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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Dealing with Technical Debt in Agile

As Judge Marilyn Milian says on The People’s Court—the cheap comes out expensive. This is an easy way to describe the problem of technical debt. Code gets deployed because it provides a quick fix for little effort at the time, but it is not designed to scale to the level that the project needs. If that code is not replaced in a timely fashion, then the cost of replacing it once it becomes a problem …

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6 Habits for Business Leaders to Succeed with Agile

Although executives now understand the value of agile, they are often led to believe that agile is just something for software developers to figure out. They do not realize they too play a crucial part in agile success. McKinsey aims to rectify this. In an article, Santiago Comella-Dorda, Krish Krishnakanthan, Jeff Maurone, and Gayatri Shenai describe six habits that business leaders should embody when getting agile: Put skin the game. Shape the product together. Cheer …

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How to Take the Bloat out of Your Backlogs

Is it possible to be too good at identifying backlog items? Maybe. After all, if you identify multiple dozens of user stories all at once, you are probably halfway to having planned a waterfall project. In an article for AgileConnection, Michelina DiNunno discusses how to take the bloat out of your backlog. Weight Loss DiNunno believes that bloat occurs when you take on too many stories of low priority or stories that are just unnecessary …

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4 Steps to Agile Success in Government

If there is anyone who could stand to work faster and more efficiently, it is government offices. Gradually, agencies are coming to realize that agile could be the injection of vitality that they desperately need. In an article for GCN, Matthew Schenck shares four steps to introducing agile successfully: Build teams the right way, with overlapping roles. Implement the right tools. Use data to track progress. Be patient. Speed Eventually Team members need to be …

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Why the Whole Team Should Participate When Estimating

The whole team is expected to participate in estimating the size of product backlog items, but not everyone on the team is always going to have the experience to know how to estimate a certain item. How can you still be useful in such a situation? In a post for Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn explains how team members can be useful during estimation even when their skills do not apply to the item at …

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3 Ways to Make Agile Work in the C-Suite

Not just any area of business will benefit from adopting an agile approach. In fact, it takes a lot of analysis and deep understanding of the business to really know where agile will be a home run. However, as Eric Garton and Andy Noble explain in an article for Harvard Business Review, there actually is no danger in having the C-suite itself adopt an agile mindset. Here are three tips for the C-suite to effectively …

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Capacity Planning Is Not Sprint Planning

As agile practitioners know, not all planning is good planning. But it is not just “too much” planning that causes issues. Trying to plan the wrong way is a recipe for disaster too. In this case, a quick article for Scrum Alliance serves up a reminder that capacity planning is not sprint planning, and we must not treat it as such. The Right Planning Scrum teams operate as a collective unit at all times. Capacity …

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7 Tips to Create and Sustain an Agile Product Roadmap

A product roadmap charts the intended evolution of a product over time. Its purpose is to bring alignment and seek the best solutions. Yet product roadmaps fail when they are misconstrued as binding “contracts,” or when they are disconnected from product vision. So in a post for EBG Consulting, Ellen Gottesdiener shares seven tips to build a roadmap that works: Do not use specific dates for milestones, but instead broader “time horizons.” Specify outcome-based metrics. …

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Top Seven Ways to Ruin an Agile Project

Nobody thinks they are going to make the same old mistakes that so many others have made—until it happens. Then they have to take a step back and figure out what went wrong, walking down an all-too-familiar road. In an article for TheServerSide, Daisy McCarthy describes seven of the most common mistakes that doom agile projects, so that maybe—just maybe—you will avoid them yourself: The project is agile in name only. Feedback doesn’t happen when …

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