27 June 2014

Leadership Quotes - Change

Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go though our changes in a similar state of shock.
-James Baldwin on Change

I believe that whenever you adopt Agile practices you need to ensure you accept change, that you have change as a mindset. If you do, you will be open enough to identify the practices that are holding you and the team back and you will have the willingness and gumption to make the relevant change. As Agile Coaches we should lead with change as a mindset, not to change for the sake of it but to be comfortable with change when the time is right and you have identified, with the team, the right things to change.

20 June 2014

Leadership Quotes - Leadership

Be tough but fair. This point sums it up. Leadership is an intensely personal and interpersonal skill. How you relate to people means everything. Toughness starts with your own standards, your own performance and the example you set. Fairness is the other side of the coin. Judge others as you would judge yourself, fairly and consistently.
-Hatim A Tyabji, Chairman/President/CEO, Verifane, on Leadership

16 June 2014

Build your own things.

Why can't you follow your dreams?
Why can't you be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.
In fact, why do you have to be? Be you and be fantastic.

15 June 2014

The Scrum Framework in 10 minutes or less

This is one of the best ways I've seen so far of how to explain the SCRUM framework to a novice. I've used it myself on a couple of occasions and it's really helped.

13 June 2014

Leadership Quotes - Leadership

Managers are often so busy cutting through the undergrowth they don't even realize they are in the wrong jungle. A leader is a person who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, "Wrong jungle!"
- Stephen R. Covey on Leadership

As a Scrum Master make sure you are the one climbing the tree rather than cutting the undergrowth. Your team needs you to be on the ball and help them stay on the right course.

6 June 2014

Leadership Quotes - Confrontation

The goal of confrontation should be to help, not to humiliate.
John C. Maxwell on Confrontation
Confrontation isn't something that we normally seek out, but as leaders we should expect that at some point in time we will have to deal with it. The worst outcome is that one party or the other comes out feeling humiliated, I've been on the receiving end of this both from past leaders I looked up to, men I considered mentors, and current leaders I work with. Neither experience was helpful and I vowed to never put anyone through that as a result of dealing with confrontation in the future myself. Don't shy away from it, but handle it wisely and build up rather than destroy.

4 June 2014

The Power of the Servant Leader

The role of a Scrum Master is one of servant leadership which is an extremely powerful type of leadership when done right. This podcast episode from the Coaching For Leaders website is a fantastic look into the power of a servant leader and has a great insight into lessons learned by John Dickson on his way to becoming a servant leader.


“The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, and serve first. The conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.” -Robert Greenleaf

You can listen to the webcasts provided by Coaching for Leaders either direct on the site, download them or subscribe using your favorite podcast app. I recommend the fantastic PocketCasts app available on iOS and Android.

1 June 2014

The right space can foster innovative behaviour

I've helped set up spaces like this in the UK after seeing what is possible from SAPs Dublin app house. Creative spaces that have the right tools and atmosphere can seriously increase a teams ability to work out new innovative thoughts and come up with workable solutions.

We haven't specifically called it a war room but we have had fantastic results setting up a space for agile development teams to thrash out ideas.

Key things I always recommend :
Supply of good quality post it notes of various sizes and colours.
Supply of flip board pads -  the ones with the sticky edge on the top.
Lots of whiteboard pens
Sharpies in lots of colours
Portable whiteboards of various sizes
Scrap paper.
Large clock you can stand up - one with a timer is best so you can time box brainstorming sessions.

Tour the Google Ventures war room in San Francisco: http://youtu.be/BcjS6-ocLik