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These articles — all original content by Gil Broza — first appeared in the 3P Vantage Point, our free weekly newsletter. To receive it, go here.

The Way of Working Should Be Fit for Purpose

An enterprise Agile coach wrote to me just as my fourth book came out: “Your book is timely.”

When I asked why she thought that, she answered: “The entire Agile community is struggling with how coaches, Scrum Masters, etc. define and deliver value.”

The Invisible Costs of Freezing Budgets

Manager: you’re seeing a problem that your executives aren’t seeing.

The issue starts with your executives being tense about the current business landscape. As a result, you are more constrained than ever.


Project Lies and Vicious Cycles

let’s talk about project lies, like these gems:

“I’m 90% done.”
“The status is green.”
“It will be ready by the promised date.”
“The new feature works fine.”
“Users are loving it!”


Don’t Write Agile off Just Yet

This year (2023), I’ve seen a particularly high number of “Agile is dead” posts in my LinkedIn feed. This sentiment has been triggered and reinforced by mass layoffs of Agile roles. Here is my response.READ MORE

Why Agile Practices Fail

“Agile doesn’t work” pitfall #1: Organizations adopt practices, but practices are only effective when executed with the mindset (values, beliefs, and principles) that gave rise to them.


Agile Is a System Thing

“Agile doesn’t work” pitfall #3: The Agile approach is designed for the entire system of value delivery, but companies apply it mostly in the build part.


How to Finish More Work

I often get this question: “My team works hard, but we struggle to achieve sprint goals and to finish as many stories/tasks as we’d like. What can we do?”READ MORE

Addressing a Blind Spot of Alignment

Leaders know the importance of articulating the vision, mission, and goals and aligning everyone to them. There’s another important matter to determine and align to, but it’s sometimes missed.

Metrics Are not All Good or Evil

The use of metrics continues to be a touchy subject in the development space. Managers use them, coaches get nervous about their use, and team members are stuck in the middle.READ MORE

Agility Takes More than Practices

Your organization has an Agile way of working. Your previous company probably did too, but theirs was different. And the popular Agile frameworks? They don’t all agree either.


Who Makes Decisions Around Here?

In many Product Development organizations, who-decides-what about the product is hazy, inconsistent, or not fully defined. This limits the ability to deliver good value reliably.


Effective Senior Management: a One-Minute Summary

A CEO asked me: “I can see how the teams and the product lines will operate with an Agile mindset, but at my level, how do I manage differently? How do I work with the other executives?”

Here is my quick (“elevator pitch”) summary:


Going Agile: Not with “Ceremonies” and “Rituals”

Imagine you’ve been asked to join another Agile team. The person in charge meets you and during the introductory conversation, says “Mondays, we have the planning ceremony at 10. The other main ceremonies are on Friday afternoons…”

Rewind to where the person said “ceremony.” Did you feel excited? curious? nervous? unenthusiastic?

What Can Management Do to Support Agile?

Everyone who tries to adopt Agile in their organization quickly realizes that the change extends beyond the team, project/program, and value stream. It affects management too. But how? More specifically, what should managers focus on to support the change to Agile?


Does Your Daily Standup Matter?

Try this sometime:

Survey your team members anonymously: “What’s the purpose of our daily standup?” (or daily Scrum, whatever you call it).

You might be surprised by the number of materially different answers you’ll get.

And then, you should be concerned over how many of those answers include words such as “updates” or “status.”


Being Agile Without Fitting a Mould

A few weeks ago I started helping out at one of the most Agile tech companies I’ve ever seen.

I looked into their current state. On the surface, they use a mix of Scrum and Kanban ideas that wouldn’t pass muster by the standards of either approach. Some practices are done loosely, while others are absent.


Imposing Agile Is a Non-Starter

For years, whenever people wanted to know about my Agile coaching practice, one thing I would bring up was, “I only coach the willing.”

Sometimes they would chuckle or nod understandingly. Yet, more often, they didn’t realize why I was saying this. I’m a professional coach, wouldn’t I coach everyone?

Agile Just Makes Sense… Why Don’t They Get It?!

In my courses, I use various activities to examine and drive home Agile’s many principles. Ones that usually trigger deep conversations include getting to “done,” feedback, collaboration, and effectiveness before efficiency. Many senior managers attend my courses, and almost every time, one of them will ask:

“Aren’t these principles just a common-sense way to work?”READ MORE

The Silent Killer in Your Agile Process

Suppose you have Agile teams and things look good. Folks work on important initiatives, do high-value work, get feedback regularly, and deliver finished products/services to their intended consumers frequently.

Question: How long before things start to break down?

How Do You Learn Agile?

If you’re picking up a new skill, method, or tool, how do you learn to apply it?

Perhaps you like to read instructions and follow them. Or maybe you prefer to have an expert teach you. Another option is trial-and-error. There are multiple learning styles.

What if you’re learning something as deep and impactful as an overall approach to work, such as Agile?


Gil Broza Interviewed by Selena Delesie (48-min audio)

How do you lead with both heart and mind? Why would you care do to that? And how do you overcome the organizational barriers to a people-first culture? Selena Delesie, host of the Lead With Love Virtual Conference, held a deep-dive interview on these matters with Gil in January 2017.READ MORE

What’s in a Word?

Imagine yourself in a planning meeting. The team is considering options when someone says, “How can we fail fast with this one?”

What’s going through your mind?


Rigid Agility

Being in the business of helping development teams and organizations become more effective, I get to see very diverse starting points. The clients of the last few months, however, had a lot in common.


Could You Use Software Development Insurance?

Like most people, I carry various kinds of disaster insurance. If I crash my car, I’ll get paid back its worth. If my house burns down, I will lose lots of personal effects and time, but not my financial investment.

Even if the law or mortgage lenders didn’t require car/home/life insurance, I would still buy them. They are a large expense but they have a huge benefit: They allow me to live my life without fear of financial ruin.

If you could buy a policy on your software development efforts, guaranteeing some quick recovery if anything goes horribly wrong, would you?


How to Tell Whether Your Team Is Agile

My company assessed three teams for a client. One of the three is actually one of the most Agile teams we’ve observed in an enterprise environment, and their customers are really happy with the value delivered. Yet, they’re not perceived as such by IT management because they don’t fit a ‘cargo cult’ understanding based on process.