Continuous Personal Development

For the past four years I’ve consulted for King as an agile team coach. It’s been a whirlwind of personal growth, learning about mobile games and meeting awesome people. I wrote about my biggest takeaways in an article on Crisp’s website. I am grateful for all the connections and insights that I’ve gained. I’m also interested in continuous personal development. So, I’ve been spending my free time connecting with and talking to people who are interested in projects and initiatives that leave a positive impact on people or humanity.

Are you interested in:

  • Improving quality of life for people?
  • Reducing/eliminating the effects of privilege on success?
  • Increasing action to reduce the effects of global warming?
  • Helping people achieve to their full potential?
  • Creating successful workplaces where people are happy and healthy?

If you are and would like to talk, drop me a line and let’s do lunch some time!

10 kanban boards and their context – now in french

Yep! The collection of Kanban boards now is now available in french. Big thanks to Nicolas Mereaux who made it happen!

Here’s the link to “10 tableaux kanban et leur contexte” (fr).

(the english 1.5v is available here )




On Scaled Agile approches, interview with Yuval Yeret

Yuval is coming to Stockholm to teach a Scaled Agile class (Implementing SAFe) in January. I know Yuval from the Kanban community from a number of years back. We invited him because we know he shares the same pragmatic view on things as we do in Crisp.  We made the interview in order for our audience to got to know him a little bit. I could think of no better way than putting him on the spot with a few tricky questions  🙂

Among them:

  • Can you elaborate on the pro’s/cons of different approaches to scaling? (LeSS, Large Scale Scrum, SAFEe, Enterprise kanban)
  • What should companies that goes down the path of SAFe pay more attention to?
  • If I do face resistance when applying scaling practices, what are my options?
  • What will I learn if I attend the SAFe class in January?

A key quote from the interview:

“If you don’t pay attention to the principles, the practices applied will deteriorate to ‘for show’

Do it for the kids

As climate scientists have long predicted, the world is experiencing a record amount of extreme weather events – droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, heatwaves, and extreme cold.

Wildfires in Santa Rosa Californa, Drought in Somalia, Extreme cold in Chicago, Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

It’s hard to prove if any specific disaster is due to climate change, but that’s not important. The key point is the overall trend: climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and it’s happening really fast. This also creates climate refugees, political instability, and increases the risk of war. Basically, the world is becoming a less and less safe place to live.

This graph (source) is just for the US, but the pattern is worldwide:


The bad news is this will most likely keep getting worse over the next few decades – even if we were to completely eliminate all CO2 emissions right now. Climate change is like a huge flywheel that we’ve set in motion over the past century, and even when we stop spinning the wheel it will keep going for decades or more, due to inertia.

read more »

The common misconception about Lean UX

The role of software development is to produce software to solve a problem. The role of Agile software development is to learn as much about the solution as possible while developing, Agile does that mainly through ruthlessly begging for feedback, both on the product (e.g. sprint reviews, test-driven development and continuous delivery) and on the process (e.g. Scrum/Kanban boards, sprint retrospectives and standup). In between all these feedback sessions, you do ”normal” software development.

The role of user experience design (UX) is to produce a design to solve a problem (through user research and interaction design, of course). So, software development and user experience design go hand in hand, completing each other. Design and build.

The common misconception is that Lean UX also shall produce a design solution to a problem.

This is not the case. The role of Lean UX (and its progenitor Lean Startup) is to learn, but learn as much about the problem as possible. Lean UX does that through ruthlessly validating assumptions about the problem, the customer, their needs, the proposed solutions and the success metrics. Lean UX and Agile go hand in hand as well, learning about the problem and the solution, before, during and after development. In between all these validation sessions, you do ”normal” UX.

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Min familjs CO2 kompensation för 2017

Jag skrev tidigare i år under Zero Carbon Manifesto, där jag lovar att komma ner till 0 i min klimatpåverkan, eller kompensera för den del jag inte lyckas med.

Så här i mellandagarna tänkte jag att det är dags att räkna hur jag ligger till för i år!

Läs om hur min familjs samlade utsläpp av CO2 kompenseras till en kostnad av 78 kr i månaden.

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Introducing the Agile Pill

Through the years we have at Crisp repeatedly been confronted with the question “How can I become Agile?”. We have checked with coaches outside Crisp and they give us the same picture. People want to become agile and they want it now. It has become obvious to us that there is a need for a quick fix. Hence the Agile Pill.

The agile pill box

The agile pill

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Remote keynote offer (because the world needs less business trips)

OK here’s an offer to any conference organizer in the lean/agile/tech/climate space. I get a lot of requests to do conference keynotes, which I’m grateful for, but unfortunately I have to turn down the vast majority. I limit long-distance travel for family reasons, and also for climate reasons (although I confess I’m in Thailand right now as I write this…. hard to be 100% consistent…).

Now I’m thinking: Why should something as mundane as physical transport get in the way of participating in a great conference? And, in this world of catastrophic climate change, shouldn’t most business trips be replaced with remote participation?

My hypothesis is that it’s possible to remote-participate effectively in a conference –  to do a keynote or talk, participate in workshops, even hang out with people in the hallway. I’ve tried this a few times using video conference and telepresence robots. In fact, 4 years ago I was sitting on this same beach in Thailand, remote-participating in a Spotify event in Stockholm using a Double (see “What it feels like being an ipad on a stick on wheels“). That was fun and a bit clunky, but it was 4 years ago so I bet the telepresence robots have come a long way since then!

So here’s my offer: read more »

Here’s something you can actually, really do about climate change

As the devastating consequences of climate change become increasingly obvious (flooding, fires, storms, drought, melting icecaps, rising sea levels, etc), the question on most people’s mind is “what can I actually, really do about it?”. Well, listen up.

The most obvious minimum first step is to eliminate your own personal carbon footprint, and become climate neutral! Think of the First Rule of Holes: “If you are stuck in a hole, stop digging!”. Climate Change is the biggest hole in the world and we all need to stop digging right now.

To make this as simple and effective as possible we’ve a built super-simple service called GoClimateNeutral. Check out my 3 minute summary video:

Going climate neutral yourself obviously doesn’t solve the whole problem, but at least you’ll stop adding to the problem. And the more people who go climate neutral, the more we slow down climate change. And since we are in Christmas season: going climate neutral is the best possible christmas present you can give to the world!

The effects are long-term, so it will probably be your kids and grandkids who benefit more than yourself. But I think we owe it to them, and they will definitely hold us accountable some day. Leaving a habitable planet to the next generation is really a minimum sign of courtesy, wouldn’t you say?

Got questions? Check the FAQ.

Spread the word! The more people who sign up, the bigger impact we can make.

If you want to go climate neutral, but you prefer other means than our service, that’s of course just as fine! I suggest you sign the Zero Carbon Manifesto and then inspire others by telling them how you are doing it.

If you want to learn more about climate change, check out my other video Friendly Guide to Climate Change.


Agile – where are we at? Slides from my keynote at Agile Tour Bangkok.

Here are the slides from my keynote “Agile – where are we at?” at Agile Tour Bangkok i November. Here’s the abstract:

Everyone is talking about Agile. I stumbled into this 15 years ago and have been living and breathing Agile since then, seeing it grow from a small movement within software, into an industry-wide revolution and then gradually become mainstream. More and more companies around the world, even big traditional companies, are turning themselves inside out trying to be Agile. Now it’s time to take a step back and reflect. What is going on? What is this all about? And where is it headed?

The CO2 emissions from this trip were offset using Trine and GoClimateNeutral.

Sample slides:

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Case: Real World SAFe at SimCorp

Not every company starts from a green field. Many carry legacy. So how do you kickstart Agile and get traction in an organisation with scale?  We can learn lessons from SimCorp,  a successful provider for asset management solutions, who runs 500 developers across 4 sites and went from 0 to 8 release trains in 14 months.  Here’s their story.

Interview – How SimCorp got going with Scaled Agile (12 min)

with Neil Cook

Presentation – Real World SAFe at SimCorp (from team to portfolio, across 8 relese trains in 14 months)

with Mattias Skarin

Agile Architecture with SAFe  – Evolving architecture in a scaled environment

with Jan Grape


psst: If you’d like to learn how you can get traction with your own Scaled Agile transition, join our  “Implementing SAFe  SPC4 class” in January 23-26. We have handpicked trainers with deep Agile experiences for the class, trainers that shares our pragmatic mindset.  You’ll also meet me and Jan Grape, so lots of opportunities to discuss Scaling challenges, regardless of you favourite choice of approach. Ds.

Three “no brainer” engineering practices for developers

In modern software development there are three development practices that everyone should strive to apply:

  • Automated testing
  • Pair or mob programming
  • TDD, test driven development

After many years of using and researching these practices in the development community there is no longer any question whether these engineering practices bring value or not – they do. It’s not a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of fact. We know that now.

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New book being written online – Facilitation tricks and techniques

Last time I wrote a book (Visualization Examples) I decided to do it publicly online. That was a fantastic experience, which I also wrote a blog post about. It was great fun and I got tons of valuable feedback.

Now I’ve started to write a new book and I’ve decided to have the same approach. It’s currently titled “Toolbox for the workshop facilitator – Facilitaion Tricks and Techniques (How to reach strong workshop outcome)“.

The book is far from finished and it might take me another year to finish it. But I still want to invite you to read it now and to help me make the book even better.

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Core Protocols – effective communication

Having rules for communication is stupid!
What was your intention with calling the rules stupid?
Well, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything negative towards you, of course. I just don’t find such rules necessary at all. We have been communicating with each other since we were small.
Okay, I understand what you are saying. But, hear me out…

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Slides from Devops Greece 2017

Just got back from Athens and Devops Greece where I talked about “Using Kanban in the field, and how we got management buy in to do so”

Two key takaways are:

  • Shift leadership behaviours, in order to shift your culture. The good news is: You can all exericise them, they are not personality traits.
  • The invisible change in the case studies is we shifted leaderships behavours in parallell with implementing process tools. I give example of a few.

Here are the slides


Consent Decision Making – How to take effective decisions collaboratively

In this series of blogs, I am writing of my experience of practical applications of Sociocracy 3.0 (S3) patterns in teams and organizations. In the first blog, I wrote about My journey of finding and applying Sociocracy 3.0 (S3). There are many cool patterns in S3 that I have been using with great success as an Agile organizational coach so far. In this article I will cover the pattern of Consent Decision Making:

In contrast to consensus which focuses on reaching an agreement, consent focuses on intentionally checking for reasons not to do something a certain way. An objection is an argument that reveals why doing (or continuing to do) something, impedes or misses an opportunity to improve flowing value somewhere in the organization. Reaching consensus is often very time consuming and has the risk that one single person can block the whole process when unanimity is sought. read more »

Using the 7 deadly sins to motivate your workforce

So your organisation is going ”agile” and talking about ”collaborations” between teams? You, as the big boss, are starting to feel powerless and not in control of the efficiency of YOUR teams? Let me give some tips on how to turn that around so all progress can be traced back to you. I mean, as their mighty leader, you do deserve all the credit for their work.

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Scaling Agile @ LEGO and Spotify – my talk at EA träff

Here are my slides from today’s talk “Scaling Agile @ LEGO and Spotify” at EA träff in Stockholm (EA = enterprise architecture). Fun to hang out with enterprise architects and learn what that’s all about 🙂

Some sample slides from my talk:

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Real World SAFe – Leapfrogging a successful waterfall company into Scaled Agile

The secret sauce? It’s all about experimenting, sometimes in hats 🙂

How do you leapfrog a successful waterfall company into Scaled Agile? How do you transition into Agile when you have legacy?

When your company is already successful in what it does and when it carries legacy, transitioning into Agile is a more complex challenge than starting off Agile in a green field environment. After all, companies that are successful in what they do (one way or another) tend to carry legacy. So we need to learn to improve in this kind of scenario too.

In this case study, I’ll walk through the steps SimCorp took to shift into Scaled Agile and the challenges they faced. You will also find deeper insights, such as how you can find your value streams, how we worked with the portfolio roadmap and some of the behavior shifts we look for when transitioning into a Lean/Agile environment.

You can download the case study here.


The Future of Work

The Future of Work is already here, it is just only unevenly distributed.

There is a crisis in the world of work. The pace of change in our environment is faster than the internal change in most organizations. Many organizations are struggling to keep up and are risking becoming obsolete. Gallup’s report on engagement crisis with only 32% of US workforce and 13% of the worldwide workforce engaged. Companies in the S&P 500 Index in 1958 stayed in the index an average of 61 years but has fallen to 18 years in 2012. Why is this?

When it comes to our work-life most of our organizations are still designed based on principles from the industrial age. Separation of thinking, planning, and management from the work. Organizations are designed to be top-down hierarchical and inside out rather than outside-in, customer-centric, and decentralized. There is mechanistic view rather than an organic, natural and Agile view of organizations.

Bonnitta Roy Presenting Open Participatory Organization at King

This new complex world will put completely new demands on leadership, organizing and just everyday living. We are living in truly exciting times. How can we create organizations that are fit for the future and more human? How can we re-invent organizations so that we will free up people’s potential for doing good? Many of these organizations are also based on triple bottom line principle: “Profit, People, and Planet”. This is my passion and I am super excited about it right now. read more »

UX – It’s obvious, right?: Part 3

In the talk I gave at Agila Sverige in June, I brought up misconceptions about UX I’ve encountered during my years in the IT business. One of these is that it’s only the UX people (and possibly the PO) who need to meet the users. In this post I’ll discuss why this not true, but also how meeting the users can make a real difference in focus and motivation for the team.

It's not only UXers who need to meet the users!

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Is train a feasible alternative to flying?

As I write this I’m sitting on a train headed back to Sweden, pondering the result of a year’s experimentation with travelling by train instead of flying. Is this an effective way to reduce my carbon footprint? The jury is in! Read on.

One common rallying cry among climate advocates is to fly less (or ideally not at all). I consider myself a climate advocate (here’s my entry ticket), but I’m also a pragmatist. I’ve worked enough with behavioural change to know that it’s unrealistic to expect many people to change their habits unless there is a convenient and compelling alternative. For example, Spotify killed music pirating, not by attacking pirate sites, but by providing a better and more convenient alternative.

So what are the alternatives to flying, if you want to get from A to B?

  • Option A: Don’t go. Stay at A. This option won’t fly (pun intended) with most people. There’s a reason why they want to go from A to B, and only a small number of people will be willing to sacrifice that (kudos to those people though!).
  • Option B: Walk or bicycle. Not feasible. A distance that is long enough to take a flight is usually waaay too long for a walk or bicycle ride, unless you are an enthusiast with LOTS of time on your hands.
  • Option C: Car. This makes sense only if you travel in a group, or if you drive an electric car. If you drive alone in a fuel car, the climate impact is about the same as flying, just takes longer and is more dangerous and clogs up the road.
  • Option D: Bus. I haven’t found any long-distance bus options  to the places I go. Might be more feasible in other countries than mine.
  • Option E: Train. Is train a feasible alternative? Definitely climate friendly, but what about price, convenience, reliability, and time? Read on!

Is train a feasible alternative to flying


Agile – where are we at? My slides from USI conference, Paris.

Here are the slides for my talk “Agile, where are we at?” from USI conference in Paris (USI = “unexpected sources of inspiration”) in June. One of the coolest conferences I’ve ever attended!

My talk was an attempt to take a step back and look at the big picture, and also speculate about the future of agile. I was also interviewed a couple of times, and the talk was also recorded. Here are links:

2 of my kids tagged along on the trip, we took the train to make it extra adventurous (and also to mind the climate). It’s a long way (24 hours each way), but we made good use of the time!

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7 Misconceptions about TDD

Here are some common misconceptions about TDD. I call them “myths” here, for short.

If this feels like talking to the dentists about your teeth, you are not alone. When I talk about tests sometimes people gets embarrassed about their habits, “I know you’re right but …”.

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UX – It’s obvious, right?: Part 2

In June I gave a talk at a conference about things that I, as a UX professional, find obvious that I have noticed that others don’t. After giving the talk, I decided to also put it down in writing as a series of blog posts. This is part 2 of that series and talks about that even if you hire usability experts, they still need to meet the users.

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UX – It’s obvious, right?: Part 1

I did a talk at the local conference Agila Sverige in June about things that I, as a UX professional, find obvious about UX, but that I have discovered that other professions might not. I actually felt really nervous giving the talk, because I feared that I had been mistaken and the things actually were obvious to everyone. I needn’t have worried…

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The Ship – who will you be?

The Ship

For years I was hearing an increasing murmur and rumours about some kind of problem with the ship. Finally I decided to take a closer look, went up to deck, leaned out and looked down, and…. oh sh*t…. this ship is sinking! It’s tilting, some cabins are already flooded, with people frantically crowding the hallways and staircases trying to get to higher deck. It’s happening slowly, very slowly. In fact, the ship won’t be completely sunk during my lifetime probably. But my kids, and grandkids…. Darn!

So what’s going on here? I start roaming around, talking to people. read more »

Trading control for great products – the Telia TV team example

Adapting to accelerating change

In a world where the speed of change seems to accelerate almost exponentially, it is only natural that an organization’s way of working must be constantly challenged and improved – especially in the highly competitive media business.

This text, which was inspired by winning an award (we will return to that), is the outcome of a joint effort between Michael Göthe, Agile Coach at Crisp, and Jens Abrahamsson, Agile Coach at Telia Company’s TV & Media Backend department. In it, we describe parts of the always-ongoing journey towards a more lean and agile way of working at the Telia TV team.

As always when looking back at a complex change process it is not possible to copy what we did but our intention is to share useful learnings, practices, and tools that can inspire you on your change journey, in your context.

Jens at Telia TV Team Common (Big-room) Planning

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Codekvast soon available as a Heroku add-on

Codekvast is a tool for detecting Truly Dead Code in your Java application.

Truly Dead Code is code that is in production, but has not been used for a significant time.

Codekvast has been lurking in the spare-time realm for too long. Now the project has eventually been granted some full-time development effort, with the initial goal of being made available as a Heroku Add-on.

The alpha test period is just about to start. For this to happen we need YOU!

Read more about how to become a Heroko add-on alpha tester here.

TL;DR Participant must be a Heroku-app written in Java/Gradle, request invite by mailing


Friendly Guide to Climate Change (and what you can do about it)

I’ve spent ALOT of time the past few months trying to understand climate change and global warming, and how to effectively contribute. I’ve dug through 1000-page scientific reports, talked to experts, and basically tried to digest as much information as possible. I was surprised by how little I knew before. I’m convinced that, the more people who really understand the problem, the more effectively we’ll be able to solve it (or at least mitigate it).

So here’s a short animated video summarizing the whole issue. The problem, the consequence, the root cause, the solutions, and what you can do to help. All packaged in a fun and easy-to-digest way, same style as my other videos about Spotify Engineering Culture and Agile Product Ownership. The video is all based on solid scientific references, not speculation or rumours.

Please help spread it as widely as possible! Link to this blog post, or the youtube link:

I hope this video will inspire many people to make small changes, and a few people to make big changes. Who knows, maybe the next young Elon Musk is out there somewhere, just waiting for the spark of inspiration 🙂

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