Agile Culture

If you asked software developers about Agile, there are chances that a majority will discuss it with words like “Scrum”, “sprints” or “retrospectives”. However Agile is not just a collection of techniques and practices, but it is more a state of mind or a culture. This is the topic of this book written by Pollyanna Pixton, Paul Gibson and Niel Nickolaisen.

All the people and values aspects of Agile software development are discussed in this book that provides both conceptual material and real life stories. This is a book that I will naturally recommend to every ScrumMaster, software development manager or project manager, but it is also a must read for all the people interested in the Agile values and how you adopt them in software development organizations.

Agile Culture

Reference: “The Agile Culture: Leading through Trust and Ownership”, Pollyanna Pixton, Paul Gibson and Niel Nickolaisen, Addison-Wesley, 229 pages, IBSN 978-0321940148

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Get more reviews on this book or buy it on


Recognize that even when leaders behave with visible honesty and integrity it will be some time for the team culture to become the same. Even a single instance of negative behavior can do real damage to this, and once the team believes that the leader or company is not to be trusted it can take a very long time to rebuild. However, once a culture of openness, integrity, and honesty is in place it becomes self-sustaining. The motivation and energy generated are rewarding to the entire team and enable them to maximize their delivery of value to the business.

How do we not take ownership away from our teams? One way is to not give them the answers, no matter how hard they try to get one from you. Sound simple? Yes. However, it is not easy to do. To test this, find a peer you trust. Ask her to think up a problem that you could answer and have her work very hard to get you to give her the answer. You, on the other hand, will work very hard to not give her the answer but help guide her to discover the answer herself.

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