Saturday , February 24 2018

Metrics That Are Destructive to Agile

Key performance indicators (KPIs) play a critical role in business strategy, but are they unwelcome in the sphere of agile projects? Agile coach Allen Holub thinks so. He thinks imposing such metrics on agile software development teams displays a distrust of their abilities and self-awareness, since agile is inherently aimed at process improvement in the pursuit of business objectives. Holub elaborates on this idea in a post at his website. Heavy Measures He believes that, …

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Why Converting Test Teams to Automation Is a Challenge

Can all testers transition to become automation engineers? Maybe, but will you actually see it happen in your organization? Test automation consultant Paul Merrill would bet against it. In an article at TechBeacon, he explains the nature of the challenge and what you may have to do if you really want to go fully automated with testing. Automation Can’t Be Automated As Merrill explains it, Google and the like only use software development engineers in …

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Training Wheels Won’t Crash the Team

A lot of scrum practitioners believe that scrum only works when followed to the letter. And in some cases, that is actually true. But with teams that are just starting out with scrum, you have to allow for some empathy. In an article at Scrum Alliance, Tim Meyer shares a quick example of allowing a team to use some “training wheels” in the pursuit of becoming fully agile. The Safe Way Scrum dictates that the …

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5 Time Thieves and How to Evade Them

How many times have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m going to get so much done today!” and then—nope. How does that happen? What evil forces are getting in the way of productivity? In an article for the Enterprisers Project, kanban expert Dominica DeGrandis outlines five “time thieves” and how to handle them: Too much work in progress (WIP) Conflicting priorities Unknown dependencies Unplanned work Neglected work Criminal Behavior DeGrandis believes that having too much …

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Five Trademarks of an Agile Organization

The paradigm has shifted in business. The new normal consists of a quickly evolving environment, regular introduction of disruptive technology, accelerating digitization and democratization of information, and increased competition for skilled workers. In the face of such factors, a report at McKinsey identifies the five trademarks of agile organizations that thrive in the new paradigm: “North Star” embodied across the organization A network of empowered teams Rapid decision and learning cycles A dynamic people model …

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Know What Not to Build in Software Development

The more you can create from scratch, the more proprietary genius you get to hold up for the rest of the world to admire. But realistically, time and resources are limited in software development, and you cannot and should not try to build too much. In an article at freeCodeCamp, Jonathan Solórzano-Hamilton shares tips for how to not waste time writing the wrong code. Focus on the Core Trying to build too many aspects of …

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The Different Shades of the Agile Coach

Is an agile coach a coach all the time? Yes and no. Sometimes, being a coach also means taking on additional simultaneous roles. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Christine Thompson discusses four different modes of agile coaches and how to shift between them. Coach for Every Occasion First, there is the traditional coaching mode. Coaches guide teams by way of making observations and asking pointed questions, which leads teams to arrive at solutions on …

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4 Signs Your DevOps Initiative Is Off the Rails

The danger of a DevOps pilot team is that, if it does not properly transfer its knowledge to cross-functional teams, it can become a new organizational silo of its own. That defeats the purpose of DevOps, but it happens. In an article for AgileConnection, Jeffery Payne discusses four signs that DevOps may not be working as it should be in your business: Focusing solely on speed Forgetting to onboard teams Focusing on tooling instead of …

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Should You Replace Your MVP with a RAT?

According to Senior Product Manager Rik Higham, the minimum viable product’s (MVP’s) problem is that “it’s not a product. It’s a way of testing whether you’ve found a problem worth solving.” In response, he has created the RAT: “riskiest assumption test.” Does your office need a RAT? RATical Thinking The utility of the RAT is that it is completely straightforward: You only build what is needed to test the biggest assumption. MVP meanwhile has been …

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5 Steps to Facilitate Organizational Transformation

Agile does not just happen, though some deeply misinformed people might think that. Rather, the organization transforms to become agile through deliberate actions. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Samarjit Mishra shares five steps to reliably make the agile transition: Raise awareness about the need for improvement. Set a goal for value creation. Implement the transformation for value realization. Learn to adapt. Enhance by continuous improvement. Plotting Change As Mishra astutely observes, people find time …

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