This blog item is dedicated to my students in SSM class of Oct 12-13, 2019!

Clogged workflow? WIP at maximum? Work not flowing?; clogged at a certain phase of the flow and is now a bottleneck? Imagine this (see image below)…

would you leave it to fester to learn a valuable lesson (large sizes are not good) and potential miss to deliver the iteration goal? Or do you address and remove the clog with the whole or part of the team so as not to impact the achievement of the iteration goal? The Pain Pleasure Principle (3Ps) determines your action. I prefer swarming. Results (meeting and delivering the iteration goal — the ones your team has committed to of achieving it with all your might) is the name of the game; not processes.

‘A person is moved by either fear or by self-interest’ — Napoleon Bonaparte

Swarm it!

Agile swarming is when the entire team swarms around a single feature or a story, much the same way bees swarm around a flowering plant producing nectar. In other words, everyone works on the same story at the same time.

This ‘Swarming’ is an XP (extreme programming) practice. In fact XP is so powerful that SAFe now has a lot of ScrumXP references in their website!


  • Developer – developer
  • Developer – tester
  • Developer- developer – tester
  • Etc

Do this to help each other meet the iteration goal, to learn (cross train; cross functional), teamwork, have fun!

Product owner to provide clarifications when needed by the team; Scrum Master to provide support, get / provide necessary help to remove impediments. These two roles to stay in character… they don’t build nor test.

By Clarence Galapon

CE, MBA, Lean Agile coach, Trainer, SPC, RTE, PSM, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, PMP, CC, ABNLP NLP Practitioner. NLP Coach, NLP Trainer, Software Executive, Entrepreneur, Author, Investor, and Innovator with a Creative, Lean, Agile, and Wander mindset


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