martin@21Leadership.com
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Random Thoughts on Leadership and Life

Stories from helping organizations embrace New Ways of Working
From Staffing by Role to Staffing by Skills

Organizations often start their Agile journeys by forming one or more teams. One of the “rules” of Agile is that a team needs to be cross-functional (able to perform all the work, from analysis to production, on their own). Many pre-Agile organizations consist mainly of specialists with very narrow but deep skill sets. It is...

Yesterday, my colleague, Kristian Haugaard (@haugaards), asked on our Ugilic Google hangout; Which book should a mid-level manager new to Agile read during the christmas holidays? My instinctive answer was Scrum for Managers: Management Secrets to Building Agile & Results-Driven Organizations by Rini van Solingen (@solingen) and Rob van Lanen (@robvanlanen). The book is a ‘how to...

Recently we were helping a client introduce Agile into large parts of the organization. The client has offices across the country and the larger projects typically included people from multiple locations. The teams faced many of the usual challenges related to low-bandwidth communication compared to face-to-face. To improve communication effectiveness two of the teams decided...

I recently visited a large and prestigious project. The project had already experiences massive overruns on initial estimates and was trying to grasp the situation by re-estimating the remaining work. Re-estimating a project as such is not necessarily a bad idea, but in this case, the team were doing it for the fourth time in...

In my recent post on what it takes to be a great young leader, I made the case, that a really important leadership skill is the ability to pick a leadership team that supports the leader in her weakest areas and lets the leader use her strengths to drive results and create lasting change. In...

I am fascinated by finding new ways to apply agile principles to non-software development disciplines. I find myself doing it constantly and often with great results. This post is about how I revitalized our team meeting by applying simple agile principles like collaboration, business value driven prioritization, embracing change etc. Before discussing the details a...