Have you heard about “doing agile” vs “being agile”? Taking a two-day course with an exam to become a CSM can help you and your team to do agile, but being truly agile takes a lot more: Practicing, experimenting, and learning by doing. Here’s my view of how true agility looks.

Warning: Explicit Content

This is not a regular “tips and ideas” article. It’s a personal cry out in which I share my thoughts on a delicate but important topic. …


An agile retrospective is a practice for teams to reflect, learn, and to continuously become better in what they do. Although retrospectives are most often used to explore the current way of working, they can also be used to investigate quality issues or to agree upon actions that can improve the quality of the software that is delivered.

Here are suggestions of what you can do in your retrospectives to improve software quality:

  • Explore major or repeating problems with a Root Cause Analysis.
  • Do a futurespective for building an awesome product.
  • Reflect on your quality practices with the Agile Self-Assessment…


I don’t have any agile certificates. As an independent coach, trainer, and consultant, I apply whatever makes sense and looks like a valuable solution in a given context.

In this article, I’ll question the need to be certified in agile, discuss the alternatives, and explain how I deliver quality and value to the people that I work with.

Warning: Explicit Content

This is not a regular “tips and ideas” blog post in which I share my experiences for you to use in your daily work. It’s a personal cry out in which I share my thoughts on a delicate but important topic. …


In 2018 I started a series of posts on Retrospective Smells. I plunged in by exploring two smells: Passiveness and Blaming. For each smell, I described how to recognize it and how to deal with it. In this post, I’ll explore why facilitators need to know about retrospective smells.

What’s a retrospective smell

A retrospective smell is a signal that something might be going wrong in your retrospective. It’s a warning that problems might happen that will impact the retrospective result.

As it’s a signal, the first step to take is to explore what is going on. My suggestion is to use your senses…


What if you need to deliver the best possible software products? High-quality products that do everything that your users need in a great way, products that your users will love? Here’s a futurespective exercise that you can use in your agile retrospectives if your teams want to build awesome products.

Futurespectives

A futurespective is an agile retrospective where you start from the goal to find ways how to get there.

Teams place themselves in the future by imagining that their goal has been reached.

Next, they will discuss their imaginary past and explore how they have gotten to their goals, by…


What do you do when you get a project that’s been going on for a long time and hasn’t delivered value? This is the story of how my team and I collaborated with our customer on my first project, doing agile when the Agile Manifesto wasn’t invented yet, to deliver high-quality software.

My First Project

When I became a project manager my line manager told me that there was a project which he wanted me to finish before getting a “real” project. It would probably just take one or two months to finish it …

Diving into this project I found out that…


Een agile veranderaarpak helpt je om resultaatgericht te verbeteren door intensieve samenwerking. Het manifest voor agile veranderen helpt organisaties om hun agility te verhogen: Blijvende verbetering van de resultaten, tevreden klanten, en blije medewerkers. Een voorbeeld uit de praktijk wat laat zien hoe samen werken aan kwaliteit tot betere resultaten heeft geleid.

Agile veranderen

Het derde principe van het manifest voor agile veranderen zegt:

Resultaatgericht en intensief samenwerken over directieve doelen met “command & control” management.

Veranderen werkt enkel als het een win-win oplevert. Voordeel voor zowel de medewerkers als het management, dan profiteert het gehele bedrijf.

Uit de praktijk

Een klant vroeg mij om…


Making a business case for agile starts by understanding what agile is about and considering how agile can help you. You have to define your own metrics and track them to see if agile is bringing you business value, and reflect on your agile journey to learn, and adopt.

Your mileage may vary

Over the years I’ve heard many managers wanting data that shows the business value of agile as a whole. They look for things like:

  • Agile is xx% cheaper
  • Agile makes you yy times faster
  • Agile will give you zz% less defects

It doesn’t make sense to think of agile as “a…


With the Agile Self-assessment Game teams can discover how agile they are and what they can do to increase their agility to deliver more value to their customers and stakeholders.

I played the Agile Self-assessment game with two teams in a session at the Retrospectives Facilitators Gathering 2017 and discussed the game with several attendees. Below are the ideas that came up for playing the game and for improving it.

Download the Agile Self-assessment Game

Playing the Agile Self-assessment Game

A first suggestion that came up was to use Diana Larson’s circles and soup as a playground for the game. Players can put a card…


Tegenwoordig willen veel organisaties “agile zijn”. Agile transformaties leveren echter vaak niet het gewenste resultaat, omdat de waarom niet duidelijk is, er verkeerde verwachtingen zijn over wat agile op kan leveren en de invoering van agile verkeerd aangepakt wordt. Een agile transformatie, hoe pak je het aan?

Waarom agile

Een agile transformatie begin je niet zomaar. Het is belangrijk om goed te weten waarom je de agility van je organisatie wilt vergroten en wat je met een agile werkwijze verwacht te bereiken. Agile tot een doel verheffen werkt meestal niet, het doel is om resultaten te bereiken, niet om agile te worden.

Ben Linders

Trainer / Coach / Adviser / Author / Speaker | http://BenLinders.com/game | http://BenLinders.com/exercises | editor @InfoQ | agile workshops | people matter!

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