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Find Agile Metrics That Tell the Whole Story

As of 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched an ongoing initiative to transform its technology acquisition and oversight process to become more agile. Toward that end, DHS CTO Michael Hermus explains that they have had to establish two different types of metrics. They have sought to establish metrics to measure how well individual development programs are doing, and metrics to measure the overall impact of agile transformation to the department. In …

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Agile IT Delivery: Imperatives for Government Success

Most businesses have finally come to embrace agile warmly. But, well, the government always does things at its own “special” pace. Government agencies could use a helping hand in wrapping their heads around agile and how to make the best of it. Toward that end, Accenture and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) have partnered to produce a white paper on the imperatives for government agile success. Planning for Speed The white …

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Has Continuous Deployment Become a New Worst Practice?

In NASCAR, faster is better, end of story. This same philosophy is seeping into attitudes of continuous integration and continuous deployment. Whether this is a good thing though is up for debate. In an article for AgileConnection, John Tyson highlights the glaring problems that can arise from too much deployment. No Pit Stops On one hand, yes, deployment times have skyrocketed compared to the days when waterfall methodology was the only game in town. Even …

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Six Ways Agile Can Grind to a Halt

Agile is not a “just add water” proposition—applying it on top of an otherwise unchanged business will not guarantee success. Some businesses and some projects are better inherently suited to agile than others, and failing to acknowledge this could cause bad friction during agile implementation. In an article for InfoQ, Ronit Eliav identifies six ways agile projects can get stuck in place: Unsustainable system architecture Limitations of existing tools Culture gap Difficulty scaling up Not …

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What Else Does the Scrum Master Do?

Scrum masters guide their teams, remove impediments to team success, and ensure the principles of scrum are being properly upheld. Can they do anything else? Sure! They can also provide coaching to management. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Daniel Dojcinovski describes how scrum masters can be of strong use to the business beyond their immediate teams. Scrum at the Top Dojcinovski notes how, once a team truly understands how agile works, they typically become …

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4 Steps to Fix a Broken Deployment Process

When you are managing potentially hundreds of applications across different environments, developing a rhythm for releasing code at the right times is a challenge. Technical Delivery Manager Colleen Stock has gone down the road of trying to smooth out a bumpy deployment process before. In an article for AgileConnection, she shares four steps that have worked for her in creating improvement: Find the bottleneck. Don’t get in the way of development. Automate testing with useful …

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Is Agile Creating Pockets of Efficient Darkness?

We are long past the attitude of thinking that agile does not work; we know it does work. But like anything that works, it is not perfect. Agile particularly can offer challenges of visibility. In an article for CIO magazine, Andrew Lientz describes this issue and what can be done to push past it while maintaining agility. Trust in the Dark Waterfall offers a lot of documentation and generally a lot of things that are …

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Implementing Agile for the Most Gain

Since we only know as much as our experiences have taught us, I suppose it is not surprising that some people still shun agile: One bad experience can spoil everything. So it is important to introduce agile into the IT organization correctly the first time. In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels relates how Tarah Lourens, CTO of Wonga, has used agile to positive effect in her business. The example might help you with your …

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Three Environments Where Agile Adds Value

Agile never works out in the long term without management support. Shrewd managers will understand the right applications for agile and will not just force it onto everything like putting ketchup on chocolate. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Lynda Bourne describes three environments where agile could particularly excel: Maintenance environments Contractual or legal environments Projects that lack a defined scope Agile Habitats In maintenance, agile can go straight to work without a …

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12 Findings from the Quantitative Analysis of Agile Methods Study

Reifer Consultants have posted a lengthy study at InfoQ, examining data from 3,000 completed projects across 150 organizations globally. This study examines agile trends and how agile is improving productivity in the enterprise. Twelve findings were derived from the research: Agile methods continue to be the predominant approach used for software development. Scrum is the most popular agile methodology. Usage of hybrid methods and agile-at-scale methods on large projects are nearly equal. Agile reversal has …

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