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Agile Thinking

You Don’t Have to Be an Island as a Remote Employee

Depending on the mindset and the context, remote working can be a dream arrangement: Work in silence from the comfort of your favorite chair. Alternatively, remote working can also become isolating and demoralizing: You feel like you never have genuine human contact. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Michael Huber discusses practices to help maintain a healthy career and team outlook as a remote employee: Find or build a community. Take breaks from electronic devices. …

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Changes to the Scrum Guide You Should Know

As business evolves, methodologies evolve with it. The Scrum Guide is akin to a business Bible in many agile circles, but unlike the Bible, the Scrum Guide gets occasional updates. In a Q&A at InfoQ, Ben Linders interviews scrum co-creators Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland about the changes to the newest version of the Scrum Guide. Beyond Revelation Here are the biggest updates to the Scrum Guide, straight from Schwaber: There are five main changes …

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A Handy Trick to Increase Agile Comprehension

Although the Agile Manifesto and its principles are the foundation for everything else in the agile world, it might be hard to get the average employee stuck in a training seminar to care about them. That means trainers and coaches need to step up their efforts to make it engaging. In an article for Agile Alliance, Kimberly Poremski discusses the use of “pocket-sized principles” to more effectively convey the meaning and value of Agile Manifesto …

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The Biggest Changes in Agile over the Past Decade

Agile was a thing 10 years ago, but it was nothing compared to what it has become now. When you stop and contemplate the differences, you might develop a deeper appreciation of how far it has come. In an article for Application Development Trends, Mark J. Balbes touches upon some of the biggest changes in agile that he has seen over the last decade. Evolution of the Craft Whereas most organizational discussions used to be …

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The Hidden Complexity in Software Projects

Software developer Kannan Chandrasegaran asks us to think of software applications as onions: There are always multiple layers to their complexity. Lack of appreciation for these layers can be one way that project requirements balloon way beyond expectations. In a post for The Startup, Chandrasegaran explore this phenomenon in depth and at length. Complex by Design He begins with an example for a hypothetical app that helps people buy and sell books. At the very …

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Agile Coaching: It’s Not All about What’s Wrong

Good agile coaches guide teams toward agile success without too much handholding. But in truth, most of that guidance—with or without handholding—is directed toward getting people to stop doing all the “wrong” things. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Arthur Moore makes the important point that focusing on the right things can be equally valuable for setting up an agile team for success. Right Is Right By instilling scrum or any other form of agile …

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How to Unlearn Your Learned Helplessness at Work

Not every office is incompetent like the one from the show The Office—but on that same note, some offices really are that incompetent. It reaches a point where people stop being able to identify or reverse what is not working. In a post at her blog, Natalie Warnert addresses the problem of “learned helplessness” in business and what you can do about it. Chained Competence Warnert says you and others may be subscribing to learned …

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Is Agile the Answer to the Government’s IT Skills Deficit?

Skilled, ambitious IT workers aspire to work in a dynamic, challenging setting like Google. They seldom rub their hands together at the prospect of working for the government. As a result, government IT skills can be lackluster at times. In a quick article for FCW, Steve Kelman muses over whether agile might be able to shake up the status quo and empower government IT to take greater control of its operations. More Understanding with Less …

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‘Fail Fast’ in Software Is a Myth

Remember those five seconds when people were writing articles about how we should “celebrate failure?” Those times have passed, but the concept of “failing fast” persists because businesses are insatiably hungry to innovate. However, even with failing fast, there are right and wrong ways to allow it, and the wrong way can kill a company. In an article for Co.Design, Aarron Walter discusses the real risks of failure. Speed with Direction Walter begins by highlighting …

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Clear Up These Three Expectations of Agile Transition

Since “agile” implies speed right in the name, you could not judge someone too harshly for expecting agile transition to be quick and easy. But this and other reasons make it all the more important to manage expectations during the change. In a post at the Clever PM, Cliff Gilley pinpoints three particular misconceptions that you can clear up before they become a problem: Agile transitions go quickly. Agile means we get more, faster. Agile …

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