The Toppings Makes it Complete

Before You Get Started

Take a close look at a banana split. Before you eat it, can you see a Scrum Team? Maybe I’ve indulged in one banana split too many, but I see the banana as the Scrum Framework. And the ice cream? They are team member skills. Teams need to be cross-functional, so vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry seem to take care of that. Ah, but banana and ice cream alone do not make a banana split. This dessert is not complete until we add toppings.

What are the toppings on this Scrum Team banana split? Team character…

A High-Performing Scrum Team Takes Advantage of Vision Statements

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In my work with Scrum, Scrumban, and SAFe teams, I’ve come across some teams that were high-performing and delivered great value from the start. Other teams struggled to get their footing but grew stronger and learned to perform well. So in my coaching practice, I’m frequently asked what makes one team perform better than others. I typically explain that the answer to that question is somewhat challenging.

There is no magic formula to lead a Scrum team to become high-performing. Instead, many small but important factors, each easily overlooked, conspire to make the team significantly greater than the sum of…

Team Growth into Self-Management

My introduction to Agile teams happened just as I had transitioned from lead software engineer to release manager at an investment bank. Our team had just built an investment management system that was well received and quickly became quite successful. We were pleased with it, but the growing team struggled to keep pace with business demands, and that triggered concerns. In response to our concerns, senior management committed to direct a new development strategy.

We had already created a release team, a testing team, and then grouped developers into business domains. Then, one Thursday we got an invitation to an…

Clearing the Path to Organizational Agility

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The leading obstructor to pursuing organizational agility continues to be organization itself. And that’s a shame because the factors leading to these obstructions are completely within the control of the organization — if the people are truly ready, willing, and able to do what it takes to succeed. All too often, the collective will of the people within the organization lacks the readiness, willingness, and/or ability to do the work needed to realize success. And resolving that problem starts with leadership.

For fourteen years™ (formerly CollabNet/VersionOne) has published an annual “State of Agile Report”. This is an annual analysis…

How culture and vision lead each other to success or failure

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Vision is an essential element of organizational agility. Culture is the organization’s personality. While vision is intentional, culture isn’t always so; however, the culture and vision must be consistent in order to successfully realize the vision. That frequently means that cultural changes become necessary. But what to change, and when? Let’s explore.

Culture and Vision

The idea that every organization has a culture would surprise very few people; but culture’s impact might be quite surprising. Let’s start with a fundamental understanding of culture — which consists of shared attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors within an organization. Culture is a reflection of how people interact…

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

The BBC recently published a Viewpoint article written by Ibrahim Diallo entitled ‘I feel like I was accidentally hired’. Mr. Diallo is an experienced software engineer who is also a black man. I don’t know Mr. Diallo, but I have met people who share his perception. In the article, he reflects on how his professional life has been marred by many interactions that strike me as racially demeaning. He portrays his career as one replete with condescending and racist encounters, which leave him with two distinct feelings: That he is lonely and that he does not belong in this profession…

Anthony Amos

Agile coach to high performing software engineering teams.

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