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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Repairing the Management/Agile Relationship

As Steve Denning claims in two articles for Forbes, “management” and “agile” are actually two separate worlds. Management is vertical, strategy starts at the top, and power filters down. Agile is horizontal, innovation-oriented, and focused toward enablement over control. Is there really love lost between these two, or can we have a Hallmark-worthy reconciliation? Relationship Problems Denning cites at present that Apple is worth $660 billion, Google $362 billion, and IBM $155 billion. Granted, IBM’s …

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Agile Development: Adopt Gradually or Dive In?

Do you go slow and steady with agile adoption, or do you go all in across the organization with agile transformation? Picking the right option can be the difference between a so-so implementation and a great implementation. Jack Walser helps you decide in an article for Network World. Ripple or Splash Walser begins by offering this: A good place to start is by examining your company’s product development or project management culture. If your organization …

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When to Focus on Benefits over Features

Your boss has yet to hop on the agile train. How do you sell him on the smooth and speedy efficiency of the agile engine? Mike Cohn explains that you need to think about it in terms of the benefits agile will produce, versus merely the features that agile flaunts. Training Agile Yes, agile has short time boxes, relies on self-organization, and offers three distinct types of role. Those are all interesting novelties, but none …

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Hacking Agile: How Agile is Agile Enough?

Is agile choking on its own popularity, too bloated with misinformation to still be effective? Of course not, agile will always persist. But agile is not a silver bullet either, and Jinesh Parekh writes with what he perceives as some hacks for getting agile benefits without executing full-blown agile practices. Peeled to the Essentials When a deadline is set in stone, Parekh especially thinks there are better strategies than using agile wholesale. He notes that, …

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Does Agile Work Outside of Software?

Like Allan Kelly says, several of the concepts that first went into the creation of agile originated outside of software development, so of course agile should be able to work outside of software development. But where is the concrete proof? Kelly reveals all in an article at Agile Connection. All Kelly first goes about getting a basic definition of “agile” going so he has a frame of reference. In a nutshell, being agile means being …

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To Be or Not to Be Agile

To those with only a foggy understanding, agile might seem like a perfect catch-all solution to virtually any problem. But there are limits to all good things. Sabrina Schindler writes with the aim of demystifying what agile is and is not best suited to handle. An Agile Question Agile emphasizes iterative deliverables, generally rolled out in sprints over 2-4 weeks. Each sprint receives its own objectives and requirements, which become the exclusive focus. Issues are …

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Scrum at Scale: Changing the Conversation to Modular

One scrum implementation is always going to vary from the next implementation, because the secret to its success is processes that are driven through context. As a post over at Scrum Inc. thoughtfully points out, in this light it becomes silly to talk about scaling scrum to find one grand solution for all occasions. Instead, a modular approach is promoted. In this way, you can focus on scaling the specific aspects of scrum that will …

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A New Agile Method? Minimal Indispensable Feature Set

Pawel Brodzinski hears the term minimum viable product (MVP) get thrown around a lot, and most of the time, he hears it getting used incorrectly. Frequently, the things people uphold as MVPs are neither minimum nor viable. He writes at his blog about an alternative means of getting an iteration off the ground—the minimum indispensable feature set. The New Way When a potential client comes along with a project, Brodzinski likes to ask questions about …

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Living with an Agile Teenager

Agile has shifted into its teenage years, and Terry Bunio sees that agile has sure enough begun to act like a teenager. While it has so far managed to dodge the acne and the bad taste in music, agile is still kind of a brat. Bunio lists five ways that agile is a typical teenager: “Parents are dumb.” Thinks cliques are cool Lives in the basement Falls in love hard Isn’t scared or hesitant Kinda …

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Your Agile Project Needs a Budget, Not an Estimate

As Debbie Madden writes for the Harvard Business Review, the first and biggest question asked at the start of every software development project is, “How much will it cost?” Shrugging your shoulders is not a viable response, and so the technical team bears the burden of devising an estimate. But Madden says there is a better method than estimating—and it takes 20 percent less time. No, Her Method isn’t “Just Make Something Up” Since technical …

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