About Ben Kopel

I help build high performing teams and enable organizational growth

TechFest Takeaways

2019-06-14T21:30:20-04:00By |

I recently had the chance to attend PGH TechFest in Pittsburgh. As someone new to the area, I was excited to get involved with the local tech community and chat about the benefits of Agile. I heard about TechFest from a fellow Agile Coach and learned more from the fine people at the Pittsburgh Technology [...]

Let’s Take It To The Parking Lot

2017-04-01T09:21:34-04:00By |

  Last week, I was facilitated a retrospective where we focused on meeting satisfaction. While talking about the daily scrum and what could be improved, an engineer brought up the team’s use of the "parking lot”. If you’re not familiar with the “parking lot”, it’s used when a discussion is going a bit too deep, taking [...]

Iterative Retrospective Experimentation

2017-02-16T02:51:14-04:00By |

I really enjoy and get a lot of value out of experimentation at work. I think it’s a great way to unleash creativity, try new ideas, continuously improve, have fun, see what works/doesn't work, etc. One team that I coach has been experimenting and iterating on a retro idea for weeks. This team is small (2-3 devs) [...]

Continuous Improvement Board

2017-01-24T02:11:14-04:00By |

Earlier this year - after a large, stressful release - a group of Agile Coaches facilitated a retrospective involving people from over a dozen dev teams. In order to address the retro takeaways and make the progress visible, a Continuous Improvement Board was created. The goal of the Continuous Improvement Board was to provide a forum for people to promote [...]

New Agile Acronym – EFCIC

2016-12-07T02:10:12-04:00By |

Recently, I was preparing for a couple of speaking engagements and was thinking about how to summarize what Agile means to me. What I came up with was Empowerment, Flexibility, Communication and Collaboration, Iterating on Feedback and Continuous Improvement. Written out as an acronym, this spells EFCIC, which kind of sounds like efficacy, which means “the [...]

5 Things Learned From Steve Jobs

2016-11-08T02:09:20-04:00By |

Last week, I (virtually) attended the Lean Startup Conference and heard Guy Kawasaki - former Chief Evangelist at Apple - speak about 10 things he learned from Steve Jobs. Below are the 5 that caught my interest, along with some of my thoughts... 1. Customers can't tell you what they need (you need to help [...]

Agile Experimentation

2016-10-12T02:07:38-04:00By |

I am a big proponent of experimentation and find it particularly useful within the Agile space. When teams are working in short time boxes, a quick experiment could add a lot of value. On the downside, if it doesn’t add value, the team can choose to end the experiment and hopefully they have learned something. [...]

Teamification: Agile Team Self-Selection

2016-09-16T02:06:21-04:00By |

Earlier this year, while consulting as an Agile Coach, I was involved with an interesting experiment. The experiment asked individuals to self-select into software development teams. Team members would be allowed to choose what products they worked on and who they worked with. The event was called Teamification Day. I had never done anything like [...]

Five Ways Leaders Can Help Agile Succeed

2016-03-07T02:05:30-04:00By |

Leadership undoubtedly plays a large role in helping Agile succeed. Here are five ways that leaders can help enable the success of an Agile program. Create the right kind of environment Creating an environment where people can take risks, experiment, fail and learn is extremely important if teams are going to continuously improve. An environment [...]

Being Flexible With Agile

2016-01-28T02:02:57-04:00By |

After being involved with many Agile teams across a wide range of organizations - one thing is certain: each group will have their own style and flavor. No organization - whether a startup or Fortune 50 company - or team - distributed or collocated - will be the same. And in my opinion, that is [...]