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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Accidental Agility

Sometimes implementing agile succeeds, and sometimes it fails. Have you ever stopped to consider that your initial success or failure with agile was an “accident?” In a post for All About Agile, Mike Cottmeyer explains how the results of our first forays into agile might not all be the result of skill. Oops, I Did It Agile Cottmeyer asks us to consider a couple scenarios. In the first scenario, there is a CIO of a …

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How Developers Can Write Great Product Documentation

If you build the most awesome product in the history of human existence, but the documentation is lousy, then you might not have created something so wonderful after all. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Miladin Mitrovic discusses how to write documentation that brings out the best in the product. The Guide to Guides Mitrovic and his team recently built a complex product that demanded good documentation, such that they dedicated a sprint to writing …

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The Fast Method to Run a Sprint Retrospective

Hindsight is 20/20, so it behooves you to make the most of every sprint retrospective. In a post at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn shares his favorite method for conducting a retrospective. It begins by simply asking team members which team processes they would like to start, stop, or continue doing. Then the discussion for real improvement begins. Start Learning Things that a team might recommend starting include “doing code inspections” or plainly “being on …

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Does a Scrum Team Need a Retrospective Every Sprint?

Following each scrum sprint cycle, the team will need to do a retrospective. The problem is that teams do not feel this is always necessary, for a multitude of reasons. In a post for Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn explains why a retrospective is still always necessary, or is it? There are four reasons why teams are hesitant to dive into a retrospective: The team is already good. Retrospectives are boring. The team is too …

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Business and Development: Working Together to Build Better Products

Applications have become the key for organizations to remain competitive as well as enter into new markets. It is important to remember that both the business stakeholders and the DevOps team play an integral part in application development. In an article for AgileConnection, Renato Quedas explores how to encourage communications between both parties. There are a plethora of titles that collectively comprise the group of stakeholders. However, despite all of the names, they all have …

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Managing Defects in Agile

Defects in software development can cause a great up-rise and instability in the team. This type of poor environment can lead to more bugs being developed. So what can be done when everyone is playing the blame game and no one is solving the problem? In an article for Scrum Alliance, Manojeet Chatterjee explores how to approach this delicate situation. Chatterjee calls it “defect panic syndrome” when the end user finally sees the product after …

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What If Users Don’t Like the Latest Product Increment?

The greatest advantage of agile methodology over waterfall is that problems in agile projects can be identified and rectified much sooner and easier than in waterfall projects. Although, even in an agile project, nobody is enthusiastic to hear that the latest product increment is not up to par. Sayi Sarat Chandra Parvatam discusses what can be done when this happens in an article for Scrum Alliance. Assessing the Damage There are both contingency strategies and …

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How to Improve Productivity with Agile

When new technology is not enough to increase productivity, you should next turn to new methodologies. In an article for CIO.com, Bruce Harpham explains how agile is helping both IT and other industries improve their processes. The benefits are multifaceted. Goal-Oriented Improvement One very powerful aspect of agile that perhaps does not get emphasized enough is the emphasis on face-to-face communication. People gathered with purpose in a room can draft up a product diagram and …

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Adhocracy for an Agile Age

Advanced analytics and big data might be only half of the equation when it comes to evolving the organization to become future-proof. In an article for McKinsey & Company, Julian Birkinshaw and Jonas Ridderstråle stress the merits of the “adhocracy” organizational model, in which decisive action circumvents and takes precedence over formal authority. Comparing Models A fixation with productivity can sometimes result in just the opposite, as evidenced in situations like “analysis paralysis” where more …

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Can Traditional Software Requirements Be Converted into User Stories?

Software requirements are in a way the blueprints of a project, and they are not always very fluid. If a project with traditional requirements changes to become agile, can requirements transform into user stories? In a post at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn answers this question. Driving for the Conversion Cohn prefers to use the term “software requirements specification” (SRS) as a catchall for the various ways that businesses establish requirements, but the phrasing is …

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