Author Archive | Mike Cottmeyer

Barriers to Agile Adoption

We’ve all seen it happen. Though we try to show organizations the benefits of using a mature agile delivery framework, we still run into roadblocks.  Though the status quo is killing their organization, some barriers to further Agile adoption happen way too often among organizations that need it most.  I recently had a client ask […]

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Cheat Sheet for Backlog Refinement

What is it? The purpose of backlog refinement (grooming) is to make improvements to the product backlog.  Though there is no official ceremony detailed in the Scrum Guide, the activity of refining the Backlog is. Who does it? Backlog Refinement is a collaborative effort involving: (Optional) facilitator – (like a ScrumMaster) keeps the session moving toward […]

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Enabling Distributed Agile Teams

Recently, I was invited to talk about enabling distributed agile teams for the Atlanta Scrum Users Group.  It’s a fantastic group… about 70-80 people made it to the show. Before getting into the details, I have to admit that I do have a point of view on distributed teams.  I’m biased.  I had to put myself into […]

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Stop Writing Code You Can’t Yet Test

Most of the organizations we engage with have more work to do than they can possibly get done. So, developers are writing code as fast as they can to get done trying to maximize their capacity. Typically, we see developers running way ahead of testing. Often, testing is still working on the prior release while […]

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Agile Coach Camp Atlanta – November 1-3, 2013

LeadingAgile is psyched to announce that registration is officially OPEN for Agile Coach Camp Atlanta, November 1-3. *Applause* Not familiar with Coach Camp? All the more reason to join us. This fall, Steven “Doc” List from Santeon Group will lead a three-day, Open Space event geared toward all things Agile Coaching. Camp will be held […]

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Bottom-Up Implementation & Top-Down Intent

A good strategy that I have used for dealing with complex agile transformations in large enterprises has two parts: bottom-up implementation and top-down intent. As Mike puts it, this is “where leadership sets the direction and establishes constraints, but with teams that are empowered to operate within those constraints.” Bottom up implementation means helping teams […]

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Defect Driven Test Automation

A team needs guidelines when starting to use automated tests.   Not only is the development of tests expensive in terms of development time but on going maintenance of test also consume development time.  One option for building a testing strategy is to use defect reports to define software use patterns.  The goal is to build […]

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What allows agile to succeed in an organization?

For over 10 years, agile methodologies continue to prove themselves in a wide variety of industries and applications, yet I still get the following question from clients: Will agile work for us?  I still feel that an organization will be successful with an agile transformation independent of industry, size of the organization, geographic distribution of […]

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Visual Evidence of an Agile Release

Below is a fancy release burnup chart (click it to see the full image) that visually shows the work of a team from a recent release by a LeadingAgile client. The red line effectively is the amount of risk. You can see that the team started the release with about 50% of their stories unsized, […]

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Agile and Sales: Reflections on my first Scrum Sales Team

After working as a sales manager at two different Agile organizations I am often asked if sales can be Agile, and if so, how is it implemented? At my previous company, several departments chose to align with the development team’s 2-week sprints/builds.  The marketing department started using a Kanban/Scrum approach, and it made sense as […]

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