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

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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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Blazed and Confused - Agile Transformation

Mar 27, 2014 9:16:53 AM / by Brian posted in Architecture, Modernized Technology, Agile Transformation, Digital Transformation


Here is a reprint of my article originally published with Scrum Alliance in March 2014. Enjoy!

Been blazed and confused for so long it’s not true . . .

So, your Agile transformation journey has been underway for a few weeks, a few months, or maybe almost a year. You have blazed a path toward agility. But, much like the Led Zeppelin song (Dazed and Confused– please, you don’t have to be from the ’70s to get the Led out!), there is a huge pause in the middle of the journey, and now you are not really sure if you are going anywhere.

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