3 Things to Observe in a Sprint Review

For many leaders, the sprint review (or demonstration) is one of the few chances they have to see their direct reports functioning with their Agile team and to witness¬†the outcome of their work. My recommendation would be to attend as many sprint review sessions as you can. Everything you need to know about the health […]

When Agile Meets a “Non-Agile” Vendor

Complications, contention, and complexities will often emerge when attempting to integrate a non-Agile vendor implementation within an Agile organization or team. From my experience, many vendors already have a phased project plan template established for their portion of the work and this can seem somewhat. What is an Agile team to do if they are […]

8 Symptoms of an Ineffective Product Backlog

Some product backlogs seem to meld perfectly with their team while others are more of a detriment to productivity. An ineffective product backlog will impact the team in many ways. Team sizing activities become challenging, creating tasks from backlog items takes twice as long as it should, and frustration and lack of trust will be […]

The Gravitational Pull of an Enterprise Architecture Vision

As organizations create new products, grow their workforce and add new teams, keeping them in sync becomes difficult. This becomes even more challenging as the demands of a fast-paced marketplace require greater agility and flexibility. Throw in the growing complexity of technical solutions, service-oriented architectures and dependencies between teams to deliver pieces of a larger […]

2013 – Year in Review

Thank you to all of the Illustrated Agile readers who made 2013 so awesome. The reason Illustrated Agile exists is to encourage you in your journey as a change agent and for you to become a catalyst for introducing agility concepts and practices into your organization. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey with all […]

The 5 Stages of User Story Sizing

I am often asked about team user story sizing or planning poker and why its use has been advocated in Agile or Scrum circles instead of a using other estimating techniques. While I’m sure there are many opinions out there, capturing story points with group estimating techniques are effective because they weave individual perspectives into […]

How to Measure Team Agility

If you have led, coached, or participated in an organizational transformation to Agile, it will be just a matter of time before someone asks “How do we know if we are truly Agile?” or “How do we know if our Agile teams are healthy and doing well?” Good questions often coming from leadership. I have […]

Retrospectives – A Time of Gratitude and Renewal

I believe retrospectives can be a powerful component to building an organization focused on agility and continuous improvement. But beyond asking what we can do better and what we should stop doing, the retrospective can also become a time of acknowledgment and an oasis in an otherwise stressful and demanding world. First, the retrospective can […]