Ade Shokoya

17
Jun

The Subtle Difference Between ‘Doing’ and ‘Being’ Agile

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I recently caught up with an old friend for a quick drink. A quick drink turned into a quick few more — then a quick few more, more! But who’s counting?

I digress — back to the story.

After a couple of drinks my friend started opening up about some personal stuff happening in his life. He was unhappy at work because he felt underpaid and overworked. And on top of that, things weren’t going too well in his marriage; in fact, they were rapidly going from bad to worser (his word, not mine).

After spending some time off-loading the things that were making him unhappy, with some strategically placed questions, I finally got him to start focusing on potential solutions to some of the perceived problems he was facing.

(That’s not to say his problems weren’t real – they were; at least from his perspective. But I’m a firm believer that what we focus on expands; and problems are only problems when we perceive them as such. Hence why Einstein said:

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”)

As far as my friend was concerned, the solutions were simple; if his wife was less argumentative, his boss wasn’t such a jerk and his company paid him more, everything would be fine; and he’d be much happier.

Listening to him talk, reminded me of the opening chapter of Steven Covey’s international best seller ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ where Steven draws the reader’s attention to two concepts he calls the ‘Circle of Concern’ and the ‘Circle of Influence’.

According to Steven, when operating from the Circle of Concern, we tend to think and speak in terms of achieving an end goal as a direct result of something else (usually outside our control) happening first. For example: Read more

27
Jan

Is Value More Important Than Velocity?

value-v-velocityWe’ve all heard the ‘promise’ that Agile done properly can result in reduced costs, higher quality and quicker times to market.

But what exactly does it take to realise those benefits?

And should managers/teams be focusing on velocity or business value delivered?

In this video, Agile coach Jeff “Cheezy” Morgan shares a number of effective practices and strategies for cutting costs and delivering high quality products/software faster on Agile projects.

Jeff is Chief Technology Officer and a cofounder of LeanDog. He’s been coaching teams on Agile and Lean techniques for over 10 years now, so it’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about.

Have a watch and do feel free to share your thoughts. Read more

22
Dec

Why Managers Should Stop Managing and Start Leading

Although companies might be having some success with Agile at the team level, scaling Agile at the enterprise level presents a new set of challenges – and therefore, requires a different approach.

For example, whereas team dynamics and customer collaboration might be key at the delivery level,  leadership becomes a critical success (or failure) factor at the enterprise level.

So how do Senior and Middle managers make the transition from traditional management to leadership?

And what’s the difference between the two? Read more

30
Sep

Beyond Agile Software Development

Hierarchy InfectionYou already know that Agile has revolutionised the software development industry — enabling companies to benefit from lower costs, higher quality and shorter times to market.

But did you also know that organisations using Agile in other areas of their business (i.e. HR, legal, sales, marketing, accounting) are reporting higher retention rates, quicker returns on investment and higher profit margins?

See that’s the thing about Agile… Read more

19
Aug

What was he thinking?

What Was He Thinking?

agile doghouseJust as I was opening a bottle of wine, the phone rang.

“Hello” I answered.

“Hey Ade,” a voice responded at the other end, “How’s it going?” It was my friend Geoff.

“Not bad thanks Geoff” I replied, grabbing two wine glasses. “The boys are in bed, and I’m about to enjoy a well deserved glass of wine and film with my wife. What are you up to?”

“Not much…” Geoff responded.

“Really — I thought you and Angela were going on a ‘date night’ tonight?” I asked as I passed a glass of wine to my beautiful wife.

“We were…” Geoff replied. He didn’t sound his usual bubbly self.

“Is everything ok?” I asked, flicking through the movies channel to see when the next showing of “Dallas Buyers Club” was scheduled to start.

“Not really…” Geoff said hesitantly.

He had my full attention now. “What’s wrong?” I asked with concern, putting the cable remote down.

“Well…you know how Angela’s always telling me to be more open and honest with her?” Geoff said.

“Yeah…” I replied uneasily Read more

6
Aug

Is Your Corporate Culture a Good Fit for Agile?

We must be informed and Agile during this time. Know who your customers are, know what they need, and be prepared to delight! ~ Steve Denning

In the book ‘Diffusion of Innovations‘ Everett Rogers provides a perspective of how, why and at what rate new ideas spread in society. According to Rogers, in order for new ideas to become self-sustainable, they must be widely adopted.rogers-bell-curve

Plotted over time, the rate at which new ideas are adopted typically follows a ‘bell curve’ pattern, showing the order in which different groups adopt new ideas. These adopter groups are as follows;

Innovators >> Early Adopters >> Early Majority >> Late Majority >> Laggers

Looking at the widespread use of Agile in software development today — and the rate at which companies from different industries have taken to it over the last few years — I think it’s safe to say that Agile uptake is currently somewhere between the Early and Late Majority stage.

The speed at which new companies are taking to Agile is a good thing – especially when you consider the fact that only a few years ago many organisations still viewed Agile as a ‘fad’ that would come and go as quickly as the British summer! Read more