Objective Thoughts

Smart People, XP and Scrum – Is there a pattern?

January 16, 2010 — Posted by Al Shalloway

There is a division in the agile community about whether one should rely on people or focus on people supported by systemic thinking (no one I know of suggests systems alone are enough). This debate is often the people over process Vs. people and process (or as Don Reinertsen would say people times process). I've been in the agile community for some time and have seen some interesting things that I think shed some light on this debate. This long-time perspective has enabled me to see an interesting pattern.


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There Are Better Alternatives to Scrum

December 21, 2009 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Note: In reviewing this blog I do notice it sounds a little like an advertisement because I've described things from the perspective of what Net Objectives has done. However, I believe it is important to describe actual events and not theory. Most of what I write about comes from my own experience and the experience of other Net Objectives consultants. I describe what we have done to create the context for what we've learned. I am proud of our success and am merely trying to explain the tone.


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Introducing Kanban for Software

December 21, 2009 — Posted by Jim Trott

Listen to the webinar audio Introducing Kanban for Software

Phil Cave is a new consultant with Net Objectives. Phil has a long history with Lean, XP, Scrum, and Kanban. He has worked at all levels: developer, lead, manager, division manager, vice-president, Lean coach.  Phil just got back from Krackow, teaching our Lean Software Development course. Half of this course involved helping them integrate the Kanban technique into their Lean-Agile software methodology. Kanban is gaining ground as an important technique for Lean-Agile groups because it is widely applicable in both process-oriented and specialty-oriented shops. It does not require fundamental shifts in work (unlike other Agile methods) if that is not appropriate for you. It is something we need to learn more about.


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The Need for Leadership in Scrum - Updated

December 15, 2009 — Posted by Al Shalloway

(This updates an entry originally posted April 21, 2007.)

From 2000 to 2004, I trained and coached teams in Scrum in a manner that was fairly consistent with what the Scrum Alliance said Scrum was. Beginning in 2004, I began to introduce Lean thinking into the mix. At first, I was mostly adding Lean insights into Scrum practices but over time, I began to let Lean thinking motivate and lead what I taught. It became clear to me that the ideas and attitudes of many of the thought leaders behind Scum were at odds with Lean thinking. Today, as I look at what iterative, time-boxed approach to software product develop should be, I can no longer label it as "Scrum." I don't do Scrum with Lean. I do something else - something I consider to be much more effective

This blog describes one of the biggest differences I have with many Scrum thought leaders: the proper role of management in Agile teams. Too many Scrum trainers/coaches/practitioners continue to dismiss the need for management in organizations using Scrum.


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Effective Software Development Without Suffering

November 22, 2009 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Some people in the Lean-Agile community think of me as an outspoken critic of Scrum.  That has never been my intention. My intention has always been to help people do software development effectively. I am not against Scrum, I am for something - effective software development at the entire organizational level. Since its inception, Net Objectives' vision has been effective software development without suffering.   Sometimes, however, when you are for some things, you have to speak up against other things - especially if  the two are opposed to each other.  I am not speaking against Scrum per se, I am speaking against claims made about Scrum that are hurting people.


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Blog Authors

Al Shalloway
Business, Operations, Process, Sales, Agile Design and Patterns, Personal Development, Agile, Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Kanban Method, Scrum, Scrumban, XP
Cory Foy
Change Management, Innovation Games, Team Agility, Transitioning to Agile
Jim Trott
Business and Strategy Development, Analysis and Design Methods, Change Management, Knowledge Management, Lean Implementation, Team Agility, Transitioning to Agile, Workflow, Technical Writing, Certifications, Coaching, Mentoring, Online Training, Professional Development, Agile, Lean-Agile, SAFe, Kanban
Ken Pugh
Software Design, Design Patterns, Technical Writing, TDD, ATDD, Coaching, Mentoring, Professional Development, Agile, Lean-Agile, SAFe, Scrum
Scott Bain
Analysis and Design Methods, Agile Design and Patterns, Software Design, Design Patterns, Technical Writing, TDD, Coaching, Mentoring, Online Training, Professional Development, Agile