Sunday , December 10 2017

Confronting Legacy Applications with Agile

Putting together an agile team to break ground on a new technology is exciting and adventurous. Sending in an agile team to address a legacy application and its mountain of technical debt is decidedly less riveting. But somebody has to do it, and anything worth doing is worth doing right. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Marcello Rossi describes the right approach to take with legacy applications in agile. Exploring the Ruins Rossi emphasizes the …

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Why Not to Extend a Sprint

In an ideal scenario, setting a bold deadline will inspire bold results, where a team works extra hard and intelligently to get work done in a small timeframe. But more often, bold deadlines result in missed deadlines. Scrum is aimed at getting away from such issues. Unlike waterfall projects, where too much investment has been made in a project to deliver less than “everything at once,” a scrum project can deliver in reliable, functional increments. …

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Overproduction Is the Death of Productivity

In a post at his blog, John Yorke makes a hard condemnation of “overproduction” and its prevalence in the workplace. Overproduction is any work that does not produce business value. Gold-plating—the act of building additional product features beyond the required scope—is perhaps the most blatant sort of overproduction, but it is only one type. It also crops up in more insidious ways. Speeding into a Brick Wall Chiefly, the other place where overproduction occurs is …

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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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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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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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Five Story-Splitting Mistakes to Stop Making

Not every user story cleaves as easily as wood into more manageable parts. Sometimes, you divide the story only to find that you still are not satisfied with the results. Mike Cohn believes there are some common causes at the root of these issues. In a post at Mountain Goat Software, he identifies five story-splitting mistakes you should avoid for an easier life of storytelling: Treating it as just the job of the product owner …

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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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The Two Ways to Add Detail to User Stories

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood—surely Robert Frost was talking about user stories. He was inevitably describing how there are two potential ways to flesh out user stories, and you need to decide which is right. Luckily, in a post at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn explains what these two methods are and when to use them. A Fork in the Road The first option is to split the story into sub-stories. Cohn uses …

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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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