#Agile video of the year (century?)

Ernesto Sirolli

was 27 when he experienced that all the NGO were no real entrepreneurs. Real entrepreneurs do not have in their biography the word I, they only use the word WE. I am 54 and always dreamed of a new way of working, but was afraid to lose my job, my house, my wife so I followed the mainstream opposed by our society.

I have not met any such entrepreneur in the 30 years I work as a consultant in IT that did not use the word I and always used the word WE. The same applies for politicians but also for more then 90% of the people I met in the IT industry. The same applies for all management in the companies I worked for in these 30 years. Or all people that work for NGO’s.  They help people because they think our western model is better then the simple and basic model used by “non-developed” cultures. They all think from their ego and always used the word I, not WE. Shut up and listen! This is real entrepreneurship based on RESPECT! Leave people in their dignity and really help them to achieve their dream and do not impose your dream upon them.

Look the video and weep, like I did.





#Agile (long) quote of the day

As you probably know, the template I recommend for user stories includes a “so that” clause: “As a type of user, I want some goal so that some reason.”

Many of you have asked if this long form of a user story is really necessary—can’t we leave out the “so that?” The short answer is, of course you can. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to use the template at all if it isn’t helpful for you.

However, I do believe that understanding a user’s motivation is crucial to developing the right functionality for users. After all, users know what their problems are. They do not, however, necessarily know the solutions to those problems.

Let me give you a non-software example to illustrate. Years ago I was out of town working on a project. Because of some horrible pain on the left side of my stomach, I hadn’t been able to eat for three days. As soon as I finished the client engagement, instead of going to the airport to fly home, I went to the hospital.

I walked in grabbing my left side. By now the pain was intolerable. I told the nurse receptionist that I wanted to check into the hospital and have my appendix removed.

She told me she’d be happy to check me in, but she was pretty sure it wasn’t my appendix as the appendix is on the *opposite* side of my pain.

Essentially I’d shown up at the hospital with a story card saying, “I want my appendix out” or “remove appendix.” If a surgeon had delivered that feature request, I would have been no better for it and would have undergone unnecessary surgery.

I should have come into the hospital with a story of, “As a patient, I want my appendix removed so that the pain on my left side stops.” Saying why I wanted what I wanted helped the nurse and later the surgeon diagnose the real problem and deliver the appropriate solution.

Similarly, understanding a user’s reasons for wanting a particular feature can help a team deliver a more effective solution.

And that will help you succeed with agile,

Mike Cohn

#Agile quote of the day

Dennis Bakke tells how he helped create a company where every decision made at the top was lamented as a lost chance to delegate responsibility?and where all employees were encouraged to take the “game-winning shot,” even when it wasn’t a slam-dunk.

Perhaps Bakke’s most radical stand was his struggle to break the stranglehold of “creating shareholder value” on the corporate mind-set and replace it with more timeless values: integrity, fairness, social responsibility, and, above all, fun.

~ Dennis Bakke in Joy at work.

To create an organization that’s adaptable and innovative, people need the freedom to challenge precedent, to ‘waste’ time, to go outside of channels, to experiment, to take risks and to follow their passions.

~ Gary Hamel


“If there was a single question that obsessed 20th century managers, from Frederick Taylor to Jack Welch, it was this: How do we get more out of our people? At one level, this question is innocuous—who can object to the goal of raising human productivity? Yet it’s also loaded with industrial age thinking: How do we (meaning “management”) get more (meaning units of production per hour) out of our people (meaning the individuals who are obliged to follow our orders)? Ironically, the management model encapsulated in this question virtually guarantees that a company will never get the best out of its people. Vassals and conscripts may work hard, but they don’t work willingly.”

~ Gary Hamel

#Agile quote of the day

“If each part of your organisation works efficient, is your organisation as a whole then still working efficiently? Rushing can lead to a sloppy portrait, cost reductions get the music, the passion and the innovative ability out of your organisation. A company that is suffering from organisational anorexia looses strength and stops growing” ~Eric Koenen in The art of leadership in time of changes.

“Nothing fails more like success”.