About Ben Kopel

I am an Agile enthusiast in and out of work and have a breadth of experience ranging from Fortune 50 companies to startups, healthcare to E-commerce and mobile apps to wired sites. I have coached dozens of teams and trained hundreds of people in co-located and distributed team environments. Always with an eye toward continuous improvement, I am able to make connections and build relationships to help move teams and organizations in the right direction. I truly enjoy helping others, so being a servant leader comes naturally to me. Also, I believe that the work environment should be a fun place where people are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box in order to come up with new ideas and unique ways to solve problems.

Iterative Retrospective Experimentation

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

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+00:00 By |

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+00:00 By |

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+00:00 By |

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+00:00 By |

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+00:00 By |

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+00:00 By |

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+00:00 By |

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 [...]

How to Make an Agile Transformation Stick

2015-12-21T02:00:05+00:00 By |

Previously, I wrote about top-down and bottom-up Agile transformations. After the organization has started their transformation, it is important to make sure that the teams and organization are not slipping back into their old habits. Especially if Agile is new, it is easy to regress. It’s critical to stick with it so the teams and [...]

Agile Transformations… Top-Down or Bottom-Up Support?

2015-11-24T01:58:38+00:00 By |

When organizations and teams begin an Agile transformation, there is typically one person or group that is leading the charge. Does it matter if the push towards Agile is coming from the top or the bottom? Below, I will briefly discuss each and talk about which I think is more important. Bottom-up support By bottom-up [...]