Agreement, the heart of agile and lean

  • SolutionsIQ 6801 185th Avenue NE #200 Redmond, WA, 98052 United States

Presented by Michael Tardiff

Have you ever tried to have lunch with a group of five or more coworkers and had trouble agreeing on where to go? Or come to the end of a sprint and been unable to agree on which of the many things the team could do to experiment or change the team will do? Maybe the folks ordering your backlog can’t agree which of the twenty-five number-one priorities is the real number one.

Agreement is at the heart of agility and lean practice, yet we often have trouble finding it. Drawing on decades of experience helping people agree and salted with research on certainty, "wrongness," and collaborative governance methods, this practical and interactive discussion explores what it means to be "right" and how we can help ourselves and those with whom we work find agreement on matters small and large. This presentation is aimed at people who want to get better at getting along through building on what they agree on. No magic bullets or five-point plans, so this presentation works best for those who are least open to the idea that not everyone around them is a bozo.

We’ll explore:

  • What it means to find agreement

  • Why making decisions is hard or impossible when everyone is certain and different

  • Ways of finding agreement

  • Working through a model for types of agreement, their pros and cons

  • Experience in exercises on how agreement is both easier and harder to find than we may think

  • A renewed belief that agreement starts with us and tools for helping others find common ground with you


Michael helps teams and organizations of all kinds do more of what they're trying to do. He delights in helping teams discover ways to collaborate, manage their work, remove impediments, and deliver valuable results, sustainably.

In his years as a consultant, Michael has served clients as a trainer, coach, facilitator, mentor, and guide. In the decades before that, he's been in all the software roles that begin with "p" and end with "manager," along with being a director at a growing startup and a technical writer. 

Michael speaks at gatherings wherever he's invited, tweets (@mjt) and sometimes blogs ( on Agile topics, serves on the board of Agile Open Northwest, was a founder of the Puget Sound user group Beyond Agile, used to co-host "The Agile Coach" podcast (, and sails the waters north of Seattle.

Later Event: July 7
Liberating Structures