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Agile Optimization

The spirit of optimization and continuous improvement applies to every component of an organization's Agile culture

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You need Lean business processes, Agile teams, and the ability to deliver the features and experiences that users and customers need with excellent quality.

Your organization has already adopted Agile or Scrum, but something just isn’t ‘right’.  Are you experiencing similar issues as: 

  • Your teams are sprinting, but you’re not realizing the business objectives as expected. 
  • End-to-end demos aren’t consistently showing value. 
  • Some teams aren’t communicating with others as expected. 
  • Upstream and downstream dependent teams are blocked. 
  • Recent business changes or events are causing disruptions or bottlenecks to product development flow. 
  • Introducing new product owners and teams since you first adopted is causing bottlenecks 
  • Your company acquired a new product, company, or team and is not sure where to turn 

Let NorthStar Solutions Group assist you in getting your ‘train back on the tracks’.  We can come in, run a 1-2 assessment of your current state, identify some areas of improvement, coach up new team members, and help your team retrospect on what’s working well and what needs improvement. 

Agile optimization engagements are typically simpler and require less time to implement than a transformation.  In most cases, your firm just needs a refresher course on why you went Agile, how to get the most out of Agile, and how to get more out of your retrospectives.

Recent Agile Videos

October 15, 2020 Problem, Hypothesis, Experiment, Results: Troubleshooting with the scientific method


Remember back in middle school, the scientific method has 7 steps to running a controlled experiment to prove your point with empirical data. In the interests of time, I have boiled the method down to 4 main steps.

  1. Problem: Identify the root cause of the problem.
  2. Hypothesis: What can we try to prevent the problem?
  3. Experiment: Let's run an experiment around our hypothesis that will give us data we can analyze.
  4. Results: Did you solve or lessen the problem? Use imperical, Boolean (true/false) answers to analyze the results.

These 4 steps can be applied to any problem and you may find it to be a useful tool in your toolbelt. The next time you encounter a problem in executing your strategy, try running an experiment.

August 20, 2020: Agile Story Point Estimation Techniques


Are your team's estimates missing the goal?  When applying an #Agile mindset, are you underestimating the complexity of the entire story?

Consider using the C.U.R.E. technique for solving underestimation issues. It stands for:

Complexity / Unknowns / Risks / Effort

Imagine your stories have 4 quadrants of estimation.  Estimating only the Effort quadrant will land you in a tough situation, if you don't also consider the Complexity, Unknowns, and Risks upfront.

Instead, estimate all 4 quadrants at the beginning of the story to account for the reality of delivering the solution end to end.

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