Sunday , December 10 2017

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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7 Simple Ways to Fail at Agile

We learn a lot from our mistakes, so people have begun to wonder if it is possible to learn from mistakes we have not even made yet. “Premortems” and the like have arisen from this, where people try to imagine in advance the many ways that a project may fail. A similar strategy could be of benefit in implementing agile. In an article for CIO magazine, John Edwards offers seven straightforward ways to fail at …

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Great Scrum Masters Might Have a Product Owner Background

In an article for Scrum Alliance, Christopher Lewis compares scrum masters to sports coaches and product owners to star players. The product owner is a star player by defining the product. The scrum master is the coach who helps the product owner shine. In many cases, great coaches are former players themselves. Here is what that means for an agile project. The Master/Owner Relationship Both the scrum master and product owner derive their power from …

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Five Things in Agile Adoption That Make Teams Nervous

Excitement and anxiety are two sides of the same coin, and you are bound to experience both when you go agile. In fact, there are some particular parts of agile adoption known for making people nervous. In a post at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn discusses five things that spook agile teams out: Agile has no design phase. There is a misconception that you have to become a generalist. There is a danger that planning …

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How to Create a Genuine Agile Organization

McKinsey defines organizational agility as “the ability to quickly reconfigure strategy, structure, processes, people, and technology toward value-creating and value-protecting opportunities.” That sounds awesome. Now, how the heck do you achieve it? Luckily, they have some answers there too. Karin Ahlbäck, Clemens Fahrbach, Monica Murarka, and Olli Salo present McKinsey research that offers starting points toward unlocking agility. Three Roads to Agility The “good” news for you is that not many organizations are actually capturing …

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4 Strategies for a Structured QA Process

Quality assurance (QA) is the job that never ends, and identifying bugs is just one part of the job. In fact, QA is so important that it can benefit from some uniform structure. In an article for AgileConnection, Praveena Ramakrishnan discusses some smart practices for a reliable and structured QA process: Review design and architectural documents. Research past defects. Triage the defects. Go beyond the reported issue. Defect Disposal You could just dive straight into …

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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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How Programmers and Testers Should Collaborate on User Stories

What does a tester do when there is not enough to test? What does a programmer do when the programming is done for the sprint? These are serious, difficult questions for new, immature teams. In a post for Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn shares strategies that will remove these problems from affecting your team in the first place. Genuine Collaboration The wrong way to collaborate on user stories is for a programmer to totally whip …

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Project Teams Need to Overcome Their Fear of Coding

The point of good planning is to do the right thing the first time around, thus avoiding waste or rework. But sometimes a valuable part of planning is… to do a bit of work first. In an article for AgileConnection, Allan Key addresses what he sees as a “fear of coding” in project planning, and it is getting in the way of making better plans. #NoCoding Key shares a scenario in which he was recently …

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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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