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Prelude to a Series?

Mike Cottmeyer Chief Executive Officer
Reading: Prelude to a Series?

I’ve been pretty absent from the blogosphere the past year or so. I really do miss writing and often think about why I don’t write much anymore. It’s easy to blame it on being busy… but we are all busy. I think I’m beginning to understand things a bit better and can talk coherently about some of the root causes.

The first challenge for me is that I don’t have a lot of quiet in my life. By quiet, I don’t mean silence… I can find silence. It’s inner quiet that’s missing. There is always something going on, some problem to solve, or some issue to attend to. My brain is always off doing something urgent and urgent always seems to win.

The next challenge for me is that everything I want to say is just complicated. It’s not that the words are complicated or the ideas are complicated, it’s just that nothing running through my head stands alone. The problems we are solving are systems problems, not point solutions. Telling the story takes more time.

The last challenge is that I write to teach myself things. The fact that other folks may appreciate my work has always been an afterthought. So while yes, I am still learning, the stuff I’ve been learning about is hard to talk about on LeadingAgile. My world is much broader than it was even a year or so ago.

So… why tell you guys this?

I think I’ve created some space in my life for the next several months. I’ve got some stuff to talk about that is going to take me a little while to get out, but it’s important to me that these ideas get out in print. An finally, I think I need to learn how to tell this story better, so I am going to practice on LeadingAgile.

Prelude to a series maybe?

This series of sorts may start off slow… I’ve got a few foundational things I might have to get out before we can really get going. Yesterday’s post was one of them… how do you get people to hear you when maybe they don’t even want to be there in the first place? That is a foundational idea.

I think I want to explore some why I think so many folks are failing at agile even though we have proven time and time again that agile works. I hate to start the story here, but I think we may have some paradigm shifting that needs to happen before we can tell the rest of the story.

Once I tease some of these first thoughts out of my brain, I want to get down on paper how I tell the story. If you want to get right down to it, I want to tell the story like I would to a room full of executives that wanted to know what it looks like to do an agile transformation and what they get when they are done.

I don’t think any of us have done this on purpose, but I think there is a large part of the story that is missing and for many folks adopting agile practices, this absence is doing them a great disservice. I want to see if maybe we can uncover and talk about some of the secret sauce that makes this really work.

If all goes well, I plan to be writing in this space for the next few weeks or months. I may be saying this with the optimism of someone that just took a week off, and has a week off left to go, before the real world crashes back down on me… but like I said, something is different and I need to explore these ideas.

There are several major themes I want to hit… here they are in their expected order of appearance, but I make no promises this will hold:

1. What does an agile operational model look like? How do I do program and portfolio management? In other words, as an executive, how do I run an agile enterprise?

2. How do I take a deep look at where I am against the model and how do I decide what to improve so that I can get better at delivering an economic return for my company?

3. Once I know where I want to be, how do I plan to get there? Should I change everything all at once? Do I do things a piece at a time? What’s the change strategy look like?

4. How do I measure current state? What should I expect during the change? How do I begin to measure in the new model? How do I know I’m getting real benefit from my investment?

I’m sure there will be lot’s of little nuances and diversions along the way. I’ll probably say things I don’t mean but that are directionally correct. I may change my mind once I get two or three blog posts down the road. Maybe I’ll write a whitepaper once I have it all out.

Okay… done rambling for now. At least when I do posts on Sundays, most people don’t notice ;-)

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Comments (4)

  1. Bob Williams

    I noticed. Remember to simplify your thinking. People will listen more. ;-)

  2. Andrej Ruckij

    Great idea to start series about mentioned topics. These are exactly ones that are very interesting :)


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