myself I would actually take some vacation this week, and fortunately
with small children in the house, it’s actually possible to do
so! So, before the kids wake up, a blitz retrospective: High Points,
Low Points and Potential for Improvement in 2009.
Trainer and Coach. I really want my customers to say
thank you for the work I do for them — while I am not averse to
getting paid, a satisfied customer is what makes it all worthwhile.
Breakfast Community became the Swiss
ICT Lean Agile Scrum Group. I figured as a one man
show, I could never mount a “real” marketing campaign,
so instead, I set out to build a community. This community helps build acceptance for
Scrum (and by implication, my services). But a community only
functions effectively if it the community belongs to its members.
And when it does, it takes on a life of its own!
Polls on my blog. I started doing them because they
were good for getting attention. I like to think my poll on the
Nokia test helped the Scrum Community discover Scrum-Butt
and think about its implications.
CSM Course with
Andreas Schliep. There is a lot of debate about the value
of the CSM course and certification. Together with
CST Andi, I have now stood on the other side of the podium and for
me the value of a good CSM Course to the participant is clear. The
students learn from the teachers and from each other in ways that
you just can’t get from a book. Offering Scrum
training has been a clear win on the
When I look back at my first article… well… (blush). This has been a tremendous learning opportunity.
Thank you Artem for providing this forum and for your editorial encouragement!
Personally I think this economic Tsunami is going to resemble the
storm Lothar, which knocked down some forests entirely, but left
others nearby completely untouched (I am an optimist, and no, I have
no idea which areas will emerge unscathed). Fundamentally, companies are
successful by producing great products and services. Agile helps
companies do that and companies will be under pressure to improve
their performance. The time to start a conversation with management
about Scrum and Agile has never been better.
You can lead a
horse to water, but you can’t make him think. Sometimes you
advise a customer, but he wants to stick with his old habits. Smile.
Accept Fate. Maybe he’ll be around in year to ask for your
You can lead
the horse to water and he’ll think what he wants! There are
people out there who ask whether ‘Scrum
has failed us’ or that Scrum is not enough and
look for other solutions. Some people will find their answers in
Lean, some in XP, some even in RUP. One of my first coaching
customers decided he liked Scrum Ban
better and tried to get me interested. I wasn’t having any of
it. In retrospect, I wish I had shown more interest — even though I am still convinced on Scrum !
Scrum and Agile. There’s been both criticism of Scrum from
the agile community and more general criticism
of agile from outside. Agile has become a buzz word which is getting
applied way outside its original context. I think this is both
healthy and a sign that Management is getting interested in the
topic and a much larger segment of the population is being
confronted with agile ideas.
Potential for Improvement
Community is the key to
success, both at a personal level and an ideological level. If you
want to do Scrum, Lean or Agile, then build and participate in the
Agile community in your area. You help make it politically
acceptable to do Agile, you create a support group, and you create a
network which will help you find work you like.
I would like the Scrum
community to better embrace growth and change. There are people out
there such as Boris Gloger (with his vision of 3
+ 3 Rolls in Scrum) or Alan Shalloway (with his
fusion of Lean,
Scrum and Emergent Design) who are enhancing Scrum in
interesting ways. The beauty of Scrum is its simplicity and
universality (hint: try holding a daily scrum with your spouse or
using a task board to help your kids get ready for school each
day) which mustn’t be compromised. But the simplicity of Scrum
means we need other
building blocks to achieve the whole project effectively.
My first New
Year’s resolution is to listen better to all agile
philosophies to better advise my customers. There is no monopoly on
the truth. Personally, I look first to Scrum and then to Lean for
management issues and to XP for engineering issues. But there are
new ideas out there and many are worth looking at. And even old
ideas have their merits.
My second New
Year’s resolution is to listen better to my customers (and
readers). In that vein, I have published a doodle
– what would you like to read about?
A parting wish
Do something! For each individual
company, the key to turning the recession around is getting your
customers to buy your products and services. So get together with
your best people, give yourselves three months, and create a great
new product that you can sell in Q2.
At this point, I
would like to wish everyone a good and productive start in to 2009.
May 2009 be happy, healthy and the most innovative year in your