Jean Tabaka

Agile Fellow

I’m an Agile Fellow with Rally Software. I love coaching others about Agile software development. My passion in this realm has led me to concentrate on practices in collaboration, innovation,  and leadership. I’m also now reaching into design thinking, Lean, and Kanban. So, you’ll see me post about these topics as well. I see a strong interdependency among these various processes and practices. This has led me to look outside of software and IT to our larger community about sustainable and restorative practices within our physical world.

Besides blogging, speaking, and consulting with Rally clients worldwide, I’ve also authored a book: Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Product Leaders. I graduated Magna Cum Laude as a University Scholar from the University of Missouri and I hold a Masters in French Literature from Michigan State University and a Masters in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. So basically, I'm a hybrid/mutt. Slowing down from my travels, you can find me in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

Follow me on Twitter at  @JeanTabaka.



More posts from this author

Post Date: 12/02/2015
Last Comment: 10 months 3 weeks Ago
Up to this point in this series on the 12 failure modes in agile transformation, I’ve covered topics around failure in leadership, failure in workflow and failure in congruency.
Post Date: 07/16/2015
Last Comment: 1 year 3 months Ago
To this point, I’ve covered topics around failure in leadership and failure in workflow. It’s now time to dig a bit deeper into the question, How does your organization “show up?" That is, What’s the overall sense of how people take ownership for their behavior in the transformation? What healthy alignments emerge among the teams?
Post Date: 05/15/2015
Last Comment: 1 year 5 months Ago
In my previous post on the first three Agile transformation failure modes, I focused on the LEADERSHIP aspects of failure: lack of real executive sponsorship, failure to transform leader behaviors, and refusal to change organizational structures. These next three fail modes are failures in WORKFLOW: effectively making work decisions flow, setting work boundaries, and factoring in the costs associated with work across distributed teams.
Post Date: 04/22/2015
Last Comment: 1 year 6 months Ago
The year? 2015. The setting? An Agile transformation near you. The problem? You’ve hit a wall. Despite all your best intentions, you’re still not getting those promised benefits of Agile: speed, quality, value, sustainable growth across your organization. And your problems don’t stop there. You aren’t responding to market threats; you can’t even see market threats; you’re unable to retain great employees; you’re not an industry showcase. In the end, your Agile transformation has brought cynicism and distrust.
Post Date: 12/04/2014
Last Comment: 1 year 8 months Ago
In his book, Tribal Leadership, Dave Logan suggests that every organization consists of “tribes” at different stages. At the lowest level is the tribe who thinks, “Life sucks.” From there it goes up to “My life sucks,” then “I’m great,” then “We’re great,” and finally to “Life’s great.”
Post Date: 12/18/2013
Last Comment: 2 years 10 months Ago
I am not Brad Feld. In fact, those of you who know him even a little are probably thinking (as Brad might say,) “No f—ing kidding!”      
Post Date: 04/27/2012
Last Comment: 3 years 11 months Ago
Welcome back to my series on Rally’s process for annual planning. In the first post of this 4-part series about our planning, I offered you a glimpse into how we conducted some of the initial planning Iteration approach: from executive visioning through departmental ORIDs into deep preparation for the Iteration 3: the planning meeting. We chose to act as chefs in our approach versus follow a recipe.
Post Date: 03/27/2012
Last Comment: 3 years 11 months Ago
In the first post of a three-part series, Rally Software Agile Fellow, Jean Tabaka, describes how Rally threw out the "cookbook" and dove into some untested waters when inviting customers to annual planning. Rally has experimented with annual planning every year, always pushing to learn new ways of planning and steering. The first two iterations Rally used in Agile planning this year included: 1. Create a high-level vision "star" to steer by, and 2. From executive visioning to departmental recommendations.
Post Date: 03/11/2012
Last Comment: 3 years 11 months Ago
The Collegiate Social Impact Initiatives (CSII) club blows me away with their passion. Completely volunteer, the small but mighty group of CU students here in Boulder has set out to support non-profits worldwide. How do I know this? The heart that keeps the club pumping is Kaesi Solomon. And Kaesi found me at Rally  through my boss Ryan Martens to see how I could help him help the club.
Post Date: 10/26/2011
Last Comment: 3 years 11 months Ago
Rally Software Agile Fellow, Jean Tabaka, recounts her travels through Europe as part of the Agile Europe Road Tour. Jean delivered a keynote speech on a "Community of Thinkers" at the Agile Business Conference in London as well as a talk on Simon Sinek's "The Golden Circle: Tell Me Why" at the GOTO conference in Aarhus, Denmark. Jean's main takeaway: The Agile community is primed to stretch the "knowledge discovery process."


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