Archives For Agile

In October 2014 I was fortunate enough to speak at Scrum Australia. My talk focused on how people are key to building high performance teams.


In addition to the talk I participated in a panel with Henrik Kniberg where we discussed approaches to scaling Scrum at Twitter and Spotify.



Scrum Australia is a great conference. Put it on your list for 2015.

The Principles of Product Development Flow – Don Reinersten

Get it. Read it. Re-read it.

Kanban – David J. Anderson

My introduction to Kanban. Simple, good case study to get folks started.

Honestly, this was pivotal for the introduction of Kanban to GreenHopper (JIRA Agile). These days it is instrumental in how we approach work at Twitter for teams in Platform and Infrastructure Operations.

Continuous Delivery – Humble, Farley

Once you’ve got continuous integration in place, and if your customers can accept value on an on-going basis, then have a read of Continuous Delivery and take your development to the next level. You’ll get faster feedback and deliver value to customers frequently.

The Phoenix Project – Kim, Behr, Spafford

I love this book. Walks through a fairly common scenario from the not too distant past (or perhaps the present for some companies) and shows how to alleviate the pain through a compelling and enjoyable story. Get it.

Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners – Ilan Goldstein

Great book with all the tips and tricks in a condensed form. Leave it on your desk and pick it up for a quick reference when you need it – or hand them out to your colleagues or new engineering managers to give them the shortcuts too!


What have I missed? Tweet and let me know.

AgileCamp Silicon ValleyYesterday I had the good fortune to attend AgileCamp Silicon Valley. I joined a panel on team dynamics in the morning and presented a revised Collaborating Across an Enterprise: Quarterly Planning at Twitter with JIRA and Confluence in the afternoon.

The event was hosted at the amazing eBay Town Hall. Honestly, what a brilliant training and conference centre they have! Also, kudos goes to Stacey, Mary and the entire organising crew – it is not easy pulling off a full day conference and they did a superb job. Thank you!


Choice Quotes:

As you gain agility you have to gain discipline.

– Ryan Martens, @RallyOn

I agree wholeheartedly. Being agile is hard, and without the discipline individuals, teams and organisations will return to their old, familiar and less effective methods.


Business of innovation is mainstream. Agility is a necessity.

– Victoria Livschitz, @vlivschitz

This tied in nicely with the statistic that the average span of time a company is on the Fortune 500 list has dropped to 15 years, down from a high of over 30. Agility gives companies the ability to be innovative, validate customer problems quickly and get to market promptly.


As is built.

– Luke Hohmann, @lukehohmann

This one was gold. When the product manager doesn’t have sufficient insight into a particular area they may write “as is built” for the acceptance criteria. In this situation the product manager will accept the solution that the team comes up with. Very nice.


Collaborating Across an Enterprise

Collaborating Across an Enterprise – Quarterly Planning at Twitter with JIRA and Confluence includes some new reporting goodness that we’ve been exploring since we got a good baseline in 2013-Q4. In this talk I share cumulative flow diagrams and control charts for two groups and we compared their behaviour. Lots of fun, and some great (tricky) questions as well. Cheers!