Category Archives: Agile

Overview – Concepts for good organization, work and leadership

Over the course of the last two years I started to assemble groupings of methods, concepts and approaches that I feel anybody who has a role to organize and develop work should be aware of.

Yes, of course this especially means managers and leaders of companies.

Concepts that you don’t know limit your possibilities to choose the best options for your organization.

I hope this will be helpful and interesting to you. If you download the PDF file, you can click on most of these concepts and get to an explanatory resource.

I love 💪 organization! Because with great organization, the same people (!) can reach twice, four times, eight times the results than with bad organization. Or reach them at all and not fail. Or reduce their delivery time 60fold. Or [many more benefits] …

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And feel more fulfillment and personal development without working “harder” or longer.

It is a huge lever! The biggest anyone can hope for. And it is totally possible and has been done plenty of times. It does take a consequent approach, lots of learning, failures included, and discipline.

I was inspired by a small collection of Lean and Agile practices in the Agile Practice Guide by Agile Alliance on which I built.

But what good does it do if, for example, a manager knows Lean and Agile methods, but doesn’t know about the limitations and workings of the human brain, about biases and importance of safety/security for performance?

The result will be, as is often, that they overload themselves and the whole organization.

That is why I added the 2nd group of methods to the left of Lean and Agile.

And a 3rd widespread way of working is in projects (sometimes that is a good choice, sometimes not). So I gathered project management methods, reaching from “classical” to hybrid or agile (like AgilePM/DSDM).

Of course, there are specialized bodys of knowledge for anything and everything that are not on here – for programs, portfolios, requirements, risk etc. pp. I see them as deepening knowledge of the methods shown.

I have a lot more resources on these concepts and methods, but you can only link to one specific information. If you’d like to exchange in more detail on one or more of these concepts, feel free to contact me.

I try to stay as neutral as possible, so many of the links go to the English Wikipedia article on the subject – which might not be the best explanation, but “neutral”. For the same reason, I link to book information on Google books, not some … often-used, very large online retailer … 😉. Who, by the way, uses many of the mentioned organizational concepts like TOC, Scrum, DevOps/SRE and many more very consequently, and was a source of further developing several of them. Which is a main reason why they are so successful.

This grouping is subjective and certainly not “complete”.

For example the few concrete books named in the collection. I will write in more detail about Team Topologies, for example, which I find highly relevant!

And “How Big Things Get Done” for anyone working in projects.

Or the current “Wiring the Winning Organization

… This and others could and will develop with my personal horizon.

I think there are people who really have a grasp of any serious organizational concept that has been developed, but they are rather few. I certainly am not one of them.

If you like to add comments and further aspects that you find relevant, please do so in the comments.

My best regards,

Thorsten Speil

We can all live in peace together, if we really try. And we should try very hard. It is so important.

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The FAST Agile Scaling Framework – very lightweight. Can it work?

In this article: A very good real-life application report of FAST // A graphic overview // Download to the FAST guide // Short description of FAST // FAST – differences to other frameworks like SAFe, LeSS etc. // Other agile enterprise frameworks you may not know yet

I came upon the FAST Agile Framework by Ron Quartel in the very good keynote on “Agile bureaucracy” by Jurriaan Kamer from TheReady recently.

It promises a very lightweight approach to self-organize up to 150 – 200 people in a Collective (not so different than a Spotify-“Tribe”). Need it bigger? Several Collectives can work as a FAST Portfolio.

So the appeal is: Is it a way to escape the rigid structures prescribed in other Agile Scaling frameworks? No matter if it is SAFe, LeSS, S@S, …

Is there a freer, better way with less overhead?

When I looked closer into FAST, I found an excellent real-life report on using FAST by James Shore (author of The Art of Agile Development): here it is

Hands-on Agile 45: FAST Scaling — James Shore

Continue reading The FAST Agile Scaling Framework – very lightweight. Can it work?

Collection of Non-IT Scrum Projects

Most companies that develop software use Scrum … (or ScrumBut…).

But what about non-IT projects? I mean, Scrum is a product development method. Look at the quote from Mike Cohn below! (Ok, he says “Agile…”.)

I was surprised to have a hard time finding concrete examples for Scrum projects outside of software development or IT – but here are the results of my small survey and a discussion at a local “Lean coffee” Agile Meeting. Thanks so much for sharing your examples!

Continue reading Collection of Non-IT Scrum Projects

Agile Bürokratie… und kein Ausweg?

Agile Bürokratie? Was soll das sein? Wenn wir “richtig” agil sind, ist dann nicht alles unbürokratisch? …

Es geht hier nur am Rand um die aktuellen Diskussionen und Erfahrungen mit dem SAFe Skalierungsframework (à la “is SAFe evil?”).

We’re stuck in agile bureaucracy – but there is hope!

Der Keynote-Vortag von Jurriaan Kamer bei der ‘Agile Amsterdam 2022’ war für mich spannend, weil es hier – für mich “endlich” – etwas Neues zum Thema Selbstorganisation und interessante “neue” Firmenbeispiele gab.

Auch die Folien fand ich interessant und “leichtgewichtig” und konnte einige gute Informationen und Gedanken für mich – und jetzt für dich, interessierter Leser 😉 – mitnehmen.

Die Folien sind zum Download unter Slides

Hier sind meine “take aways” (ich dachte erst, es werden nur zwei, drei Stichworte, aber dann ist es ein ganzer Artikel geworden…)

“FAST Agile Ansatz”

  • “Self-organization Eats Agile at Scale for Breakfast” – Ron Quartel

… Hm … gut gebrüllt, Löwe … würde Peter Drucker dazu vielleicht sagen

Continue reading Agile Bürokratie… und kein Ausweg?