Essential Thoughts and Questions by Al Shalloway

As a thought leader in XP, design patterns, Scrum, Kanban, Lean, SAFe and even more, I thought it’d be interesting to create a list of top thoughts and questions I believe are essential for effective Lean-Agile adoption.  I’ll try to add a few of these each week. I welcome questions for new topics as well.

Commonly Held, Unchallenged, Beliefs That I do not Believe

It is better to start with Scrum that fosters Agile than to start with actual Agile practices while learning as little of Scrum as you can get by with.  See Essential Aspects for Training New Scrum Teams for more.

People don’t retain much from courses because most courses don’t attend to how people learn.

Useful Ideas

Why Agile Should Be More Predictable Than Waterall

Excerpt from Achieving Business Agility at All Scales: Transforming Your Organization with Lean Thinking and Lean-Agile Patterns

Many executives have been led to believe that Agile is inherently less predictable than a waterfall approach.  However, Agile, when wrapped in Lean-Thinking, can be more predictable because it enables working directly on the true causes of unpredictability in software development. Waterfall’s large projects and stage gate approach cause delays in feedback, workflow, testing and integration. These delays inherently create a significant amount of rework (redoing requirements, reworking code that missed requirements, finding bugs, thrashing during integration).  This work, of course, is never planned for, and therefore result in inherently bad estimation, not to mention that eliminating this extra work improves productivity.

See the rest of the chapter here.

All resources related to Business Agility

A Primer on Emergent Design (Article)
Acceptance Test-Driven Development (Article)
Adopting SAFe® at Small to Mid-Scale (in Depth) (Article)
An Agile Parable (Article)
An Introduction to Lean-Agile Software Development (Article)
Cost of Delay (Article)
Deciding If and How to Use SAFe at Small to Mid-Scale with FLEX (Article)
Dependency Management, Collaboration and Planning at Small-Scale (Article)
Emergent Architecture (Article)
FLEX Solutions (Article)
Gauging Your Progress (Article)
Guardrails (Article)
Guardrails for the Team and Agile Coach (Scrum/Kanban Master) (Article)
How People Learn (Article)
How to Use Scrum in Mid to Large Scale Organizations (Article)
Lean Portfolio Management (Article)
Lean-Agile Product Management (Article)
Lean-Agile Product Management (Article)
Manage Work-in-Process (WIP) by Focusing on Finishing (Article)
Promises by Leadership and Management (Article)
Re-thinking ScrumBut and ScrumAnd (Article)
Reorganizing the Talent (Article)
Right Sized Epics in SAFe (Article)
Roadmaps for Discovery and the Rollout (Article)
Running Effective Planning Events (Article)
Shared Services (Article)
Systems Thinking and How It Can Be Applied to Frameworks and Methods (Article)
Technology Delivery Manager (Article)
Test-First at the Team (Article)
The Essence of Lean Thinking (Article)
The Guardrails - Promises we make with each other to achieve business agility (Article)
The Relationship Between Visualization and Reorganization (Article)
The Software World Is Not Like the Physical World and What That Means (Article)
Using the Essence of SAFe at Small to Mid-Scale (Article)
Why Looking at Delay Is So Important (Article)
Why WSJF Should Be Done on MBIs and Not Features or Epics (Article)