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‘We are totally Agile. The metrics talk by themselves!

  • 17 out of 20 Project Managers have a Scrum certification.
  • We have 12 applications for collaboration: video, chats, Agile project management, sharing documents through the cloud, etc.
  • 5 out of 5 members of the management team took coaching classes.
  • The office was remodeled -it is now an open space with a large kitchen and even a game zone.
  • There is a mechanism in place to obtain customer feedback -four focus groups a year.
  • We plan in small chunks -instead of preparing complex yearly plans, we do the exercise on a monthly basis.
  • Performance reports are given on a daily basis -to save time, we have them during the Standup Meeting.
  • We set a list of 20 Corporate Values that update and distribute among employees every month, so that everyone remembers, repeats and process them constantly.

Culture feels good. Future looks great.”

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“If Agile replaces the traditional way to manage projects, one can say that Agile is a Project Management methodology!  Correct?”

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Resistance to Change

As individuals and as organizations, leaving our comfort zone is challenging. Although many reasons underlie that fact, four of them are particularly strong:

  • Inertia
  • Habits
  • Fear
  • Reason

To overcome inertia, simply get started! Start doing something! Do not start anything and nothing will ever change.

To change habits, find one that replace the old, useless, harmful one. Habits do not disappear by themselves -they need to be replace it.

To win the fight against fear, talk to people, raise your hand, ask questions -and listen. Many others have gone through the same challenges before.

If you do not have a reason to get started, find one! I you cannot find one, make up one!

Ricardo Abella

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“When I ask trainers or research the Internet about Agile, I usually find stuff about Scrum.

I wanted to advance my career, so I obtained a certification as a Scrum Master and another one as a Product Owner!

Does it men I’m now well equipped to do a good Agile job?

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Would you like making a difference? Do you want to do remarkable things? Would you like to become unforgettable?  Simple…

Regardless your role in an organization, try not to accept assignments as given. Twist any assignment until it can be turned into a seriously, cool WOW project.

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Earlier in this issue, Jerilyn Edginton from (Toronto, Canada) explored if a company might be sacrificing itself at the altar of sacred dogmas.

One of her examples involved an American company –Gallery Furniture– founded in 1981. From its CEO’s own words, here ere is how changed happened there…


“…We started to see the business as a system, asking ourselves internally, person to person, ‘What can I do for you to make your job easier?’ And ‘what can you do for me?’ We wanted all the employees to come up to the level of being ‘improvement project players.’

When we made the change from commission to salary, a lot of the hotshot salespeople who were making lots of money left, they did not want to be a part of this new thing. Many of my friends in the furniture business told me I was crazy, that it would be the ruination of Gallery Furniture…”

“…Before the change, we had a team of three or four professional furniture buyers who would go to all the furniture markets. In between, they sat at their desks and read computer flows, trying to figure out how much furniture to order each week. They felt it was beneath them to go on the sales-floor and talk to customers or salespersons.

After the change, we took those people (some of them left us) and did put them on the sales-floor and this made a tremendous difference. We started to identify customers’ concerns and needs and people began to perform in harmony like members of a symphony orchestra…”

“We learnt to recreate the business to have 100 winners, not 10 out of 100. Now all 100 felt like outstanding people, they felt like winners.”

“We learnt about quality, the quality of our product, and the quality of our service to our customers. That is what we are selling, the service and the furniture. And that is the direct result of:

  • How well the different parts of the organization work together
  • How well the salespeople work with the people in data-processing, typing the customers’ tickets
  • How well the people answered the phone and told the customer when their delivery would be made
  • How professional the delivery people were when they got to the customer’s home…”


“The quality of the company, Gallery Furniture, is certainly dependent on how well the different people work together. We started to work on getting a different profile of salespersons. We wanted people who would cooperate and could work together. In the old days we were looking for racehorse-type used-car salespeople, the best commission profile. After the change –and now– we look for turtles with a fast twitch!”


“When the switch was made from commission to salary, all full-time employees were allowed to share in the progress of the company. Quarterly profit-sharing were held. Five per cent of all profits every quarter were divided equally among all employees regardless of job title; a senior salesperson and a warehouse person would receive the same amount. 20 per cent of company profit gains went to the employees in the form of long-term retirement benefits.”

“So, the bottom line? Before we made that change, we were about $30 million in sales. Seven years later, our sales were at $100 million. Nine years later, about $110 million.”

Gallery Furniture’s CEO

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“I know you are busy. And I understand it is not your job to answer questions or requests for advice. However, I feel you are the right person to provide some guidance. I am more than willing to offer you a home-made meal in return for your time.”

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