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Monthly Archives: February 2017

How to Tell a Better User Story

In essence, user stories center around making people happy. They are deceptively useful in their simplicity. Product management expert Roman Pichler discusses the nature of user stories from different angles at his blog and derives some tips for improving them. The Next Chapter In order to write the best user stories, you need to know who the users are, figuratively and—ideally—literally. Granted, the users themselves may not have a perfect idea of what a product …

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The Risk Leftover in Agile Project Management

While not enough organizations engage in them, robust risk management techniques exist in traditional project management methodologies. Yet in agile, practices do not target risk mitigation quite as directly. In an article for App Developer Magazine, Matt Bridges discusses the residual risks of agile. In the Red Kind of like blowing air to inflate a balloon, you take a user story and extrapolate to create an estimate from it. The issue is that humans are …

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Is There Such a Thing as Feature Owner?

In a perfect world, product owners would be a constant presence on agile teams, completely engaged in only the project at hand. In reality, product owners are lucky if they can spend even three-quarters of their time engaged on a project. So when organizations try to scale agile, it can be a challenge to find enough viable product owners. In a post at her blog, Em Campbell-Pretty considers an unorthodox solution. Shared Ownership Many businesses …

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Is Being an Expert Ruining Your Coaching?

When you dedicate a huge amount of time to something, you will find that the things that challenged you early on are now second nature to you. You might even forget it was ever difficult in the first place. But mastery now does not negate that it was challenging back then, and if you are a coach, this is a critical lesson to retain. In an article for Scrum Alliance, agile coach Heather Williams discusses …

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4 Steps to Institute an Agile IT Outsourcing Process

Businesses learned long ago that moving faster is never as simple as telling employees to work faster. Likewise, finding the right provider to whom to outsource IT is generally seen as a lengthy, deliberate process. In an article for CIO.com, Stephanie Overby considers what it would take to create a more agile IT outsourcing process. Know What You Want and Get It Overby talks with Michelle M. Miller, director of KPMG’s Shared Services and Outsourcing …

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Working through Scope with MoSCoW and Kano

Managing scope is one of the perennial challenges of running a project. Where agile projects are concerned, many rely upon MoSCoW to keep scope in check. However, John McIntyre suggests in a post for HotPMO! that MoSCoW may not satisfy every scenario by itself. Some extra help may be in store, in the form of Kano. When East Meets… East MoSCoW categorizes all requirements as one of four things: must-haves, should-haves, could-haves, and won’t-haves. Must-haves …

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Cultural Debt: Tech Debt’s Equally Annoying Cousin

Technical debt is when so-so, not scalable code is put into use because it is “good enough” to make the software work for now. In a post for the IT Risk Manager, Chris Matts proposes a similar concept of cultural debt. This is a situation where an organization makes short-term “cultural compromises” to facilitate a faster agile transformation. In either case, the debt needs to be paid off to avoid future risks. To the Debtors’ …

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Organizational Education Makes the Agile Stick

In an article for AgileConnection, Joel Bancroft-Connors discusses how building agile teams who believe in and are excited to be agile is only part of the equation. The other part is getting the organization to align with those teams’ new ways of operating. He explains how to create a sufficient and shared level of agile education in the organization. Learn, Retain, Use Bancroft-Connors has seen teams get off to a great start with agile, only …

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Beyond Agile Operations for 21st Century Strategy

In an article for Forbes, Steve Denning finds that most businesses are currently striving for “operational” agility—the ability to pivot quickly and deliver improvements fast. It is a necessary step—but with so many businesses pursuing it, that means achieving it will not creative a competitive advantage anymore. “Strategic” agility however is another story. Denning explains the difference and how strategic agility is the future. Strategy Meets Ambition The greatest profits—and also the greatest new values …

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Agility in Human Resource Management

Agile enables fast course correction when projects need to change in order to address evolving priorities. Do the human resources (HR) functions in your business enable such painless course correction with your actual employees? In an article for Scrum Alliance, Gayan Mannapperuma discusses how agile can be pleasantly applied to HR. Building Driven Employees For starters, HR can incorporate variations of value stream mapping and earned-value analysis into measuring employee contributions. Yes, some may squirm …

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