Quick view: Is 2 speed IT a good thing?

I was talking to someone today about “2-speed IT” and whether it is:

  • An excuse to avoid going agile, while still hoping to be invited to all the cool “go digital” fun projects; or
  • A recognition that different types of technology require different approaches, requiring IT teams to adopt a strategic view.

I started to explore my thinking on this when I found that the argument had already been succinctly captured elsewhere. So here is a quick summary of other people’s thinking about what “2-speed IT” means and why it is good or bad.

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Somehow I missed agile going mainstream

I recently stumbled on this article again – Original article talking scrum.

Actually someone posted it in LinkedIn .

The ideas seemed so clear and so right when I read the article. In fact it seemed like something “the old guard” had ignored in their ignorance.

This was fresh, free thinking that the old guard would ignore now to their peril, while we who understood it would usher in a new world.

But then I realised that it was written in the 1980’s and was already quite old when I read it the first time.

I had an epiphany.

I used to laugh at old guys who said things like “Cool Daddy o” and “Rock on.” They seemed to think that they were radical and a bit out of control, but to me their music was “what my parents used to listen to.”

It hit me that not long ago, “agile” was something we talked about in cafes as part of the anti-establishment fight against pointless bureaucracy.

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Notes on story walls – longer term planning

I have been writing about story walls and how agile teams might use them to manage their work.  But some agile teams feel rushed because, although they can see what needs doing today, they don’t know what is coming next.

So in this article, I will extend the idea of using a story wall to look into the future.

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Notes on story walls – story or task?

In my last article, I talked about “story walls” but in fact, I focused on task walls.  The difference is minor but choosing one over the other can help improve collaboration among the team.

Task walls, predictably, are about tasks – “today I will do task 1” while story walls focus on the thing being built – “today I am working on story 3.”

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Do you get value from your retrospective?

A retrospective is a meeting where the team stop working and take a step back to review how well they are working and what they can do to improve.

It is generally done every sprint (or every two weeks if there is no sprinting going on).

The theory is easy – the team share their views on what went well in the last fortnight, what did not go well and what they should keep doing or change as a result.

In practice though, it often turns into a therapy session where people share opinions about the way the world is really bad (or even how the team is awesome) and then they wander off without taking on any action items.

So when your team have lost their mojo and the retros are getting stale maybe it is time to do a retro on the retro.  Similarly, when you first start out as a team, it is often good to define what you might want to get from your retro.

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Different Retrospectives and pre-mortems

One of the most powerful components of agile approaches is the retrospective.  I often think that even if a team does not know what “agile” is, if that team pauses on a regular basis and reflects on how to get better at what they do, then they would invent most of the other agile practices for themselves.

But stopping on  a regular basis can get stale after a while, so I thought I would sharer some slightly different sets of questions that you can use to keep things fresh.

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A choose your own adventure for agile coaches

Following a discussion I had in a recent class on agile coaching, I said I would create a “Choose your own adventure book.”

I have only done 3 pages but if you are interested then have a look

https://kingsaddress.wordpress.com/

If people like it then I might add some more content but for the moment it only has some comments on the different approaches to agile coaching that Lao Tzu and Confucius recommend.