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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Four Tips for Managing Performance in Agile Teams

Agile teams demand freedom to get the most possible work completed, so how do you manage their performance without cramping their style? Johanna Rothman is hip to this plight. She lists off four ways to coolly and fairly measure performance. Cool Cats All Around First of all, Rothman says to replace “manage performance” with “career development.” The nature of agile development, especially with retrospectives advocating an inspect-and-adapt approach to improvement, does not really demand performance …

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Agile Is Still Hard for the Government

The common view is that government processes are much like an elderly grizzly bear: huge, slow, and generally to be avoided if at all possible. Indeed, agile is not proliferating at the desired speed. In an article for Nextgov, Mohana Ravindranath explains why this is the case. Slow Gains Although some groups, like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have devised lists of preapproved agile vendors, transitioning away from waterfall will require more. Inspectors will …

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Deciphering the Nuances of Agile Estimation

Most generally, story points reflect the overall size of a story relative to other stories. This is the foundation of agile estimation. But as Iffat Maliha explains in an article for Scrum Alliance, there is a lot of nuance to this seemingly simple foundation. She explains the various dimensions that come with creating accurate estimates. A Closer Look Maliha says user stories should be considered in terms of complexity of the requirement, uncertainty associated with …

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Building a Good Relationship with the Product Owner

The product owner is the person who harmonizes everybody’s viewpoints on a project. The right product gets built because the right perspectives were aligned. Thus, in an article for Scrum Alliance, Alex DiPasquale explains how teams can build a healthy relationship with their product owner. Balanced Communication As it pertains to his own team, DiPasquale roots their relationship with the product owner in transparency, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and individuals/interactions over processes/tools. Since his …

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Is Agile about Being Able to Change?

One of the big selling points used to promote agile is that it will enable businesses to make real changes on projects. But as Leon Tranter sees it in a post at his Extreme Uncertainty blog, agile’s allowance of changes compared to waterfall is exaggerated. And he further makes the argument that allowing an ease of changes is not always a good thing. Change the Argument In waterfall, project managers use a change control process …

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How to Implement Agile Incident Management

Introduction Agile incident management is a term that is yet to have any satisfactory hits on the Internet, as organizations are still pretty skeptical about using agile methodologies to manage incidents occurring in IT organizations. The most common approach is ITSM, followed by COBIT and ISO standards. Integration of Agile However, the adoption rate of agile methodologies has shown an upward scaling since its inception 15 years ago. The following chart is based on the …

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Why Do You Want to Become Agile?

In the past decade, kids’ television has glamorized fame and fortune so much that kids have been programmed to think that “fame” is an end goal in itself. The same thing happened to agile. In both cases, the logic is wrong. People get famous for accomplishing things that help society (we hope). People go agile in order to yield better business results. In a post at his website, Ben Linders examines the good reasons to …

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Infrastructure as Code: The Agile Approach to Testing

Like Kief Morris writes for ITProPortal, quality and delivery speed are not “opposing forces that must be traded off against each other.” Automated tests built under this philosophy will be more prone to fail. Instead, automated testing should occur under the thinking that quality enables faster delivery. In the right environment, Morris finds that testing, quality, and speed all go hand in hand. Right and Wrong Testing When practicing good agile, testing is just a …

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The Dangers of a Definition of Ready

A definition of ready is basically the less popular cousin of a definition of done. They share a lot of similar traits, and they both intend to maintain stability. Yet Mike Cohn believes a definition of ready comes with more risk and should be used more sparingly. In a post for Mountain Goat Software, he explains the careful proper usage of a definition of ready. How Ready Do You Need to Be? The purpose of …

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Avoid Gold-Plating through Agile Delivery

It takes a conscious effort to be gaudy and gold-plate the soles of your shoes. Gold-plating in projects can however happen for more well-meaning, if misguided reasons. In a quick post for PM Hut, Kiron Bondale discusses how gold-plating happens and how agile can cut down on it. Not a Matter of Taste Gold-plating is basically a form of scope creep, and it can happen unconsciously. It can occur as a result of a developer …

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