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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Using Imposter Syndrome to Your Advantage

Sometimes when he does agile teaching or speaking, Mark Kilby wonders if he is not just a big fraud who has no business telling anybody how to do anything. Yet Kilby thinks such thinking, the “imposter syndrome,” might actually be healthy. In an article for AgileConnection, he discusses some merits of worrying that you might actually be a phony. Fraudulent Fakes Kilby thinks that feelings of imposter syndrome indicate that you have stepped outside of …

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8 Steps for Creating an Agile Enterprise

Telling the business to get agile and expecting it to happen is like telling your friends to get agile and expecting them to suddenly be able to dodge all the rocks you are throwing at them. It just does not work like that. In an article for InformationWeek, Curtis Franklin Jr. shares eight steps to making a more agile enterprise: Executive involvement is a must. The budget must change. Silos must fall. Lose the project …

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5 Tips to Optimize Backlog Refinement

Sometimes, backlog items do not receive enough time in the shop during sprint planning, and other times, backlog items get so hyper-analyzed that the team feels a little suffocated when the time actually comes to work on them. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Marco Mulder discusses how to get the right backlog items “ready” at the right times and to the right degree. There are five tips: Development teams must understand the business domain. …

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Debunking More Agile Misconceptions

Misinformation is a virus that spreads through a community and causes it to make poor decisions. Agile is frequently one of those things that carries a lot of assumptions that turn out to not really be true. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Christian Bisson gets rid of a few more of these misconceptions. Contain the Spread For starters, becoming agile is not just a matter of changing what you call things. Renaming …

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Teams Don’t Need to Think of Everything during Sprint Planning

If we could know in advance exactly how many tasks it would require to complete our work and exactly how many hours each task would take, that would be terrific. If an eccentric old man walked up to you on the street and handed you a billion dollars, that would be terrific too. Neither is likely though. In a post at his blog, Mike Cohn explains how not every detail needs to be set in …

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Top 10 Mistakes Scrum Teams Make

Imagine how great (and maybe mildly spooky) it would be if, every time you were about to make a bad decision, someone would materialize out of the mist and say, “Whoa, there, let’s stop and reconsider this.” Thanks to Gilberto Urueta Sanroman and his article at Scrum Alliance, you may not need such supernatural assistance to avoid mistakes in scrum. He compiles a list of 10 scrum mistakes for your team not to make: Too …

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‘Make It So!’ Agile Is Not an Instruction

Jenny Beresford, once a CIO, thought that by issuing the order for IT to go agile that it would just suddenly happen. It of course did not. Now working as a Gartner analyst, she fully understands that agile is more than a yes-or-no decision, and she relates her experience in an article for CIO.com Australia. Tear Down, Build Up Beresford describes her period of implementing agile as a time of “serious unlearning.” She discarded her …

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Using an Agile PMO to Scale Agile

Let’s just spell it out—scaling agile is hard. It is a headache, a can of worms, and every other metaphor for inconvenience. However, in an article for Scrum Alliance, Shalu Tyagi believes such difficulties can be sufficiently conquered with the creation of an agile project management office (PMO). Growing Up Since neither scrum masters nor product owners ultimately have the governing power of a traditional project manager, it can be difficult when scaling to successfully …

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Defining the Advantages and Drawbacks of Kanban and Scrum

A wrench will not fix every broken thing in your garage, and neither will a screwdriver. There is a time and place for both. Kanban and scrum can be thought of similarly. They both have clear advantages and drawbacks that will make one a better fit for some organizations than others. In a post at his blog, the Clever PM Cliff Gilley spells out the pros and cons so that you can make the most …

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Advice on How to Split Reporting User Stories

Reporting user stories can become deceptively or blatantly complex, and tackling them in a way that is truly agile requires some finesse. In a post at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn discusses how reporting user stories can be split effectively. Handling the Divide Cohn begins by explaining how reporting and agile are a good fit for each other in the first place: When something will take a long time to develop, that’s exactly when I …

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