Henrik Kniberg (old page)
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What I do:
- Minecraft development. I’m on the Minecraft gameplay design team at Mojang, working close to full time. I balance my time between game design & development & team coaching.
- Help companies improve. I’ve spent the past 12+ years coaching and mentoring organizations based on Agile and Lean principles. Currently with Mojang, previously with Spotify & LEGO. Also created some popular books and videos, such as:
- Video: Spotify Engineering Culture (usually referred to as the ”Spotify Model”)
- Video: Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell
- Book: Scrum and XP from the Trenches
- Book: Kanban and Scrum – making the most of both
- Book: Lean from the Trenches – managing large scale projects with kanban
- Help reduce global warming. I’m building up a community and trying to learn as much as possible about how to effectively reduce global warming. I’ve also cofounded a service called GoClimateNeutral.org.
- I also like to Jam 🙂
(the rest of this page is somewhat out of date, will update some day…)
I help companies improve. I am fascinated by the art of software development. How do you write great code? How do you create & lead great teams? How do you create great workplaces? How do you evolve great architectures? How do you design great products? How do you build scalable & robust systems? How do you build interfaces that users love? I’ve found that this mostly boils down to leadership, motivation, and organizational structure. The most effective approaches I’ve found so far to improve companies is Systems Thinking, Theory of Constraints, Lean thinking, and concrete implementations of this such as Scrum, XP, and Kanban. This is what I am continuously striving to learn & apply & teach. The past few years I’ve spent most of my time with Mojang, Spotify and Lego. Here’s an article about our approach to scaling agile, an interview, and an animated video called Spotify Engineering Culture (Similar in style to my other video Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell).
New book: Lean from the Trenches
I’ve recently published a new book called ”Lean from the Trenches – Managing Large Scale Projects with Kanban”. It has received great reviews so far! ”FANTASTIC! I know it’s going to make a big dent in the world of software development. It’s easily the most important book I have seen in the past year!” -Mary Poppendieck, Author of Lean Software Development Series ”I read the whole thing end to end. In a word, FANTASTIC! Grounded, real, funny, easy to read, smooth flow, good balance between theory and practice.” -Kent Beck, creator of Extreme Programming and Test-driven Development ”Awesome. Kudos to you for documenting the everyday sort of decision making that has to happen for a big project to be successful. I hope it becomes a benchmark against which many more projects are judged.” -Ward Cunningham, inventor of the Wiki, pioneer of Agile software development
Improve your development process
Improving your development process is probably the best investment you can make. Most software projects fail, and the most common cause is process issues such as communication, customer involvement, and planning. I can help you beat the odds. Succeeding with software development is not about having the biggest team, having the smartest people, or working the longest hours – it is about working smart. The difference is often dramatic. My most common types of engagements at the moment are:
- Coaching and mentoring, i.e. work directly with teams and managers to help them figure out how to improve their process. Check Spotify Engineering Culture for an example.
- Help companies transition to Agile and Lean software development using a combination of interviews, training, workshops, and coaching. My books ”Scrum and XP from the Trenches” and ”Lean from the Trenches” illustrate this work.
- 2 day Certified ScrumMaster classes, Kanban classes, and similar courses.
- Company visits (1 – 2 hours), an informal visit where you show me what you are doing, your challenges, etc, and we bounce ideas together.
- Inspirational talks (1 – 3 hours) on topics such as Agile, Lean, Kanban, Scrum and XP. Here are some typical topics.
- Team workshops (half or full day), where I help teams address practical issues such as how to coordinate multiple teams, create a Kanban board, how to do agile release planning, how to write good user stories, etc. See my keynote/workshop FAQ.
- Management workshops, to help managers or customers understand what Agile & Lean is all about and what it means to them.
- Facilitate meetings such as Retrospectives and Sprint planning meetings
- Tech practices workshops, where I use live coding and exercises to illustrate agile technical practices such as TDD (test-driven development), Pair Programming, Continuous Delivery, and provide an environment in which people can practice these techniques.
Slides & course material
- Scrum & Agile software development
- Slides in PDF format (30-40 Mb, not animated)
- More slides (from my blog)
- CSM links (mostly for those who have attended one of my CSM courses)
- Scrum Checklist
Books & articles & recordings
- Spotify Engineering Culture (video) – the origin of the ”Spotify Model”
- Scrum and XP from the trenches – How we do Scrum (book)
- Kanban and Scrum – making the most of both (book)
- Lean from the Trenches – Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban (book)
- Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds (article)
- Multitasking Name Game – or How Long Does it Take to Write a Name? (simulation)
- Bootstrapping an agile project with continuous deployment using cloudbees (video demo)
- Agile Product Ownership in a nutshell (video demo)
- Kanban kick-start example (template)
- Interview by InfoQ, where I talk about my books & travels & projects.
- A3 problem solving template & example
- What to do when Scrum doesn’t work (article based on my scrum gathering keynote)
- Cause-effect diagrams – a pragmatic way of doing root-cause analysis (article)
- Agile version control with multiple teams (article on InfoQ)
- Bootstrapping Scrum and XP under crisis (article on IEEE)
- How we got rid of time reports – a story of waste elimination (article)
- Kanban vs Scrum (video recording of my 10 minute lightning talk at Agila Sverige 2009)
- 10 ways to screw up with Scrum and XP (video recording of my talk at Agiles 2008 in Toronto)
- Scrum Checklist
- My blog
Hobby projects and tools
I code a few days per year, just for fun. Here are some of my hobby projects.
- Web Whiteboard – an instant web-based collaboration tool. One click to create an online whiteboard.
- Planning poker – I was first out with an online shop for physical planning poker decks.
- Band planner – a tool for finding rehearsal times for bands.
Background & merits
I take a holistic approach to software development and enjoy adopting different types of roles.
- Leader & manager & entrepreneur
- CTO at 3 Swedish IT companies
- Entrepreneur/cofounder of several companies (such as Goyada).
- A lot of informal leadership at Crisp.
- Agile alliance board of directors
- Agile Alliance board of directors 2009-2011
- Initiated & led the Agile Manifesto translation project, a global effort to bring the Agile Manifesto to the non-English speaking parts of the world. I also created the Swedish version of the Agile Manifesto.
- Teacher & speaker
- Trained and coached hundreds of people and dozens of companies in Agile & Lean software development – including developers, testers, customers, project leaders, and managers.
- Regularly teach Scrum and Lean courses together with Jeff Sutherland (founder of Scrum) and Mary Poppendieck (founder of Lean Software Development), and Alistair Cockburn (co-founder of Agile software development).
- Certified Scrum Trainer.
- Certified Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant (SPC)
- Certified LeSS practitioner
- Regular keynote speaker at Agile & Lean conferences worldwide, with record ratings almost every time.
- Process coach
- Helped dozens of companies get started with Lean & Agile software development through hands on coaching. Some of these cases are documented in Bootstrapping Scrum and XP under crisis and Lessons learned helping companies get started as well as my books Scrum and XP from the Trenches and Lean from the Trenches. For an executive summary, see my single-page coaching portfolio.
- The company I’ve worked with the most is Spotify, as illustrated in this video.
- See my list of books & articles above.
- My 3 published books have over 500,000 readers, have been translated to 12 languages, and are used as the primary guide to Agile and Lean software development by hundreds of companies worldwide, as well as several universities.
- Developer & Architect
- Rated #2 best developer in Sweden by Computer Sweden in 2015 (#3 in 2012). Been on the top-20 list every time since 2008.
- Minecraft developer since 2019
- Obtained 4 patents within software technology such as communication between mobile phones and PCs over the internet and distributed architectures for gaming systems.
- Designed and implemented platforms for mobile services, payment and e-commerce systems, gaming systems, flight booking systems, and more. I’ve done server programming, client programming, database design, testing, and web design.
- Early adopter and champion of agile techniques such as test-driven development and continuous integration.
- Hobby project: webwhiteboard.com.
- Founder of several Swedish IT companies, such as Goyada and GoClimateNeutral.org.
- Created several online services & open source products – see ”Hobby projects” above.
- My blog