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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Leave Work Unassigned and See Who Steps Forward

You can feel it that your team members have more untapped potential in them, so how can you draw it out? In a post at his blog, Mike Cohn suggests that the most effective method could be to just let people volunteer for more work. This sounds like a pretty good deal all around, huh? Filling the Void Once upon a time, a younger then-programmer Cohn asked his boss what he had to do to …

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How to Improve Performance with User Stories

What distinguishes working with user stories versus working with regular requirements, and how do you maximize user story value? Bruce Harpham answers these questions in a post at his blog. He provides a primer on user stories that will help you weave a yarn of success in your projects. Story Time To start with a basic definition, a user story describes a typical hypothetical user who has a goal to be realized through use of …

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How to Combine Four Common Agile Frameworks

Agile comes in many forms, and each one has its advantages. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Dele Oluwole considers the various existing agile frameworks and how they can best play together. He finds the chemistry between scrum, extreme programming (XP), lean, and dynamic systems development method (DSDM). Agile’s All Connected Oluwole finds that scrum works very well with XP and DSDM. It works well with XP in that scrum team management process can be …

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CMOs, Are You Brave Enough to Go Agile?

More and more buzz is building over the prospect of applying agile to marketing. Michael LeBeau makes a case for doing so effectively in an article for Forbes. It will require the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to embrace the agile methodology as wholeheartedly as seen in IT. The Market for Agile Agile implies faster and more efficient, but as LeBeau points out, these things are achieved by odd means. Middle managers gain greater power as …

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4 Priorities of a Scaled Product Owner

Are you a product owner in a company that is scaling up its agile projects? Then you need to be prepared for the expanded responsibility that comes with it. In a post at his blog, Tom Cagley counts four priorities that product owners need to especially monitor: Prioritizing the backlog Facilitating interactions between the team and subject matter experts (SMEs) Clarifying needs and requirements Connecting teams and SMEs Bigger and Better Scale or no scale, …

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Scrum Master and Product Owner as Leadership Partners

If you are the scrum master or the product owner, and the person in the opposite role is not performing up to expectations, whose fault is that? In a post at All About Agile, Martin Aziz explains that these two roles succeed or fail together. If you have conflict with your scrum master or product owner, it is your duty to smooth it out yourself. Becoming a Dynamic Duo Aziz recounts a time when a …

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5 Tips for Supporting Distributed Scrum Teams

How are you supposed to stay transparent and build the vital rapport needed for scrum when you are part of a distributed team? Samantha Webb tries to alleviate this problem in an article for Scrum Alliance. She has five tips scrum masters can use to make cohesive teams across long distances: Make an effort to collocate often and early. Have an informal communication stream. Invest in tooling. Develop your facilitation skills. Give thanks. Support from …

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Swarming: The Next Big Thing in Agile or Buzz Kill?

Gartner predicts swarming is the future—teams that assemble in an instant for one specific task and then scatter to the winds. Is such a scenario ideal, or even practical? In an article for Business 2 Community, Alexandra Levit explores what the swarm might mean for agile. Here Today… By its nature, most people in a swarm are going to be unfamiliar with each other. They will just pitch in their specialized knowledge and be on …

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Stop Re-estimating Your Stories for Every Iteration

For some, it is a common practice to estimate stories again at the start of each iteration to update accuracy. Adrian Wible hates this idea. In an article for AgileConnection, he lays out an argument for why this practice is not only a waste of time, but actually damages the final results. Where the Numbers Diverge When a story is being broken into tasks to be inserted into an iteration, that is when the team …

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Peter Drucker: The Father of Agile?

Peter Drucker is often referred to as the founder or the father of modern management. Is he also, in a roundabout way, the father of agile? In an article for Scrum Alliance, Alan Zucker notices some intriguing philosophical similarities between agile and the thinking of Drucker. Fatherly Advice We are all familiar with the great and mighty overarching principles introduced by the Agile Manifesto, things like “Working software over comprehensive documentation” and “Responding to change …

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