Continuous Process Improvement – Doing Less

I’m wary of the cliche’, “doing more with less.” When I started in my current role, my team consisted a development manager, a product manager, a business analyst, three developers, an outsource/offshore arrangement of 6-18 developers with its own full-time relationship manager and me, a non-individual contributor tech executive. We worked with a product team of three. We built our main US and six other variations over the course of 12-16 months – which was a great success in the … Read More

Hiring a ruby on rails developer

One of our team is moving on. So we’re looking to hire one full-time, experienced developer. At Simon & Schuster, we’ve created a small, collaborative team where people can do their best, learn in a collegial environment and get home at a reasonable hour. We work at a sustainable pace because after five years as a Ruby on Rails team we know the value of staying current, refactoring our codebase, and cleaning up tech debt. We pair, we test drive, … Read More

Dear agile consultant – hiring criteria for coaches and mentors

play at your own risk

Dear consultant who uses “agile” as part of your brand, I am a possible customer who embraces agile principles, practices agile techniques and has done so for years. I admire the tenacity and talent it takes to build a business in consulting. The best of you offer your clients techniques, language and a way of thinking that can better lives and turn around companies: advising them in ways to change their own organizations, bolstering their courage to experiment, helping them … Read More

An outlier to the outliers, observations of an agile practitioner at an academic conference

Molokini viewed from the Grand Wailea Hotel

I presented my paper “Agile Values, Innovation, and the Shortage of Women Developers” at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences #45 (HICSS) on Thursday, January 5th. I’ll publish out my presentation notes in this blog over the next week. I’ll also link to the published paper when it is available on the IEEE website. A puzzling experience I’ve presented papers at HICSS before. Mostly in the Agile track chaired by Jeff Sutherland. I did present once in a more … Read More

The existential joys of agile practice: angel on your shoulder


At Agile NYC I presented a pecha kucha. 20 slides. 20 seconds per slide. This is the fourth and final part. Angel on your shoulder Agile values call for honesty and trust. A shared ambition to do better and be better while causing each other less unnecessary pain. I try to remember this in one on ones, retrospectives, coaching and in reflecting on my own decisions and actions. The great thing about these values is that even as you strive … Read More