Who said that meetings have to happen in a room or at a desk?

Walking might be one of your best meeting hacks (Photo by shironosov from Getty Images)

Like with so many things in life we hardly ask about why we do meetings the way we do. And there is a lot to be said about meetings, but I want to focus on one innovative technique today: walking meetings.

Many famous people from Sokrates to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai or Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerburg regularly use walking meetings. They use them for things like thinking clearly or recruiting new employees. For myself I can say that I love walking meetings — it has so many advantages, that I hardly think twice before heading outside!

What Is a Walking Meeting?

In essence, walking meetings…


Despite the contempt many of us agile folks have for SAFe, this “Scaled Agile Framework” might still have one useful purpose.

Photo by Aimee Vogelsang on Unsplash

Note: this article is based on my experience and observations. You may disagree with my opinion. So I invite you to share your perspective with me.

Just looking at the overview image of SAFe gives many agile folks (including me) goose bumps. This complex map of process hierarchies, roles and silos doesn’t look very agile to me. David Peirera wrote a great article about why so much about SAFe is not agile.

SAFe tries to take the agile Scrum framework (which was invented for 2-pizza teams of originally 10 or fewer people) and scale its use up to companies with…


CODEX

Countless teams have moaned over Scrum being too rigid and not really suited for their particular domain. As an agile coach responsible for countless agile transitions I strongly disagree.

WHY DO TEAMS CLAIM SCRUM WOULD BE TOO RIGID?

There are several reasons and the behavior we encounter in the wild during an agile transition is usually a mix of many of these.

RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

One reason is surely the natural resistance to change. Teams who haven’t used Scrum before or who are inexperienced with an agile style of working can often reject Scrum. This psychological phenomenon is well studied and can be tackled. In short, people shy away from the unknown…


So many companies struggle with their move to agility — why is that?

Chances are you know or are part of a company whose agile transformation got stuck half-way and failed to deliver the big promises of agility. At this point you may doubt whether agility really works at all. You’re not alone — it seems the majority of companies starting an agile transformation never reach the goal of agility. Yet there are those few who truly become agile and reap insane benefits. What do these successful companies do differently?

In this article I want to point out three big problems with how most companies approach an agile transformation. While it may not…


Photo by Clément H on Unsplash

If you want to test a a NodeJS application with Jest, you often need to set local environment variables. Usually these variables are set on the server when deploying your application, but they’re not available locally for testing.

A common pattern is to use a .env file with all variables for local development and testing. However, to load these variables before you run your test can be tricky.

The magic line is:


via Giphy

The responsibilities of the Product Owner in Scrum are frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted. As a result, thousands of “Product Owners” around the world do harm the team performance more than they help. Here are a few symptoms which tell you, whether you’re off the track as a Product Owner.


This is a growing collection of my learnings from building web applications with AWS Amplify

AWS Amplify is a wonderful idea. In theory it simplifies all the messy coordination of different Amazon Web Services and speeds up building new products. In practice however, Amplify is not quite there yet. Here I describe my learnings of how to use Amplify in practice and how to circumvent the inevitable problems with a new technology.

The paragraphs are in no particular order — I will add to this article each time I discover a solution to a non-obvious Amplify challenge. Feel free to come back frequently and learn from my journey. …


Or: Would you trust a Geiger counter to save your life?

Photo by Ra Dragon on Unsplash

Disclaimer: I love Scrum — it’s an awesome framework! But too many people believe that Scrum would make their company agile; this is wrong and this is why I wrote this article. Enjoy.

When I went to Chernobyl, a good friend told me to bring a Geiger counter (a device that detects radioactivity) to protect myself. So I got a Geiger counter — a good and expensive one — and went into the danger zone polluted by the nuclear catastrophe of 1986. Although the situation felt scary, I had…


In today’s climate, it’s best to assume that most business models, even successful ones, will have a short lifespan.
― Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

If business models have a short lifespan, how can we create long-term success for our business? Do short lifespans for business models automatically mean short lifespans for companies?

The solution to keep your company in business in todays quickly changing world? Constantly change yourself! Adapt your business model. It needs to adapt to changing markets, trends and technologies. And this is not a one-time stunt: you need…


A hands-on process we use to get from feature requests to happy customers

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Doing lean startup and customer development in practice is a challenge. Here is how we at gixtra.com get from features requests of users to happy customers.

Here is the process in short. I will describe it in more detail below.

  1. Receive requests via Intercom
  2. Create a user story in GitHub and link it to Intercom conversation
  3. Prioritize backlog on GitHub
  4. Implement
  5. See conversation pop back up in Intercom after closing GitHub issue => inform customer
  6. Evaluate metrics of new feature and ask customer how they use it/like
    it
  7. Remove feature, if it doesn’t bring enough value for core customers

1. Receive requests via Intercom

Matthias Orgler

Agile Coach, Business Innovator, Software Engineer, Musician

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