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Tech Lead Journal

142 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#98 - Professional Agile Leadership With Empiricism, Catalytic Leadership, and Self-Management for Agility - Kurt Bittner

“Empiricism is at the heart of agility. The fundamental foundation of agility starts with some assertion about value. Every sprint or iteration is really an experiment about value."

Kurt Bittner is the author and editor of many books on agile product development, including co-authoring the recent “Professional Agile Leader” book. In this episode, we started our conversation discussing the common misconception of Agile in the modern day and Kurt emphasized that empiricism should be at the heart of agility, especially for solving complex problems. Kurt then explained the importance of aligning company’s direction and goals using outcomes instead of using activities or outputs. In the latter half of the episode, we discussed the concept of a self-managing team, what characteristics and attributes it has, and the important role of catalytic leadership in such teams. Kurt also explained how to measure the self-management spectrum of a team by measuring decision latency and shared some advice on how to reduce decision-making dependencies in organizations.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:06:08]
  • Empiricism in Agility - [00:09:35]
  • Going in the Right Direction - [00:16:17]
  • Agile for Complex Problems - [00:22:18]
  • Self-Managing Team - [00:26:26]
  • Leadership vs Management - [00:32:40]
  • Decision Latency and Dependencies - [00:35:18]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:47:50]


Kurt Bittner’s Bio
Kurt Bittner has been delivering working products in short, feedback-driven cycles for nearly 40 years, and has helped many organizations do the same. He is the author or editor of many books on agile product development, including Mastering Professional Scrum, The Zombie Scrum Survival Guide, The Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum, The Professional Scrum Team, and Professional Agile Leadership, as well as The Guide to Evidence-Based Management, and The Nexus Guide.

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