A month ago I was talking to a client when the subject of Agile reporting came up. There was a lot of discussion around tools and meetings and all sorts of complexity that might occur in a large Agile program.
Feeling a bit flustered, I walked away and started drawing on a nearby whiteboard. What’s the maximum amount of visual indicators you would need to run a large, complex Agile program? It’s a small, finite number, and maybe by just getting it all out on the wall it would be clear that the real work is in running the program, not all the tooling and pretty displays. You should be able to capture, report, and analyze program status in just a few minutes per day. The rest of your time should be spent, well, working.
Took about an hour to draw it all up, and folks liked it enough to put a big “Don’t Erase!” on the board. Last I saw it was still on there.
But what really sucked was that I could see myself having the same exact conversation with another client in a month or two’s time. And having to draw it all over again. Was there some way to capture these kinds of whiteboard chats so they could be reused and shared more easily?
Turns out yes, yes there was. Using a graphics tablet and some software, I could capture a whiteboard chat and not have to repeat it. Way cool.
So then I thought, what’s the most helpful question I could answer for folks on the net? Something that they would have a difficult time getting from others?
I felt the answer was “How to prepare for Agile Adoption” because there are so many opinions, it’s tried so many different ways, and vendors have a conflict of interest — many times they’d much rather take your business and hope they can straighten things out later than tell you up front you’re doing it wrong — especially if you’re willing to sign the contract with somebody else. By being a talking head I could offer up my years of experience and not have “skin in the game”. I’m just sharing what I’ve seen.
Well this was getting to be a lot more fun than electric cooking, so, of course, I had to do a few more. After all, what would be the fun in just two? Today I finished up “Scrum Vs. Kanban”, which is a look at the two methodologies and how to apply them in your organization.
I have a list of a dozen or so topics I’d like to do, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do all of them. This is a new format for me and I like it because it combines teaching, movie-making, and technology development.
For those of you interested in the business side of things, the videos provide a calling card for me, they point traffic at my micro-publishing site, Tiny Giant Books, and since they’re about management in general and not some specific technology, hopefully they should hang around on the web for a long time.
But the biggest reason to do these is that all the pieces just came together. I had the tools, the material was already put together, I had deep knowledge in an area that many might find useful, and it looked like an opportunity to help lots of folks. It was just a no-brainer kind of moment.
If you have any ideas for topics or feedback from the videos you’ve watched, let me know! I’m enjoying learning this new media, and it the more feedback I get the better the result for everybody.If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course, and follow me on Twitter.