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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Ways That Scrum Implementation Fail

The scrum master, the product owner, and the development team are the triangle that makes scrum work. But more than just existing, each of these roles must also embody the right mindset. Without that, the implementation will still fail. In an article for AgileConnection, John Yorke examines the types of mindset disconnect that can occur. Triangulating the Problem It is possible for scrum masters to learn the rules of scrum without actually learning the principles …

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What Is the Best Time of Week to Start a Sprint?

The workweek starts on Monday. Might as well start the sprint then too, right? Of course not, or else this article would be a waste of time. Comcast’s Jeffrey Johnson discusses at Scrum Alliance the many factors that come into play for finding your sprint start sweet spot. One Fine Day There are several troubles with adhering to a sprint schedule that involves starting on Monday mornings and ending on Friday afternoons. One of them …

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Connect Agile Teams to Organizational Hierarchy: A Sociocratic Solution

This article was co-authored by Pieter van der Meché and Jutta Eckstein. Many agile teams suffer from the mismatch of agile and organizational leadership with the latter being reflected by the organizational hierarchy. Based on self-organization and iterative processes, the teams run into trouble with the top-down steering of their environment. Consequently, very often agile proponents believe that a supportive agile organization should be structured without hierarchies. This is the reason why several companies in …

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How to Pitch the Agile Mindset to Stakeholders

Convincing stakeholders to give agile a shot can sometimes be harder than convincing the teams themselves to try it. How do you win these people over? Stefan Wolpers shares some advice in an article for Business 2 Community. Paint a Picture Convincing anyone to do anything generally entails answering the “What’s in it for me?” question. Established organizations that have been around even just 10 years probably were not developed with many agile practices in …

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5 Ways Agile Testing Is Different from Traditional Testing

Some might argue that agile testing is the secret sauce that makes agile so effective at all. In an article for AgileConnection, Nishi Grover Garg attempts to distinguish what makes agile testing superior to traditional testing. She comes up with these five differences: Continuous involvement Essential tools Multidimensional skills Effective communication Quick feedback from testing Test of Styles In agile, testers are not some wholly separate group from the rest of the team. Instead, testers …

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5 Top Tips for Launching Agile Development

The year may be 2016, but the idea of stepping toes into agile waters is still a new prospect for some businesses. In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels talks with Rob Harding, European CIO of Capital One, about how he began their agile shift in 2014. Harding shares five tips for introducing agile into technology projects, with the hopes of scaling later: Get everyone involved and set the agenda. Great employees need to practice …

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Don’t Defer a Meeting If One Person Can’t Attend

Flattened hierarchies are a common feature of agile, and in turn, the absence of one individual will not necessarily doom a meeting. In a post for Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn describes what to do when someone cannot attend different types of meetings. He offers a basic protocol to follow in every situation. To Meet or Not to Meet Starting with the daily standup meeting, there is really never a reason to cancel it over …

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5 Ways Agile Can Boost IT Team Happiness

Happiness comes in many forms, like bringing home a new cat, or buying that missing game for the Super Nintendo collection. In an article for InformationWeek, Chris Savoie describes how agile has brought happiness to his IT teams. Here are five ways that joy has found his teams, and can in turn be brought to yours: Prioritization is simpler. Everyone has access to information. Expectations are aligned. There are opportunities to gamify. There is always …

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Managing the Very Busy Product Owner

Selecting the right person to be product owner on your project is half the battle. The other half is ensuring the person actually has enough time available to excel in the role. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Ricardo Valladares López discusses how important it is for people to delegate some of their previous responsibilities when taking on the product owner role. Wear Fewer Hats If a person has the vision and communication skills to …

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MVPs in the Village of SMURFS

In an article for AgileConnection, Matthew Barcomb asks us to consider SMURFS as an alternative to using a minimum viable product (MVP). No, he is not advocating tiny blue slave labor. SMURFS stands for “specifically marketable, useful, releasable feature set.” SMURF the Whole Day Long The author’s bone to pick with MVP is in the phrasing itself. “Minimum” carries connotations of being imperfect and incomplete, and “viable” can suggest that a thing works but not …

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