Monthly Archives: September 2012

What Kind of Tennis is That?

In conversation with a client–out of respect I won’t reveal who, unless they come forward to say it’s okay–this subject came up:

The game of tennis was being used to metaphorically describe coaching. “The coach tells you to turn your side to the net, to grip the racket this way, to follow through.”

The response was “That’s fine for your area. But my area needs to know how to hit the ball when there are twelve balls coming at once.”

What this emphasizes is the importance of crafting an operating framework for your business that isn’t simply a moshing together of best practices for developers. If the framework is to be effective, meaningful and useful–heck even usable, which is different and more fundamental than being useful–it must adapt (scaling sideways) to all areas of your enterprise. It must be light enough to work for all areas, and that means that it should be weighted towards principles and go into process only as deeply as is necessary.

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Electrical Circuits as a Metaphor in Agility

In discussion with the core team at a current client, somehow the idea came up of representing team members and other players involved in transformation by electrical symbols.

  • Someone outwardly and obstructively opposed to change (that’s the obvious definition, anyway).
  • Someone from whom information/conversation flow is one-way only.
  • Business Sponsor, Lead or Visionary.
  • Someone who controls flow, or limits velocity (for good or bad?).
  • Someone or some process for smoothing out turbulence or variability.

I’m going to play with these ideas–some of you readers will suggest others?–to see if they’re helpful as metaphors for a transformation journey.

The REAL First Post

Those of you who have created WordPress blogs know, of course, that the WordPress install starts you out with a first post that doesn’t really say anything. I wonder if it kills SEO value to leave that post in place. Whatever.

This is my real first post, to declare my intention in writing this blog.

I’m an agile coach working with Si Alhir, Mark Ferraro, Brad Barton, Steve Fastabend and Alexis LaJoie in Redpoint Technologies’ Agile Transformation practice. As I’ve made the journey to agility (starting at Cars.com and now with various clients of Redpoint) I’ve had some random and not-so-random thoughts. On this blog, I’d like to share them in their half-baked or sometimes fully baked state.

I hope that there will be some interesting discussion of my ideas so that I can learn from my colleagues who are or are becoming agile, and that my ideas can influence them as well.