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CHOW – The Challenge of the Week

Challenge of The Week
Welcome to the Chow – the Challenge of the week!

This section will highlight some of the challenges we face in our work situations – sometimes bordering on the personal aspects as well.

These are situations that may not be classified as black or white. While there could be some good practices and patterns to handle these, the actual resolution will depend on the specific context and the disposition of the person solving the challenge at that time.

Over time, with your active participation, we hope that for every situation, we can get a broader perspective of how different people have managed the situation.

Please feel free to

  • share your perspective on how the situation can be approached
  • describe what has worked – and what has not, in your own experience
  • pose your own related or additional challenges to hear from others

The Challenges will usually be open for two weeks before the suggestions from PM Power coaches are published.

Recent Challenges
CHOW #307 – Structural remedies in Agile

CHOW #307 – Structural remedies in Agile

Agile think tanks recommend that the modern-day organization should be a cluster of empowered teams, an entity that is like an organism able to adapt itself and thrive. Alas, when agile consultants walk into a new customer engagement, chances are what they see appears...

CHOW #306 – Is my team improving?

CHOW #306 – Is my team improving?

Shashikanth is the manager of the scrum teams you are coaching for the last few months. He has been very helpful and enthusiastic about the Agile Transformation initiative. He has heard that scrum teams tend to show an increasing trend in their velocity, once they are...

CHOW #304: Travails of a young coach

CHOW #304: Travails of a young coach

As agile coaches, we have all had our initial travails, cutting our teeth in the first engagement and at times learning the hard way. One can walk down memory lane, maybe with a rueful smile! Here is a quiz of three questions which may make you reminisce! For those...

CHOW # 303 Growing pains in a Scrum team

CHOW # 303 Growing pains in a Scrum team

You are the new coach assigned to a software team in a multinational financial company. The team has three senior members who have more than five years experience and four members with less than 2 years of experience. The Scrum Master (SM), Marina, is a strong...

CHOW # 302 : Together but not a team

Destruction vector created by upklyak - www.freepik.com Gladiators is a well-formed Agile team as per the prevailing practices - 5 Developers, 2 testers,  1 SM and 1PO.  The team delivers complex technology solutions for the Cloud platform. Each of the...

CHOW #301 – Policy and Pragmatism

CHOW #301 – Policy and Pragmatism

EmpFirst Inc, decided to reopen their offices after Covid subsided and the government removed all related restrictions. However, many employees had settled in their new mode of working and some had also relocated to their homes elsewhere in the country. EmpFirst...

CHOW #300 – Navigating coaching practices

CHOW #300 – Navigating coaching practices

Photo by Conor Luddy on Unsplash You are coaching an eight-member team in Pune, part of a large multinational in the tech sector. The team is self-sufficient with the Product Owner & Product Management also being located in Pune. The team is now facing a...

CHOW #298 – Adaptive Leadership

CHOW #298 – Adaptive Leadership

For an adaptive leadership to succeed in a chaordic organization, one of the key factors is mutual trust. Could you please highlight top two things from your list that helps develop trusting culture in an organization?  CHOW Solution: There are so many practices to be...

CHOW #296: Backlog Blinkers

CHOW #296: Backlog Blinkers

Bill is a Product Manager in a large software product firm, which has decades of leadership in their target segment. He has over 20 years of experience at this company and has excellent relationship with the major customers of the product. John, the new CEO, had come...

CHOW #295: Splitting hair over splitting team

CHOW #295: Splitting hair over splitting team

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC Priyanka is the coach for a team making firmware and software for ECUs (electronic control units) and app layers above. Due to the number of fragmented technologies in the solution and the workload, the...

CHOW #293: Experimentation and Research Issues

CHOW #293: Experimentation and Research Issues

An enterprise exists to deliver value to its stakeholders. Continuous delivery of value to stakeholders is the mantra that industry leaders now chant in their offices all day long. Now, how do they deliver this continuous value? One important aspect of creating better...

CHOW #291 Low Hanging Fruits or Meaningful Wins?

CHOW #291 Low Hanging Fruits or Meaningful Wins?

Shiva is a Product Leader and leading a solution development team which is in the Automotive Technology domain. As a product leader he is sitting on huge pile of backlog of features which has been built up over sometime working with customers and internal...

CHOW #289 – Backlog Refinement or bones of contention?

CHOW #289 – Backlog Refinement or bones of contention?

Shivani is the Scrum Master of for the Palomar team. She approaches you, the Agile coach, with a situation she is facing with the Backlog Refinement. Palomar team has scheduled regular Backlog Refinement meetings for couple hours on their Fridays. These are not...

CHOW#288 – Restoring Work-Life Balance

CHOW#288 – Restoring Work-Life Balance

Suvarna is the leader of a support team that supports a enterprise software for project management. Working hours for her team are from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm as they support customers in India and UK. While most of her team members work from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm which are...

CHOW #284 – Five “out-of-scope” questions

CHOW #284 – Five “out-of-scope” questions

Photo by Chaitanya Tvs on Unsplash This Challenge of the Week (CHOW) reminds me of student days and the outrage at “out-of-syllabus” questions in exams! Here are a few on agile scope management for you to try out (within syllabus but some googlies!!). As a short prep,...

Chow # 283 – Objective or Key Result

One of the frequently asked questions I get from teams starting out to adopt the OKR framework - Objectives and Key results, is how to distinguish between an objective and a Key result. Additionally, how do we word these - so that there is less or no ambiguity. While...

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