My new article “Prioritizing Effectively as a Team” is up on AgileConnection.com. The article starts out like this: “A common reaction to the product owner role is to see it as too big for a single person. If the idea were that one person should do everything from guiding the vision to writing user stories, I […]
Category Archives: English
The Birth, Death, and Rebirth of Ideas
Watching the waxing and waning of software development methodologies made me think about the lifecycle of ideas. Throughout the ages, humans have come up with ideas. Some ideas never become more than a thought. Others spread globally, affecting people for a long time. The life of ideas seems to be an eternal cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.
Managing as Helping
Are you a manager, or maybe an informal leader with implicit influence and responsibility? Have you considered how you think about your role? Have you considered thinking about yourself as a helper? If you’re reading this, chances are you’re working in a knowledge-based organization: an enterprise that builds its success on being able to convert human […]
The Worst Daily Scrum Ever
I once observed what was probably the worst daily scrum ever. Just when I thought it was over, something interesting happened.
What Is an Advanced Scrum Master?
Being a scrum master is more than just reminding a team to perform certain ceremonies, it’s about growing the best possible workplace. To begin with, let’s clarify this whole thing about the “scrum master”. It’s the name of a role. It’s a relatively new and pretty ridiculous name by intent, because a change was needed […]
I sometimes hear the agile manifesto being criticized for focusing on “just working software”. It’s said that working software is not enough, that we need to reach further. I agree that we need change, but not in the wording. If your definition of working software is “if it compiles, ship it”, then the manifesto’s words […]
Check-in in a Circle
When I kick off a class or workshop, I want participants to engage as soon as possible after entering the room. I do work through some practical bits first, but after that I quickly hand things over to participants. For a long time, I’ve been using an opening exercise I learned from Ken Schwaber. In […]
There’s Always One [Drop|Comment|Question] Left
My childhood friend’s mother was a “dagmamma”, literally, a “daytime mother”. In other words, she took care of a bunch of other people’s kids in her own home. She was a very kind and intelligent person. One of the things she said has stuck with me to this very day. “There’s always one drop left.” […]
Late Again, Thinking About the Cost of Delays
It’s Wednesday morning, and I’m on the train heading to Stockholm. The train is late, and it’s not the first time. One reason delays annoy me so much is that they break my expectations. I’ve made my plans to fit with the train company’s timetable, and now they are not upholding their part of the […]
Johanna Rothman to Stockholm, May 30, 2012
Author, consultant and teacher Johanna Rothman is coming to Stockholm on May 30, this year. She will be leading a one-day workshop about the agile project portfolio. The course will be in English, and I highly recommend you check it out if you need some inspiration on how to manage in a situation where you […]