Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for answers? More questions can be answered by contacting us
Are you willing to give free samples of your workshops?
Yes, we are. Just reach out to us via phone or email with the topic, day, time-frame, and location. If we are available, we will serve the agile community (at least 15 attendees preferred) by presenting or running a workshop for up to 4 hours. Also, we will give phone coaching for executives who are seeking to understand the risks, costs and benefits of attempting an agile transformation at the organizational level, regardless of industry or location. The first 2 hours are free of charge. For educational or local government organizations, contact us for more details.
I am new to agile, and have trouble understanding all these field-specific terms. How should I get acclimatized to all of these new ideas?
You could go to our Resources page for some Quick.Reads that boil down the concepts to get you up and running, FAST! You can also begin by attending a local Meetup.com Group, or if you don’t know where to find one, just email us and we will tell you which ones they are. We’ve attended many of them. Friends help friends.
Is agile just for product development teams in the Information Technology industry?
No. Far from it. Agile is a way of working that helps people get what matters to them most. This includes any kind of human endeavor: mass production, physical product, professional services, private practices, non-profit organizations, health care, political organizations, schools, etc. Operations or projects of any kind, where there is some number of people who hand off their work from one person to the next — or conversely, they all work together on the same thing at once — they all can have a breakthrough in the value of their work. They start with what they do today and gradually, at their own pace, begin to use some parts of agile on an experimental basis, learning what fits, as they measure, record and analyze the results as they go.
What’s the difference between Scrum and Kanban?
There are many, and that’s what all the training and books are about. At the risk of over-simplifying the situation, you could look at it this way: both Scrum and Kanban are agile frameworks, a system of thinking and doing. It focuses on helping people with different areas of human nature that are kind of tricky. People sometimes procrastinate and people sometimes attempt to multi-task and get lots of things half-done. We usually don’t realize the full cost of delay in finishing our work. Even worse, we worry about finishing late and or doing things wrong, and that hurts our mental focus and our physical health, preventing us from doing our best and making our customers happy. However, there is a better way of working, learning and living that is simple to use, but extremely counter-intuitive (not obvious to our natural expectations) as people, and it’s called agile. There are a growing family of frameworks (a system of thinking and doing) that all belong to agile, waiting for you to try out.
When is the right time to start learning about or using agile?
Anytime is the right time. Maybe you’re already doing it, but you don’t know that it’s called agile. There is no minimum age or maximum age to learn new things, and adapt the way you approach activities in your life. Likewise, organizations large and small, young and old, in whatever way they view themselves can try on some of the ideas that agile provides, much like you might try on a new garment, such as a coat. If it doesn’t seem to fit you, or compliment your good lucks as much as something else will, then you don’t need to stick with it for life. Just say, “Next please!” and move onto another approach. We are the innovators and authors of our own processes and constructs. We are capable and entitled to revise and replace them at any time we see fit.
When is the right time to scale agile in my organization?
When the people involved see a need to, and volunteer to experiment with it. Agile is something that people pull into their lives, not something that can effectively be imposed on people. Invitation Based Change (IBC) is the format or platform upon which agile mindsets can grow. The benefits of agile do not flourish in a vacuum, unprotected or under-nourished, and they certainly do not grow in a pressure cooker, no matter how high you “turn up the heat.” If you have a different view, we invite you to run an experiment: try it your way. If you succeed, please publish the story to the world to let us learn with you. If you fail, please call us to talk about it. There is no shame in running an experiment that produces a negative outcome, because experiments are most valuable for discovering things we know the least about, disproving our hypothesis at least 50% of the time. We look forward to hearing from you. We will share with you the way by which to successfully build an environment where agile mindsets are inevitable.
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