to learn and improve
The goal of retrospectives is helping teams to continuously improve their way of working
Agile retrospectives give the power to the team, where it belongs!
Agile retrospectives are a great way to continuously improve the way of working
Retrospectives can make your organization faster, more efficient and innovative
We need to uncover better ways to improve and retrospectives can provide the solution
Quotes from What Drives Quality #DriveQuality
I published my second book in September 2017. What Drives Quality explores how quality plays a role in all of the software development phases, it takes a deep dive into quality by listing the relevant factors of development activities that drive the quality of products.
This book provides a lean approach to quality, which analyses the full development chain from customer request to delivering products.
If the quality of a software product is insufficient according to the users then they will not use it
If customers or stakeholders do not get enough value from the product, then they will not buy or support it
Forcing people to live up to what they have committed to has high quality risks. Under stress, people tend to make more mistakes and take shortcuts, which results in products with insufficient quality.
Defining all requirements up front is challenging and often impossible, unless the product is very small. Striving toward completeness is a waste of time.
My advice is to find out and verify what needs to be delivered first. I usually ask the stakeholders the question “What do we need now?”
The Definition of Ready (DoR) is not intended as a sign-off, hand-over, or phase check for requirements. As any agile practice, it should be done in an “agile way”.
You don’t need to have a commitment on everything in the backlog for developing products. It is unfeasible, too expensive and takes too long to get.
Commitment does matter and can work in many situations but it also tends to put pressure on teams which can lead to non-intended effects.
It is essential to have frequent in-depth communication between development teams and the product owners or managers and (future) users about what the software should do to ensure that the right products are developed.
I consider the “Definition of Done” in agile to be a process. It is the way that teams agree to work together to deliver value.
Roadmaps created by multidisciplinary teams often have higher quality. Having people with different views who collaborate and challenge each other’s thoughts leads to fresh and better ideas for products.
Quotes from The Agile Self-assessment Game #AssessAgility
This book explores The Agile Self-assessment Game, a card game that I created and that is now played by teams all over the world. Teams use it to reflect on their own interworking and to agree upon the next steps for their agile journey.
I’m aiming this book at Scrum masters, agile coaches, consultants leading agile transformations, developers and testers, project managers, line managers, and CxOs; basically for anyone who is looking for an effective way to help their agile teams improve and increase the agility of their organization.
The values and principles from the manifesto for agile software development state that you have to find your own way, by reflecting how you are doing and finding out where you need to improve.
With agile self-assessments, teams are free to decide what to do and how to do it. Neither the assessment nor the results are imposed on the team.
Gamification is a great way to engage and involve people.
Where many games have winners and losers, I prefer to play games in such a way that people don’t feel like they have “lost the game”. For me winning is not the main objective to have people play games, it’s sharing and initiating change that I aim at.
Agile coaches use self-assessments in agile transformations to guide teams and help them learn about agile to find their own way.
Agile teams use self-assessments to find out how well they are performing.
Agile methods and frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, SAFe or Less, don’t tell you how to increase your agility.
Gamification focuses on the intended outcome and the results, where games give attention to the rules and the processes.
People like to play games, it brings out their natural desires to socialize, self-express, and collaborate.
You can play the Agile Self-assessment Game in your retrospective to guide your agile journey and increase agility.
If you want to monitor how your team(s) are improving, then health checks can be a very powerful tool.
Teams can ask their stakeholders to join the game so that they can decide together and get their support and commitment where needed.
Agile is not a destination, it’s a journey of questioning, exploring, and sharing ideas, in order to uncover better ways of developing software.
Teams can play the Agile Self-assessment Game as a sailboat futurespective to find ways toward their goals before they take off.
The role of the Angel’s Advocates is to explicitly react positively to ideas, thus rewarding the submitter for her/his contribution.
Agile Self-assessments help teams to see where they are to decide on the next steps to increase their agility.
Quotes from Continuous Improvement #ContinuousImprovement
This book makes you aware of the importance of Continuous Improvement, explores how it is engrained in agile, and provides suggestions that Scrum masters, agile coaches, well everybody, can use in their daily work to improve continuously and increase team and organizational agility.
This is a book about continuous improvement in agile software development. Continuous improvement is what makes agile work. It’s at the heart of agile, whether you use Scrum, Kanban or any other agile framework.
Continuous improvement is a mindset and a way of working where people always look for ways to do things better.
Continuous improvement is what makes agile work. It’s at the heart of agile.
It’s not being, but becoming Agile and Lean that brings you benefits. The continuous improvement journey is more important than reaching the destination.
If you want to get quicker benefits, my advice is to use what is there already, and start your journey today!