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Motivation is an Inside Job

It's Time For "Burndown Bingo"!!

Burndown Bingo


Your newly minted global agile team is dutifully performing the rituals typical of agile development.  The end of the sprint comes, they deliver successfully, and during the retrospective the business praises them highly for how their actual burndown tracks closely with the ideal trend line on the burndown chart.


The next sprint is going along well but mid-sprint the business looks at the burndown and notices the actuals are not tracking so closely anymore (not wildly off course, just noticeably more than the last sprint).  At the next standup the business raises mild alarm at the deviation and wants to know why, why?  Read More…


Psyching Out Agile Teams

Psyching Out Agile Teams


I recently read a study1 on the psychological needs of agile teams. Various factors thought to affect software practitioners’ acceptance of agile orientation were studied.  One of the interesting characteristics was the team’s perceived support of their supervisors and coworkers.  The study findings show that if team members perceive a high level of support from their supervisors and coworkers, this will lead to a high level of agile orientation in the team, especially for junior team members.  But what about the inverse?  What about a senior manager or member of the team who is overtly negative about the agile changes?  Read More... 


A Fool With A Tool


So often, the development teams I coach on modeling ask “What free UML tools are out there?”  As you probably know, there are quite a few now.  But the problem with asking that question is these teams often have already purchased a modeling tool!  Why don’t they ask earlier? 

  ... Read more

So who's your team's coach?

Professional sports teams have skilled players, complex playbooks, and ongoing training to improve their skills. These are the basic necessities.  But there is one critical thing needed to pull all this together to create a winning team...a top notch coach.  The coach takes the raw player talent and leverages each one's abilities to create and integrated team, customizes the plays to work best for this particular team, and ensures they get the specific training needed to improve their skills.

Software development is a team sport. Your development team also has talented team members, uses playbooks (i.e. development processes and techniques), and needs ongoing  skills training.  

So who's your team's coach?

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When Will We Be Done?


What Questions Do Your Diagrams Ask?

What Questions Do Your Diagrams Ask?


Bob Maksimchuk, Principal Consultant

Project Pragmatics, LLC    www.ProjectPragmatics.com



During a recent discussion I was having with a colleague who is an Agile Coach and Business Analyst, I asked her what the BA community was interested in regarding the practice of business analysis.  Her answer surprised me.  She said what many BAs want is the perfect list of questions to ask their clients.  The perfect list of questions?  Really?  Who has that?  For all situations? 


Instead of the perfect list, how about a relevant list?  How could that be created?  What if you had a “tour guide” that could help you see what to ask?  You do.  Read More…


Are We Agile Yet?  Are We Agile Yet?


Bob Maksimchuk, Principal Consultant

Project Pragmatics, LLC    www.ProjectPragmatics.com



 That question is not nearly as irritating as “Are we there yet?” being chanted ceaselessly from the backseat on a long summer road trip.  But I have heard it asked in many development shops who are trying to “become agile”.  The question is somewhat puzzling.  What is the real intent of their question?  Are they looking for a blessing “Yea, thou art agile.  Now go forth and Scrum.”?  Is “agile” a badge they are looking to wear?  If so, they are missing the point.  They need to ask a better question.


 Agile is more about the journey than a specific destination.  You should maintain awareness of how well the journey is going instead of how long you’ve been traveling.  How can we explain this, in a simple manner, to those who don’t yet grasp the purpose of agility or never understood the values that agility promotes?  Ask instead how well you are doing in achieving or following the various agile principles, such as:  ... Read More


 Bob Maksimchuk is the founder and Principal Consultant of Project Pragmatics, LLC.  Bob is a successful consultant and certified coach who thrives on finding creative solutions to complex business and systems problems by leveraging his penetrating analytical skills, his broad experience in many industries and his unique, practical approach to delivering pragmatics solutions.

·         Management Consulting

·         Leadership Development

·         Team Coaching / Mentoring

·         Process Customization

·         Communication

·         Product Management

Technical Specialties

·         Enterprise Agile Coaching and Transformation

·         Process Improvement and Customization -

                    Agile, Iterative, Waterfall, RUP

·         Business / Systems Analysis and Modeling

·         Use Case Driven Development / OOAD / UML


 Learn More ...