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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Why Getting to Done Is So Important

Getting a big chunk of work done is always satisfying. Finishing a big chunk of work is doubly satisfying. And in business, getting to done is doubly important too. In a quick post for Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn reminds us why getting to done with a few pieces of work is better than getting halfway done with many pieces of work. Case Closed For one thing, it is difficult to provide useful feedback for …

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The 4 C’s for Perfect Business Requirements

In the pursuit of delivering better business requirements, product owners have wider-reaching role responsibilities than most. How can you as a product owner be sure you are excelling in the ways you develop requirements? In an article for Scrum Alliance, Alison Schestopol counts 4 C’s to know for stellar requirements: Complete Compliant Clear Concise Crazy Cool Tips For requirements to be “complete,” they must include both the explicit and implicit aspects. Explicit requirements are typically …

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The Three Biggest Challenges of Scaling Agile

Implementing agile is a bumpy ride, but the drive is manageable. Scaling agile, however, is a cross-country road trip, and you better have a good navigator. In an article for TechTarget, CEB IT practice leader Mark Tonsetic describes three major scaling challenges that IT leaders must address. These challenges were identified through collecting data from almost 300 agile teams over five years: Product owners are made, not born. Legacy funding processes are inadequate for scaling. …

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No More Limits! Why WIP Targets Are Better for Improving Team Performance

For decades now, the Operations Research and Industrial Engineering communities—and especially Lean and Theory of Constraints (TOC) practitioners—have preached the importance of limiting “work in progress,” or WIP, in order to improve flow in a process or system. The conceptual foundation for such WIP limits is known as “Little’s Law,” named after John Little for having provided the first proof of the theorem back in 1961. In order to boost the throughput of a system, Little’s Law asserts …

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Five Common Myths about Iterations

Typically, iterations are a common aspect of agile implementations. However, ideas of what an “iteration” actually is have mutated over time. In a post for the Clever PM, Cliff Gilley shares five tips that dispel false beliefs: Iteration does not always mean a “full bite of the sandwich.” Iteration does not mean doing the same thing every time. Iteration does not mean that every step is perfect. Iteration does not mean that you will go …

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Review Your Sprint Review

The sprint review is for collecting feedback on deliverables and deciding together how to proceed from there. If you try to abuse the review’s function to extend to other needs, problems will likely result. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Manjunatha Gopalakrishna shares some pointers to keep your sprint fulfilling its proper purpose. Checking for Pot Holes The first thing he recommends is to prepare throughout the sprint: Have the PO on board regularly to …

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The Explicit and Implicit Costs of Not Building in Quality

Delivering new requested features is satisfying and provides clear value. But even when it comes to features, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In a post at her website, scrum master Natalie Warnert discusses the cost of working when no one is keeping an eye on quality. Quality Quagmire The scenario Warnert poses is simple—a team can deliver loads of new features quickly to make the business happy, but …

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How to Help Agile Teams Avoid Fatigue and Burnout

A splash of ice water to the face may not do the trick in keeping an agile team alert and energetic in the long run. The only thing that can keep an agile team from burning out is ensuring that they are working under the right conditions. In an article for GCN, Todd Hager and Eric Protzman share some tips to strike a healthy balance. Make a Splash Regularly One of the fastest ways to …

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12 Early Warnings of a Failed Agile Transformation

The ominous signs are all around. Do you hear the shrieking violins surrounding your agile transformation? Maybe not, but others can. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Prabhakar Gumma and Alok Kumar share a dozen early warnings that you should rethink how you are implementing agile: Moving to agile without a readiness check or assessing needs Selecting the wrong pilot project Not making the role of executive leadership in transformation explicit Leadership awareness of agile …

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