Posts Categorized: Blog

#PoDojo Workshop at Product Camp Berlin 2014

Does this sound and feel familiar to you? “Tomorrow again the shitty planning meeting, everyone demotivated, passive agressive and blocking my user stories.” “Ohh, I’ve expected something totally different, why are you not listening? Everyone’s so demotivated!” “We’ve spend hours talking and talking, now again with other people in the room, no one shares the… Read more »

Book review: XLR8 by John P. Kotter

After seeing several webinars promoting XLR8 by John P. Kotter, I bought the book. Kotter begins by stressing the need for strategic agility in times of business turbulence, an idea which many can agree with. The book adds a concept of a ‘dual operating system’: namely an agile network-type of organizational structure working in concert… Read more »

Technical debt and how to pay it back

Photo by Tim Lucas via Flickr, CC Licence Info

There is a common saying that the code you write today will be tomorrow’s legacy code. Soon it may start to rot and you are incurring technical debt. That is based on the assumption that code you don’t work with frequently, that you don’t enhance, modify, put into a new form to do new things… Read more »

Hairball of Mud

“Things are not difficult to make; what is difficult is putting ourselves in the state of mind to make them.” Constantin Brancusi We’ve seen many product development teams, product owners and organisations in trouble because they were blocked by what is called technical debt or legacy code to truly create value for the customer. Who… Read more »

Complex or complicated: why the difference matters (Part 2)

In part one of this text I introduced the Stacey Matrix for Complexity and Creativity in Organizations and the Assumption-Risk-Analysis model which can help you to categorize your product state and team to make smart decisions in the right order. Key to both models is that they precede the data. You can willingly or unwillingly… Read more »

Explore. Passionately.

Instead of worrying about scaling agility as the biggest concern businesses face, should we be thinking about how to keep our creative talent as the number one issue? We spend a great deal of time researching how companies are faring, and there is one report we don’t miss. It’s the most comprehensive report around, updated… Read more »

Complex or complicated: why the difference matters (Part 1)

Every once in awhile I am asked “Robert, despite all of our testing and monitoring, why is this software not performing as expected anymore? And I usually begin my answer with “It’s complicated.” Is it? In other instances I listen to suggestions to build independent software modules that solely communicate through one, well defined interface… Read more »

Co-create the future state

We are experimenting a lot with simulations and agile games at the #PoDojo. One game we have used over the last two years is a variant of the Lego 4 Scrum by Alexey Krivitsky game that creates consistently a hard leadership challenge. We have got very mixed outcomes from using the game playing around with… Read more »

Is scaling Agile the right focus?

During the registration of a recent Agile conference, browsing the program chock full of Scaled Agile presentations, a friend of mine looked at me and asked, “Is scaling Agile the most important problem for us to help solve in today’s business climate?” By “scaling Agile”, I mean solving a problem involving lots of people, say… Read more »

How to: Doing 5 Whys to help vision a future state

The 5 Whys is a problem-solving technique originally developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used within the Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of the Toyota Production System manufacturing methodologies. It’s an iterative question-asking technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships of a particular problem, with the primary goal of the technique to determine the root… Read more »