Crisp's Blog

from the Crisp Consultants

Where's my feature branch

Advantages of Trunk-only Development

What’s the alternative to complex branching and pull requests? Trunk-only development drives practices such as testing, incremental development, and branching by abstraction. It also improves communication within the team.

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Continue reading: The Navigator  just updated – adding Pocathon Big Room event

The Navigator just updated – adding Pocathon Big Room event

If you are working with partners to develop innovative solutions, you should take a serious look at Agile contracts. Agile contracts enable you to work Effect driven (over ticking off requirements) using collaboration, and incremental release to reduce risk. There are now good solid case studies that demonstrate how this shortens time to value in

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Continue reading: Minimize the gap between Maker and User – slides from my London 2019 keynote

Minimize the gap between Maker and User – slides from my London 2019 keynote

In 2019 I did a keynote at Mind the Product conference in London. I shared some key insights afters years of working with Spotify, LEGO, and Minecraft development. Spoiler alert: the most important insight is in the title of this post. Video recording Slides

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A beautiful mind of patterns

The Three Stages of a Maturing Developer

Developers follow a relatively predictable development curve in their early careers. While there will be individual differences, pretty much every developer must pass through the following three stages: The Meta programming stage, the Design pattern stage, and the Functional composition stage. If left unchecked, the code produced during each of these stages may sometimes be quite harmful to a codebase. However, it represents an increase in the developer’s understanding of programming and should be harnessed and explained by more senior peers who know where that particular avenue leads.

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Continue reading: Individuals and interactions or processes and tools?

Individuals and interactions or processes and tools?

Individuals and interactions or processes and tools?

As the developer cheerfully runs over to work with Sue in the deployment team, with an extra cup of coffee, he is stopped by Charlie, the manager of the deployment team.

-Hey, where are you going?
-To see Sue about the deployment, the developer answered.
-Have you written a ticket?
-What? No, I’m gonna talk to Sue and we’ll do the deployment together as usual.
-Sorry, Charlie said, we have implemented a ticketing system last week, and you need a ticket. We can’t have developers running all over the place disturbing our team all the time!

True story.

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The Silver Bullet of Agile Software Development

The Silver Bullet of Agile Software Development

What should a struggling software development team do in a world of seemingly infinite improvement options?

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Introducing: The Agile Leadership Practice Library

Have you ever wrestled with these questions in a leadership scenario?

“How can I get the company to be more proactive and self organized without me being around all the time?”

“I’m a practical guy, I get most theories, but what do I do with them?”

“What is a good start when we are talking about building an Agile organization?”

If so, then this is for you.

Today the Agile Leadership Practice Library is launched


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Continue reading: How to Achieve Zero or Negative Productivity

How to Achieve Zero or Negative Productivity

Do you feel like your organization’s development process delivers too little at too slow a pace? Your gut feeling is probably correct. In this post, I’ll describe three paradigms that result in near zero or even negative productivity.

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Continue reading: How to Assess a System’s Quality in Two Hours

How to Assess a System’s Quality in Two Hours

You can get a fair feeling for any software system’s quality by putting in just two hours. Here’s how.

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Continue reading: Video: Improve your decision making under uncertainty, using four simple techniques

Video: Improve your decision making under uncertainty, using four simple techniques

4 simple techniques to improve decision making, in time of uncertainty

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Continue reading: Team Success Metrics

Team Success Metrics

Are we successful as a Team? Can we measure that? We look at 10+ areas of team success and how to measure them. Get inspired to choose the metric you need, right now, on your path to high-performing!

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Continue reading: Shape the future – share an act of leadership!

Shape the future – share an act of leadership!

What does it take to lead in an Agile environment? You have probably seen inspiring acts of leadership that made a difference. We’d like to hear about it! Today we launch activeagileleadership.com. A platform for leadership insights and practices in Agile environments. Want to know more? Let’s start with Mindset. Leading in an Agile environment

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Continue reading: How to create useful documentation – only write the table of content

How to create useful documentation – only write the table of content

This article is a follow-up to my post on lean documentation that I published some time ago. In summary, lean documentation is characterized by being easy to consume and simple to keep updated.  The purpose of lean documentation is to help you, as the reader, find answers to your questions, not to hold the detailed answers

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Continue reading: The paradox of masterly management leadership style

The paradox of masterly management leadership style

To understand this article, first read Managing in Mayberry by Don Gray & Dan Starr: https://www.donaldegray.com/managing-in-mayberry-an-examination-of-three-distinct-leadership-styles/ In short, it is about three different styles of leadership, depending on their view of the problem. The situation is that, in heavy traffic, left-turners may cause a queue of cars that leads to a dangerous situation. Officer Barney’s micromanaging leadership

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The Lead-Squad Protocol

How to successfully drive initiatives, objectives or opportunities that require several squads (or teams) to succeed? How to do this in a way that respects the agile mindset without falling into the command-and-control trap? Today, this problem is more complex than it seems. We’ve designed and built our squads for self-organization and autonomy in the

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Slides from Agile Islands 2020 – “Agile outside IT”

Agile outside IT – presentation at Agile Islands 2020

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Integrating Discovery & Delivery – Patterns that work

This is the second article in my series on integrating discovery and delivery. In the first article I outlined some common challenges I have seen holding organizations back from benefiting fully from both.

In this article I will introduce some patterns that will help you integrate product discovery and product delivery in a way that works. These patterns have all been field tested in practice.

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Integrating Discovery & Delivery – Common Challenges

Most organizations that I meet in my work are struggling to integrate product discovery and agile delivery in a simple practical way that works.

I will illustrate what I mean by giving you examples of a couple of very common issues.

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Continue reading: Driving Change in a VUCA world

Driving Change in a VUCA world

If the acronym VUCA hasn’t made sense so far, then in these pandemic Covid-19 times it surely must. The acronym stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. So when people refer to a VUCA world, they refer to a world where you cannot possibly foresee everything ahead of time (if anything, really). This is true to the whole world – the planet Earth, but also to the world, or context if you like, in which you and your organization operate. 

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Continue reading: Podcast: The SimCorp journey – to and beyond SAFe

Podcast: The SimCorp journey – to and beyond SAFe

A couple of years ago, SimCorp made the leap into Agile using SAFe. In this podcast, we get inside stories to Why they started their journey into Agile The results they have gotten so far Why they now feel ready to make a new leap, inspired by a new Agile vision for the future Participants:

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Continue reading: Comparison of three strategy alignment frameworks – OKRs, Spotify Rhythm and Art of Action Strategy Briefing

Comparison of three strategy alignment frameworks – OKRs, Spotify Rhythm and Art of Action Strategy Briefing

A downloadable version of this article can be found here.

One of the strongest management trends right now in companies striving towards Agile is undoubtedly OKRs, “Objectives and Key Results”.

But how do OKRs stack up against the alternatives when it comes to alignment frameworks? And what are the potential undesirable behaviors that come with them?

That is what I intend to explore in this article.

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Continue reading: The first Product Discovery meetup

The first Product Discovery meetup

This week Crisp hosted its first Product Discovery meetup. We had the privilege to listen to lightning talks by notable experts from the Stockholm Product community: Martin Christensen shared his holistic Product Discovery framework. Johanna Olander presented SVT Play’s outcome based roadmap. Viktor Cessan shared his thoughts on how Product Discovery can happen naturally if

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Continue reading: Hacking Your Product Leader Career

Hacking Your Product Leader Career

Last Wednesday, we had the pleasure to host a webinar with Gibson Biddle, former VP Product at Netflix, titled “Hacking Your Product Leader Career”. During the talk Gibson shared stories from his career and tips on how to have a scientific approach to your career progression. Some key take-aways: Keep it simple. Understand your strengths

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Continue reading: Breaking up the monolith at Discovery and enhancing subscription flexibility in one fell swoop

Breaking up the monolith at Discovery and enhancing subscription flexibility in one fell swoop

No developers were hurt in the making of this interview

Max – Tell me briefly what your team is up to @ Discovery?

I’m one member of a devteam which takes care of external API’s. We build services for streaming TV (OTT), for example user management, authentication, user entitlements and playback services.

We started this effort to enable a more flexible way to assign entitlements to users, for example through affiliates (like cable TV companies and mobile phone operators). Before, you had to be a subscriber at Discovery to be able to view any content. Being a direct subscriber is called the DTC model, ”Direct To Consumer”. But a large part of the business in some markets still comes from the so called “TV Everywhere” model where the customers come in via affiliates.

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Continue reading: A facilitation guide for team start ups and restarts

A facilitation guide for team start ups and restarts

This guide explains the main ingredients necessary for facilitating a team start up and provides you with six example agendas. The guide includes questions to think about when you set up the facilitation and during the meeting.

The components needed for a team start up

  1. Purpose or mission -> why does the team exist?
    • What is the business value?
    • What does success look like?
  2. Understanding who the team members are:
    • Clearly defined membership list -> who is on the team?
    • Make sure that people get to know each other -> who are my team members as people?
    • What are people’s skill sets? What do they know now, what do they want to get better at?
  3. Agree to how to work together
    • What do team members expect from each other
    • What behaviors does the team want to have
    • How to talk to each other?
    • How to split up work?
    • What meetings/sync/feedback is needed

Questions to consider for each area

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Continue reading: Remote creation of an Agile vision

Remote creation of an Agile vision

The story: Our client wanted help creating an Agile vision for the future “post SAFe”. How could we do this given that they work on multiple sites?

Can this be done remotely?  Yes!  During these challenging times, I thought of no better opportunity to share how we approached it.

At Crisp we see every challenge as an opportunity
(image credit: Jirka Matousek, Flickr)

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Continue reading: Remote Working & Meetings – A compilation of tips and advice

Remote Working & Meetings – A compilation of tips and advice

Are you, as many others looking, for advice and tips for remote working and meetings? You’re not alone. At KRY / LIVI, me and Anders Ivarsson, compiled a list of tips and advice on how to make the most of remote collaboration and working from home. We suspect many are looking for similar advice and

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Continue reading: Is Your Work Meeting Productive?

Is Your Work Meeting Productive?

If not, you’re in good company. I’ve written a short summary on how to run a productive meeting. It’s not new. It’s not unique. It’s not revolutionary. But sometimes one feels a calling. Thanks Jimmy for helping out with the closure part. Click below to download a printable version.

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Continue reading: Can my design be used for evil?

Can my design be used for evil?

There has been a lot of talk about ethics in UX circles over the last couple of years. This is a good thing. However, most of it has not been actionable in everyday work. And, to be honest, most ethically problematic products weren’t designed to be unethical. I am quite sure the designers of smart thermostats, easier purchase flows, sharing economy apps and social networks didn’t expect that their work would be used for domestic abuse, unwanted purchases, worker exploitation and skewed world views.  In my experience, UX designers are generally a group of people who believes in the good of their fellow humans which means most of the time they don’t even consider how their designs could be used in unintended ways that might be harmful or dangerous. But maybe we, as a group, should. Maybe we should try to imagine the worst ways our designs could possibly be used as a part of our design process so we can at least try to mitigate the risk of that happening. 

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Continue reading: Interview with Stephen Bungay on Strategy Execution and the gaps of OKR’s

Interview with Stephen Bungay on Strategy Execution and the gaps of OKR’s

Interview with Stephen Bungay on:
– What is the “Art of action” ?
– What is the differences/similarities to OKR’s?
– What organisational capabilities needs to be there, for alignment frameworks to really work?

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