Cliff Berg (Guest Blogger)

Cliff Berg (Guest Blogger)

Recent Posts

Agile at Scale Requires a Special Kind of Leadership: Guest Blog Series

Aug 13, 2019 1:11:05 PM / by Cliff Berg (Guest Blogger) posted in Agile, Agile Organizational Design, Agile Team Design, Agile Team Facilitator, ICAgile, Cliff Berg, agile leadership


It’s not all about the team.

For Agile to work in a large program or a large organization, the cross-team issues are even more important than how well teams function individually. This is a common phenomenon in the world: that relationships between things are even more important than the things.

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Don’t Take Baby Steps: Guest Blog Series

Jul 30, 2019 8:00:00 AM / by Cliff Berg (Guest Blogger) posted in DevOps, Agile, BDD, User Story Mapping, Agile Transformation, Digital Transformation


Teams are not constrained by how much they can learn. They are constrained by how much they are allowed to try, as well as by how much they don’t know what they don’t know.

When Agile adoption struggles in a large organization, it is almost always because managers are in the way—that is, teams are blocked by rules or upper level decisions—as well as because teams don’t know that there are better ways than what they are accustomed to doing. Those are the two predominant kinds of constraint on performance that one tends to see.

Rules exist for a reason: to manage risk. It is therefore unreasonable to expect that managers will just say “Do whatever you think is best”. To say that would be to abdicate their responsibility to manage risk for the organization. Doing that would also lead to chaos: each team would invent its own methods, and so the organization would cease to be one: it would devolve into a collection of tiny tribes.

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Non-Technical Agile Leads to Waterfall: Guest Blog Series

Jul 28, 2019 1:20:50 PM / by Cliff Berg (Guest Blogger) posted in Agile, Agile Organizational Design, Modernized Technology, Product Portfolio Management, Agile Transformation, Digital Transformation, Waterfall, Guest Blog, Cliff Berg

1 Comment

There is a trend today that I find troubling: non-technical release train engineers, Agile coaches, or others in Agile leadership roles who are non-technical, leading the way for Agile ceremony planning without including technical thought leaders who know the technical side of Agile (which today is CI/CD).

Technical practices are the backbone of Agile. It is the technical practices that make Agile possible. If you don’t center discussions around technical enabling practices, you are wasting your time.

Don’t get me wrong: there are non-technical things about Agile. Things like a Lean Portfolio, retrospective, and backlog grooming. But if you want to improve those processes, you have to include a discussion of the technical enablers that make improvement possible.

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