Personal Thoughts

Everyone Needs a Coach

Everyone Needs a Coach

The next time you’re looking to engage an agile coach, there’s an additional set of questions I want you to explore with them—

  • Do you (they) have a coach?

  • How often do you (they) meet?

  • What are you (they) currently working on in your journey?

  • What was the last crucial conversation you (they) had with your coach like?

  • Reflecting on your being coached journey, how coachable are you? What are the keys to your being coachable?

What I’m asking you to explore is their personal coaching journey. I feel that most agile coaches are comfortable coaching. But the counterpoint, being coached and being coachable, are often a different question. I guess it’s the age-old challenge of telling being easy and receiving being much harder.

Our Language

Our Language

I delivered a lightning keynote at the StarEast conference in May 2019. If you’re unfamiliar, this format is a 5-minute pitch on any topic you like.

I intentionally went into it without a predetermined talk our slides. I wanted to see what might inspire me before or during the conference. Unfortunately, I waited until the day before the keynote to decide what I would talk about. But I’m sort of glad I did.

My Observation

Mary Thorn and I shared 3 – ½ day workshops at the conference. And during those sessions, and in the hallways, I noticed a trend.

I was listening carefully to people’s questions, the discussions, the stories, and the challenges. And one pattern emerged that caught my attention. The language was very much around –

Did we need a more diverse Agile Manifesto?

Did we need a more diverse Agile Manifesto?

My daughter Rhiannon is a social worker. And I’ve learned from her that my definition of diversity is much shallower than hers. She has a broad, deep, and nuanced view of it and I’m learning to appreciate hers and broaden my own. 

It’s just part of my ongoing efforts to challenge myself and learn.

That being said, it made me think differently the other day when I was reading the Agile Manifesto again. And it dawned on me that –

  • There are 17 signatories to the Manifesto

  • All 17 were men

  • All seemed to be at or approaching middle age at the time (probably well beyond by now)

  • All were white

  • All were software developers with the possible exception of Brian Marick (was he the token tester ;-)

Work Balance Matters

Work Balance Matters

More than a few years ago, I visited a client in Greensboro, NC. I did a little consulting there, but it really wasn’t a longer-term gig.

What stood out to me, after all of these years, is that folks could bring their dogs into work. And everyone seemed to do just that.

  • There were dogs roaming free in the halls.

  • There were dog play areas.

  • There were dogs at their owner’s desks.

  • And those that didn’t have dogs were playing with others dogs.

  • And yes, there was the occasional “doggie accident” ;-)

It was a wonderful environment. Instead of feeling like an office space, it felt like a home that I was visiting. A comfortable home where the family loved their pets.

Another example, kids

What IS your Legacy?

What IS your Legacy?

I spent over 10 years working at a company in Connecticut called Micrognosis. I wrote about an aspect of my experience there in this post.  

During my tenure at Micrognosis we delivered many, many products and projects. We made millions of dollars on our technologies and our customers were fairly happy with our efforts. All of this happened in the span from 1986 – 1996. If you asked me today whether anyone, and I mean anyone, really cares about the efforts we made (products, effort, blood-sweat-tears, etc.), I’d say no.

One of the hidden factors in all of our legacies, and I know technologists don’t want to hear this, is that what we’re working on really doesn’t matter in the long term. No matter what you’re working on!

For example, Netflix or Google or Spotify of today really won’t matter (technically) 20 years from now. Sure, they’ll be historical notes about them on Wikipedia, but the products themselves won’t matter.


Scrum Product Ownership, 3'rd Edition

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share some great news. I’ve just completed the 3’rd Edition of my Scrum Product Owner book.

It’s been a true labor of love that’s taken far longer to finish then I’d originally expected. (sounds like software products, right?) But, to quote a common agile phrase…I am now…


Stick a fork in it, Baby!

E-copies (PDF, EPUB, and MOBI) are all available immediately on LeanPub. What’s nice about connecting via LeanPub is that I plan on continuing to evolve content & ideas in the PDF, so it will be a way to “stay in touch” with any future developments of the books’ themes.

Also not that I’ve published several short PDF, blog link books that make it easy to explore my blog posts on 3-specific topics:

  • Agile Coaching

  • Agile Leadership

  • Product Ownership

More information on ALL of the LeanPub copies can be found here:


You can find the paper version here:

And the Kindle version here:

And here’s a link to my Amazon author page:

Previous Owners Offer

I’d like to make the following offer for ALL Edition 1 and Edition 2 book owners. If you’ve previously purchased a paper or e-copy of my two previous editions, I’ll give you a free e-copy of the 3’rd Edition. All you have to do is drop me a note and I’ll forward you a coupon for LeanPub to get your copy.

Wrapping Up

It’s been a long time in coming, but I’m incredibly pleased with the results. I hope you pick up a copy of the new book and hope even more so that it provides value to you.

And if you do read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. It means so much to me to gain feedback.

Stay agile my friends,