Category Archives for Management

The history and future of management

Many organisations today are run according to management principles which are 50 to 100 years old. These methods are not appropriate to the fluid and fast-paced world we live in, but many organisations are struggling to change. In this article, I will talk about the history and future of management theory, so we can understand […]

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The myth of culture change

A lot of people talk about culture change in organisations. “We want our place to have an innovation culture!”. “Our leaders keep telling us about culture change initiatives”. “The problem with that company is its culture”. “How do we copy Google’s culture?”. You hear these phrases all the time. People write books, go to conferences, […]

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Obligation to dissent and the circle of safety

I read an article recently about “obligation to dissent“. It’s an interesting phrase with some important concepts behind it. Some of these concepts tie closely into the principles of Agile. Some organisations foster a culture where dissent is welcome, others don’t. This is an important clue into the overall health of that organisation. What is […]

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Myths of agile: “there’s no planning in Agile”

I’m going to tackle some of the persistent myths surrounding Agile software development. The first and probably most well known is that “there is no planning in Agile, you just make it all up as you go along”. This is not at all true. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here […]

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Why agile projects need to fund BML properly

One of the key concepts from Eric Ries’ seminal book, the Lean Startup, is “Build Measure Learn”, or BML. This means that rather than deliver projects in a sequence, organisations should build something small, measure behaviour and learn from those measurements, then loop back and build again (i.e. extend or change the product). While many […]

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Servant Leadership and management by measurement

I was reading a bizarre post on Linkedin Pulse about some wacky new system for story point estimation. The details of it aren’t interesting or important. What is interesting is the motivation behind it. The imaginary problem that many people think needs to be solved is that traditional managers, when moved (kicking and screaming) to an […]

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Don’t split people across agile teams

Why do people get split across agile teams? People sometimes get split across teams when working agile (or Waterfall, for that matter, but less often). You might hear things like “this team has two front-end developers, two back-end developers, a UX designer, a tech BA, and 50% of an architect”. Why 50%? There are usually […]

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Theory of constraints in Agile

A concept from Management Theory called “theory of constraints” has become popular in Agile and Lean circles. The theory is quite simple. This article will explain the theory of constraints in Agile, in a micro and macro context. In any given system, there will be one component that is the constraint or bottleneck for the […]

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