Agile Reflections
Agile Reflections
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Agile Reflections

Last updated on 2012-11-23

About the Book


In July 2009, I started writing blog posts for BA Times and PM Times. Both portals are homed as part of Diversified Business Communications, a Toronto based media and training firm focused towards the Business Analyst and Project Management communities respectively. I’d been writing articles for some time and I’ve also written two books. But blogging was new to me and it was a challenge to find my voice and my style.

I also found that I had much more to say on the Project Management side of things. An example of that is a series I began called—The Agile Project Manager. My intent in developing the series was to provide assistance to traditional project managers in evolving towards more agile practices and an agile mindset. In my mind, I counted them in the same group as front-line functional managers, who had to essentially transform in order to be effective in agile contexts.

On the business analysis side of things, I was simply trying to help BA’s find their niche in agile. I liken BA’s to be much like testers who also struggle to find a place; I wanted to provide some guidance as to what they could and should ‘do’ within agile teams.

So fast-forward a few years and I’ve written a lot of content—stories, advice, patterns, and of course anti-patterns on the blogs. Then something struck me. I think I might have enough relevant content to fill a book of shared lessons. There were a few holes in coverage that I filled up by combining and editing some posts, but in general I felt there was a coherent set of lessons that might prove helpful in a single, consolidated book.

So that is some of the genesis in the thinking behind this book. In general, I’m looking to help folks move towards agile teams by sharing my experiences. Certainly not in a prescriptive, I know it all way. But in a pragmatic way, so you can avoid my mistakes.


There are five focused sections, each with 4 chapters (posts) within it. to the book:

  1. Beginnings— the art of the start; how to effectively begin your agile teams and projects
  2. Execution— where the rubber meets the road I suppose…guidance around effectively iterating
  3. Customer— the why and what behind agile teams; who drives the value and who you deliver to
  4. Mindset— you can easily ‘say’ you’re agile, but are you really?
  5. Leadership— yes, we need ‘stinkin’ leadership. I think more so in agile teams than many believe

With all of that being said, I hope you find some value in the pages (physical or virtual) of this book.


Ultimately (December 2012 - January 2013), I plan on publishing the book through However, I've made the "text" available here for those who are looking to connect with the material. If you want a well formatted paper book or PDF with pictures & diagrams intact, then go for the LuLu book. However, if you're looking for low cost and access to the ideas in an e-format (with some potential formatting challenges ;-), then this is the version to get. I also envision you "trying it here" before you might purchase other copies elsewhere.

I also plan on adding content, the occasional chapter and/or update, to this version on a roughly 1-2 month or quarterly basis. Again, Leanpub would be the place to stay in-touch with my ruminations around Agile Reflections.

In the end, I hope you enjoy the stories. And stay agile my friends,

Bob Galen

November 2012

Cary, NC

About the Author

Robert Galen
Robert Galen

Bob Galen is an Agile Methodologist, Practitioner & Coach. In this role he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards Scrum and other Agile methods and practices. He is currently President & Principal Consultant at RGCG, LLC. He is also Director of Agile Solutions for Zenergy Technologies where he applies his experience helping clients accelerate their agile adoption.

Bob regularly speaks at international conferences and professional groups on topics related to software development, project management, software testing and team leadership. He is a Certified Scrum Coach (CSC), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and an active member of the Agile Alliance & Scrum Alliance. In 2009 he published the book Scrum Product Ownership – Balancing Value from the Inside Out. The book addresses the gap in guidance towards effective agile product management. You can find the book here -

Bob may be reached directly at – or or

Table of Contents

  • Agile Reflections__
  • Appreciations
  • Introduction
  • Section 1 – Beginnings
  • 1—“Going Agile”, the Price of Admission
  • 2—Agile Basic Training: What is an Acceptable Level?
  • 3—Agile Chartering: Critical to a Proper Beginning
  • 4—Engaging Your Customer!
  • Section 2 – Execution
  • 5—Please sir, may I have some help?
  • 6—The TRIAD at the Heart of Agile Collaboration
  • 7—Fostering Controlled Chaos
  • 8—Vio**là: **The Great Reveal
  • Section 3 – Customer
  • 9—Driving Value or Where’s the Beef?
  • 10—Product Backlogs: Boulders, Rocks, and Pebbles…Oh My!
  • 11—Mature ‘Ownership’ of Agile Product Backlogs Isn’t Easy
  • 12—Actively Grooming your Agile Backlogs for Success
  • Section 4 – Mindset
  • 13—Do You TRUST Your Team?
  • 14—Fail NOW as a Strategy
  • 15—What’s the Big Deal about Commitment?
  • 16—Getting out of Jail Free
  • Section 5 – Leadership
  • 17—How do you want your Software…Good or Fast?
  • 18—The ‘Essence’ of Agile Metrics
  • 19—Listen to Your “Spider Sense”
  • 20—The Secret Sauce: Team Appreciation
  • Concluding our Reflections
  • Author Background
  • Converted Files

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