As I was reading the excellent New Yorker magazine article Has the Pandemic Transformed the Office Forever? that traces the evolution of office space over the past several decades, it occurred to me that permanent work-from-home knowledge workers may gain an ancillary benefit beyond escaping cube farms or open space office designs. I’ve written previously about best-selling author Scott Halford’s book Activate Your Brain: How Understanding Your Brain Can Improve Your Work — and Your Life in which he summarizes research from neuroscience about taking regular breaks from brain-intensive work. …


photo: Karthik Chandrasekarial

The new 2020 version of the Scrum Guide has thankfully removed the “three questions” from the Daily Scrum section (or Daily Standup, abbreviated as DSU, as some prefer). Those who understand that the Scrum Guide is just that, a guide, and not a prescribed methodology, have never felt bound to use the three questions. The questions are, more or less, asked like this: What did you accomplish yesterday? What do you commit to completing today? Are there any obstacles in your way that may prevent you from meeting your commitments? …


Your organization is seeking competitive advantages in delivering its products. However, you face stiff competition from more nimble startups. You’ve implemented or are in the process of implementing Agile to your organization. How can you maximize the gains that can be realized by agile organizations?

To answer this critical question, I will introduce the work of Peter Merel with the XSCALE Alliance, and the six principles they say are critical for an agile organization.

XSCALE represents The Manifesto for Agile Organization and is an acronym for:

eXponential return by stacking growth curves.

Simple design to the elegance of minimum.

Continuous…


Anyone who conducts training on the Scrum Framework is sure to spend significant time reinforcing the Scrum Values and Scrum Roles. The Scrum Values compliment the values and principles in the Agile Manifesto and the Scrum Roles clearly spell out the separation of responsibilities the framework requires to establish and maintain a successful Scrum team.

As with most new material to be learned, the retention rate and level of understanding is increased significantly by having the trainees engage in active learning via some type of activity. One popular active learning method is gamification and this method was first applied to…


This is the fifth of a series of articles on my adventures and misadventures from my way-too-long 24 years in academia. See the first article here.

After completing my less than stellar PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Davis (UCD), my options for post-PhD employment were limited. Further limiting my options was the fact that my then-wife Shirley (name changed for privacy) had just completed her master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at UCD and had gotten accepted into University of California, Berkeley’s (UCB) PhD program in Electrical Engineering.

Armed with the knowledge that Shirley and I would…


Economic Bubbles

Many of us in the United States who are not economists, gained first-hand knowledge and had a front-row seat into the concept of an economic bubble with the housing price crash that started in late 2006. My wife and I were one of millions of homeowners who suddenly found ourselves “under water” with a mortgage greater than the greatly depreciated value of our modest three-bedroom, two-bath home in north Florida.

The bursting of the housing bubble

It’s well documented that the cause of the bubble was due to unscrupulous lending practices and irresponsible borrowing by consumers who often took advantage of variable-interest loans to…


This is the fourth of a series of articles on my adventures and misadventures from my way-too-long 24 years in academia. See the first article here.

I left my dream job after only two years. Unlike my mentor Mr. Wilson who inspired me to pursue and land my dream job as a physics instructor at a community college, I couldn’t see myself doing the same thing for 40 years, as he did.

Add to that what must have been a low point for community college salaries in California. …


This is the third of a series of articles on my adventures and misadventures from my way-too-long 24 years in academia. See the first article here.

After completing my master’s degree in physics at UC Berkeley (UCB), I was ready to pursue my dream of teaching at community college that was inspired by Mr. Wilson.

As I was soon to learn, landing a full-time community college position is not always easy. …


Photo used with permission of Raymund Eich

This is the second of a series of articles on my adventures and misadventures from my way-too-long 24 years in academia. See the first article here.

While I was attending community college in Southern California, I was inspired by my physics instructor Mr. Wilson to pursue a career as a community college physics instructor. That led me to complete a physics undergrad degree in physics at the University of California, Davis (UCD). I then applied and got into the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) for grad school.

Rich Stewart

Business agility solutions leader. Reach me at rich@sevawise.com or rich_sevawise on Instagram

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