Dec 282011
IT - coming on tour in a city near you

For the better part of twenty years, I observed business processes with an eye toward defining, streamlining and sometimes automating them. Now that I am no longer on the consulting side of the table, I get to share greater ownership of our business processes with the other members of our management team. At the same time, I notice a stark difference between engaging clients from the outside in a process improvement effort and being part of a team that has to work politically together to make those improvements happen. I also [read more…]

Oct 032011
Bass guitar lessons, or professional development?

We had a piano in my house growing up – one of those black lacquer wooden uprights that we never tuned. And I never learned to play. My dad could play a little, and my mom didn’t at all. Then about five years ago I joined a professional discourse in which I heard the leader say something like: Freedom and liberty to perform come with practice and learning. If you never practiced the piano, you don’t have the freedom to play. It might as well be a nightstand you put [read more…]

Sep 122011
Getting started with a new agile team

Starting an agile project with a new team provides a great time to reflect on what we take for granted. It offers an opportunity to refocus on what we think is ultimately most important. We anticipate the questions new team members have. We see reservation as they engage teammates who have more experience. We’re ready for the moments they sometimes shut down or defer to others’ “leadership”, even as I hear them making sound observations and assertions, and leading the team in their own way. We watch their pensive expressions [read more…]