Applying OKRs

Over the last year or two I have been exploring OKRs—Objectives and Key Results—with several organisations, from a few hundred people in size to a couple of thousand. Some are well over a year in, some are just starting out. There doesn’t seem to be much out there in terms of experience reports or hands-on advice so I have tried to capture the advice I wish I’d had when I started out.

Blink Estimation

Experienced delivery folks can have surprisingly good instincts for macro-level estimation, as long as we are careful to manage blind spots and cognitive biases. This can be an important tool in early project investment discussions, and can remove roadblocks where people are uncomfortable or unwilling to provide estimates.

Outcomes over Features: the fifth agile value?

I’ve been having difficulty recently with a trend I’m seeing on projects. What happens is this: we (an agile development team) engage with a client for a short period — typically 2-4 weeks — to investigate how we might work with them to solve their problem. During this period, we drive out lots of stories, do some technical investigation and estimation, and out of this we generate a high level release plan.