Biz Funk Meetup: Content Development & Marketing Go Lean

ImageHave you secretly been curious about the word “agile,” but were not quite curious enough to look it up?  Or have you never heard the word “agile,” but now find yourself strangely curious about it?  Do you like puppies?  If any of these things are true, the recent Agile for Business and Functional (Biz Funk) Teams meetup event is for you.  After some quick context-setting by the facilitators, a team writing a book and a marketing team discuss what prompted them to try agile and how it worked.  Check out the video of the event if interested!

Dennis Clemente blogged about the event here.


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April 1st: Jira for Kids!

Since watching the Ted Talk on having your family go agile, I’ve been thinking about how best to create a family-friend agile physical board.  My thought was to get a magnetic whiteboard, and then use magnetic whiteboard tiles as the “stickies.”

But then I came across this Jira solution and thought maybe my family can go all digital!

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Ted Talk: Treat Your Kids Like a Team of Agile Software Developers and Lower Your Family Stress

Are you an overwhelmed parent, going to be a parent soon and determined not to be overwhelmed, or curious about why all the parents you know are overwhelmed?  Check out this Ted Talk by Bruce Feiler.  He suggests stealing from agile software development to help make family sanity possible again.


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Good Reads

From time to time I’ll post what I think are the best agile / lean articles I’ve read over the last few months.  Feel free to suggest additional articles in the comments!

  • Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell: I love everything Henrik Kniberg does, so forgive me if this video isn’t specifically focused on Biz Funk agile…I still think it is a great starting point and gives you a great bang for your 15min buck.
  • This set of slides is also by Henrik Kniberg.  Agile for your home!  I love how he uses visuals to demystify a lot of the agile / lean terms…and show the value of using it to organize your personal life.  Fun to scroll through…sort of like looking at the Facebook photos of a friend of a friend.
  • A 35min video / slide presentation on using Biz Funk agile to make bathtubs!  Save this one for when your netflix streaming queue runs dry.

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Agile for Non-Software Teams – Agile / Lean Practitioners Meetup

On April 9th, I will be facilitating short presentations from an Editorial/Content creation Team and a Marketing Team that used Agile practices to execute their projects and work at Kaplan Test Prep.  This presentation will be followed by a panel discussion where team members and stakeholders talk about what prompted them to try it and how it worked for the execution teams, while sharing the good, the bad, and the future.

Sign up here!


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Sparking a Culture of Innovation at Kaplan

A nice article about sparking a culture of innovation at Kaplan.  Here is an excerpt:

“In November, Don Gregori and Ilio Krumins-Beens from Kaplan Test Prep presented at our Intrapreneur NY Meetup on Sparking a Culture of Innovation within the Enterprise. Earlier that year, they held a three-day hackathon at Kaplan where developers and non-developers worked in teams to unleash ideas for innovative Kaplan products. This hackathon spurred an innovation plan at Kaplan, complemented by the philosophy of agile practices and supported by an open and collaborative work environment. In February, I interviewed Don and Ilio to learn more about how they made their idea successful at Kaplan and how other organizations can learn from what they did…”

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Using Google Drawing to Facilitate Remote Retrospectives

I recently facilitated the sprint retrospective for a non-co-located biz funk team that is writing a book.  The team is spread out all across the globe.  How best to facilitate?

I settled on using a Google Drawing board replete with “stickies” and “voting chips:”


Interested to give it a try yourself?  Check out my colleague’s brillant write-up on the subject here.

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