The Essence of Servant Leadership

Posted by Rodger Koopman on Nov 11, 2020 8:48:48 AM

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins studies what differentiates great companies from good companies. The answer? Great leadership.

I’m not surprised. Not only did I spend 15 years in the world’s greatest leadership laboratory (the U.S. military), but I have also worked for some fantastic people whose leadership had obvious positive impacts on their organizations. So what did I learn over the course of 30-odd years while working with some amazing leaders? It’s simple—leadership matters, especially servant leadership. Servant leaders put the needs of others first to meet the collective goals of the company. Without great (or at least good) servant leadership, organizations fail.

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Topics: Transformation, Leadership, Agile

The 4 Must-Dos for Leading a Safe and Successful DevOps Transformation

Posted by Ryan Ferguson on Sep 24, 2020 1:28:56 PM

When a company invests in DevOps, it’s investing in speed: speed to market, speed to new ideas, speed to respond, and speed to recover. DevOps is a lot like roller coasters, sports cars, or anything else that goes zoom — if you don’t first build in safety, nobody will be comfortable going fast. The consequences of disregarding this could be disastrous, and it is up to leadership to provide that support and vision to ensure a successful transformation.

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Topics: Transformation, Leadership, DevOps

SAFe® 5.0 in a Nutshell for Executives

Posted by Mitch Malloy on Jan 14, 2020 9:10:53 AM

Every business is a software business.

While that statement may sound extreme, it emphasizes a current reality: digital disruption is changing the landscape of business. As Mik Kersten points out in his book Project to Product: “the tech giants that have mastered software at scale are expanding into traditional business…are mastering traditional businesses more quickly than the world’s established companies are mastering software delivery.

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Topics: Business Agility, SAFe®, Leadership

Agile—What's in It for the Teams?

Posted by Jim Camden on Dec 10, 2019 9:19:02 AM

As a coach who helps implement Agile and the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe), I’ve encountered many organizations where the product development teams (software and otherwise) are not immediately sold on Agile change. Agile tends to appeal more to the business side, less so to the ones doing the work. Why is this?

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Topics: Leadership, Agile

3 Agile Strategies to Deal with Difficult Management

Posted by Rodger Koopman on Dec 5, 2019 9:58:41 AM

As a member of an Agile Team, have you ever had one of the following complaints about management?

  • Their deadlines are too tight.
  • Their expectations are unfair because they don’t follow Agile processes.
  • They don’t take time to learn more about the work that’s being done.

It’s true, management can be a pain sometimes...so what have you done about it?

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Topics: Leadership, Agile

5 Things to Know before Your First PI Planning

Posted by Cathy McGraw on Nov 19, 2019 11:32:16 AM

Your first Program Increment (PI) Planning event is on the calendar, and you feel ready to kick-off your first Agile Release Train. It’s time to align the teams on their work for the next three months. No pressure here—PI Planning is only the most pivotal, face-to-face event in the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe).

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Topics: SAFe®, Coaching, Leadership, PI Planning

A Coach's Guide to Spreading Agility through the Enterprise

Posted by Rodger Koopman on Sep 24, 2019 9:58:49 AM

How does a Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) Transformation stick and sustain? An important key to success is having communicative leaders who commit to organizational culture change. While this commitment is best obtained from the C-suite or VPs early in the sales cycle, it is also the hardest. SAFe Transformations tend to start and stop in the IT department, where the primary goal is to produce a faster software development lifecycle.

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Topics: Business Agility, SAFe®, Transformation, Sustainability, Leadership

The Fake News about Fake Agile

Posted by Mitch Malloy on Aug 27, 2019 1:19:20 PM

All politics about fake news aside (PLEASE!), I’ve heard a growing number of reports, sighs and cries about Fake Agile. It’s frustrating when people just don’t get it, especially when they think they do. We can point fingers and vilify those who think differently—or we can try to understand why this “us vs them” mindset is splintering the Agile community. After all, isn’t that what a true Agilist would do: take an empirical and collaborative approach?

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Topics: Business Agility, Coaching, Leadership, Agile

8 Common Reasons Why SAFe® Transformations Fail (and how to avoid them)

Posted by Saajan Panikar on Aug 14, 2019 9:38:44 AM

Agile is disciplined; not reckless.

“That’s not how we do things here.”

“That will never work for us.”

“That’s not our culture.”

Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve heard or even said one of these phrases before. If so, you might be trudging through a Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) Transformation.

If you think that your SAFe Transformation is doomed to fail because your organization is unique—so unique that industry best practices couldn’t possibly apply to you—then let’s dispel that myth right now. That's not why SAFe Transformations fail. Sure, context matters, but at the end of the day, large enterprises across all industries have the same problems.

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Topics: SAFe®, Transformation, Sustainability, Leadership

Why Do We Need Business Agility?

Posted by Susan Strain on Aug 6, 2019 9:29:06 AM

...Because the world is moving too fast not to be Agile!

At the XP 2002 Conference, The Standish Group showcased their study of how often features were used in a typical system. According to the results, features were used “often” or “always” only 20% of the time. 15 years later in 2017, after the software development world had largely embraced incremental delivery methods, the Standish Group conducted the same study again. The result? Still only 20% of features were used “often." There was little to no significant change.


So why didn’t the percentage increase? What inhibited the growth of using features in a system, despite the increase in Agile delivery methods?
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Topics: Business Agility, Transformation, Leadership