Author: trenthone

  • Complexity in Action: Operating in a Complex World

    This post originally appeared on Excella Consulting’s Blog. In the previous posts in this series, I introduced Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) and described some basic approaches for using complexity to improve the work of Agile teams. In this post, I’ll delve a bit deeper and explain how complexity can help trigger the mindset shift necessary […]

  • What are Heuristics and How Can They Accelerate Decision-Making?

    This post originally appeared on Excella Consulting’s Blog. In the earlier posts in this series, I introduced Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), and contrasted Scrum and Kanban from a CAS perspective. I also briefly touched on the idea of heuristics; in this post, I’ll expand on these ideas and explain why heuristics are advantageous for decision-making […]

  • Effective Use of Constraints: Scrum vs. Kanban

    This post originally appeared on Excella Consulting’s Blog. In the first post in this series, I introduced the concept of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) and how constraints can trigger innovative ideas. In this post, I’ll investigate constraints in more detail and contrast how Kanban and Scrum use constraints to enable successful software teams. Both Scrum […]

  • What is Complexity and Why is it Useful?

    This post originally appeared on Excella Consulting’s Blog. This is an exciting time to be involved in the Agile community. A number of new models are emerging that allow us to understand our work better and frame our challenges more effectively. One of the most robust is the theory of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). A […]

  • Why is Complexity Useful?

      Why is complexity useful? One of my colleagues recently challenged me to answer that question. I wasn’t sure how exactly to respond. I’ve become so accustomed to approaching situations with an eye towards complexity that it has become part of my mental fabric. I take its value as a given. I thought stepping back […]

  • Leadership Teams and Enabling Constraints

    Michael Norton’s “Leadership Teams may be a smell” is a thought-provoking read. As I went through it, I found myself thinking of examples from my own experience that bear out his hypothesis. Here’s a summary of his idea: Right now, I think of a leadership team as an organizational smell. Like a code smell, an organizational […]

  • Constraints to Improve Flow

    In my work with software teams, I often use traffic flow as an analogy. It is an extremely accessible way to describe the concepts of capacity, flow, and utilization. We all seem to have experienced traffic in one form or another and even the smallest localities have their share of traffic jams. Most people appreciate […]

  • Unconferencing #NoEstimates

    A little over a week ago, Paul Boos hosted the first Agile Dialogs Unconference. Our subject was inspired by the debate surrounding #NoEstimates. We hoped to get beyond some of the rhetoric and grapple with perspectives from both sides. I was hopeful that we would increase our overall understanding and generate some ideas for real […]

  • The Perils of “Obvious” Testing

    Like many, I’ve been stunned by the VW Emissions Scandal. But I’ve also been fascinated. when I heard that software had been written to circumvent the EPA’s tests I immediately started wondering how it was done. I thought that would be an extremely complicated process, but that was because I failed to understand the nature […]

  • Thoughts on Agile Coach Camp US

    I attended Agile Coach Camp US last week. It was a wonderful experience and a great way to explore new ideas. Here are some of my personal highlights of the event. Temenos Olaf Lewitz gave an excellent introduction to the concept of Temenos. It’s an approach that emphasizes creating space for effective conversations and mutual understanding […]