Individual Performance Appraisals, Just Say No!

For some reason, the notion of individual performance reviews comes up a lot. My general feeling is that we should dump them entirely. I’m actually in good company. Almost a third of U.S. companies are dropping individual reviews, including stodgy places like General Electric. (See this HBR article if you can get past their paywall.…Read More

Waste (and production efficiency)

Why is it that, when I bring up concerns surrounding production efficiency, some people react as if I’m suggesting we return to the abuses 19th century factories? Agile is, of course, focused on delivering value. However, no business can succeed if it squanders money on inefficiency. That is, outcome is critical, and that’s where our…Read More

Improvement Boards

The original version of this post had the tag #NoRetrospectives in the title, but I got tired of the flak and removed it. My intent was to be a bit provocative and to get people thinking about how we can do better than a biweekly retrospective. That is, This article is not advocating that we…

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KPIs, Velocity, and Other Destructive Metrics

"It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it—a costly myth." –W. Edwards Deming The Deming quote at the top of this post is often twisted into something worthy of Frederick Taylor: "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it." Deming would disagree. You can—in fact, must—manage things…

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The Wrong Questions about Agile

When it comes to Agile, people often ask the wrong questions. I’ve used the term “wrong question” before, and it brought out the trolls, so let’s start with that. The trolls usually scream: “there is no such thing as a wrong question,” and then they launch into a discourse on why I’m an idiot.

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