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Monthly Archives: January 2017

How to Convince C-Level Executives to Transition to Scrum

Anyone can discuss the hypotheticals of business improvement that come with going agile. If random Internet articles have not already sold executives on scrum, then it is on you to persuade them with more concrete benefits. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Mohammed Firasat Ali details a few areas you can highlight when building your case to sell the executives. Scrum and Done When a change needs to occur during a traditional project, you can …

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How to Assess Business Culture to Enable Agile Success

If a stegosaurus is sitting in the middle of the road, the most competent of drivers will not be able to just drive around it. Likewise, you can coach an agile team to personal greatness, but if organizational structure impedes them, then that team will still never excel. Ledalla Madhavi addresses how to approach such situations in an article for AgileConnection. Process Renovation Before Madhavi gets coaching, she first talks to leadership, management, and teams …

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An Operating Model for Company-Wide Agile Development

Fewer than 20 percent of traditional businesses utilizing agile practices consider themselves to be “mature adopters.” However, businesses that do manage to scale agile throughout the business have been found to accelerate innovation by 80 percent. Santiago Comella-Dorda, Swati Lohiya, and Gerard Speksnijder write for McKinsey with some practices to successfully scale agile in your organization. End-to-End Agility As most businesses know, the major impediment to scaling agile is that traditional business models were never …

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Grounding Waterfall and Agile in Reality

“Business-as-usual isn’t working. Let’s get agile.” “This agile thing isn’t working. Let’s use reliable waterfall.” Either of these two arguments is probably placing too much faith in methodology versus quality execution. In a post for Techspective, Todd Scallan considers how both waterfall and agile are useful in the right business context, and he tries to locate best practices in common for using either one. A Natural Fit There is comfort in a waterfall project: robust …

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How to Create Scrum Teams that Don’t Disintegrate

If going through all the prescribed scrum ceremonies were enough to make a team agile, there would be way fewer teams getting stuck in the transition. The shift in process must be accompanied by other good decisions in order to be successful. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Mariete Sequera Hernandez describes the factors that will make agile stick. Pursuing Permanence Selecting the wrong people to be scrum masters or product owners will doom an …

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Why Agile Teams Need to Share the Product Owner Role

Every agile team understands the value of cross-functional capabilities, yet in some cases, this wisdom stops short of reaching the product owner. Some teams just enjoy their product owner as an isolated conduit between the team and stakeholders. Yet Stephen Frein, Senior Director of Software Engineering at Comcast, says team members should share elements of the role with the official product owner. He explains why in an article for TechBeacon. Anti-Social, Anti-Project The product owner …

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Differences between Scrum and XP

You have to scroll far down the list of descriptions of scrum and XP to start to see differences between them. They both incorporate iterative development, regular meetings, retrospectives, and an emphasis on working software. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Adrian Sita finds that the area where they start to visibly differ is scope. Not Extremely Different Scrum offers ideas and processes that allow a team to work together to complete any kind of …

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Is Velocity about Productivity?

Ebenezer Ikonne believes that too much of the discussion about velocity centers around how to increase it. That breath and those keyboard clicks might better be spent discussing how to use velocity for planning, but Ikonne understands why this situation has arisen: Businesses are using velocity to directly measure productivity. And that is bad. Ikonne discusses this in a post at his blog. Hit the Breaks Velocity is the sum of effort estimates completed in …

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Are Agile Organizations a Mistake?

In an article for CMSWire, Tom Petrocelli throws down the gauntlet against, well, everyone who likes agile. He thinks agile, DevOps, and their associated factors are nice in theory but do not actually work in real life. And although he concedes some organizations have derived great success from in it, he believes it is more natural for organizations to falter from it. Will you agree with his reasons? Agile No More Petrocelli does not air …

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What We Can Learn from the Zappos Struggle with Holacracy

Online retailer Zappos has been known for its high employee satisfaction levels—until recently. The shift to holacracy has met with more volatile reactions than perhaps anticipated. Aimee Groth examines the struggle in an article for Quartz. Zapped For those who need a refresher, holacracy is a system of organizational governance where layers of management are virtually nonexistent; instead, employees self-organize into teams or “circles” to accomplish work. Groth argues that this organizational style encourages humans …

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