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Agile at Scale Enables Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I had sharp cheddar cheese and butter in the fridge, but no bread. So, I opened Amazon Prime Now (also known as “assisted living for Millennials” in San Francisco) and ordered a loaf of dark rye, Greek yogurt with blueberries, a huge bag of Fritos, and a few other groceries to breach the $25 minimum. Then I got back into the Word document I’d been struggling with. Got an email confirming the order, and another …

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No More Limits! Why WIP Targets Are Better for Improving Team Performance

For decades now, the Operations Research and Industrial Engineering communities—and especially Lean and Theory of Constraints (TOC) practitioners—have preached the importance of limiting “work in progress,” or WIP, in order to improve flow in a process or system. The conceptual foundation for such WIP limits is known as “Little’s Law,” named after John Little for having provided the first proof of the theorem back in 1961. In order to boost the throughput of a system, Little’s Law asserts …

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An Overview of Guardrails: Keeping Aligned and on Track

Introduction Solution delivery is a complex process. However, it is possible to see if one is on track in a relatively straightforward manner. In essence, lean-agile methods are about achieving the highest level of business value realization in the shortest amount of time in a predictable and sustainable manner. This requires working on the most important business value requests within the proper capacity to implement them quickly. This is often complex and difficult; however, it …

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Shin Godzilla: An Unexpectedly Agile Monster Movie

Last weekend, I had the good fortune to catch a limited screening of Shin Godzilla (sometimes known as Godzilla Resurgence), a brand new Japanese reboot of the classic franchise. Not to be confused with the 2014 American film, this movie puts Godzilla back in Tokyo, where he promptly destroys everything. Yet there is a baffling second nemesis at the forefront of the movie: government bureaucracy. Equally surprising, a shift toward agile practices seems to be …

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Seizing Opportunity: The Current State of ITSM

Overview: A CIO’s Priority There is no denying that businesses worldwide run on applications and data. However, the success quotient of any business relies on its IT infrastructure and network as they support and carry the applications that represent the essence of an organization. Thus, keeping these things up and running, connected, and responsive is on the top priority list of today’s CIO. In this regard, these are the key concern areas dreaded by a …

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Easing into Agile: 5 Painless Steps towards Adoption for the Resistant

I recall that during an agency meeting conducted to plan the kick-off for a new project, I recommended that the project be done using an agile approach. Although some in the meeting were interested, the key project sponsors were not willing to risk departing from an established and familiar project planning methodology that was in place. It is often true that state government administration offices develop, recommend, and in some cases enforce the use of …

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10 Things CIOs Need to Know about Agile Development

The CIO continues to buckle under the weight of the same double standard – carry the business into the digital future without the proper lifting equipment. In the absence of adequate means to achieve desired ends, the chief of IT has no choice but to harness a novel technique that, according to a Gartner Research press release, is none other than agile development. 10 Tips for Agile Agile is not one thing. Agile is not …

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The Lean Starter Guide: For Better Business and Better Projects

By focusing business operations on your customer and stripping away activities which don’t add value, Lean allows you to carefully deploy your scarce resources and leverage them to the maximum possible degree. Seen from the overall perspective of your business, this results in improved sales, larger margins, and more cash flow. It also allows your projects to reach completion dramatically faster, while often making use of fewer resources than you believed possible. Does that sound …

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Architecture Technical Debt: The Curse of Agile?

Okay Agilists, it’s time for the final judgment on good enough code. You think you can just skim by with your iterative out-the-door approach to delivering program architecture? Well, maybe you can. As Jason Bloomberg writes in a DevX.com blog, there are really two kinds of technical debt. One is fine, the other unacceptable. Before Mother Comes Home Bloomberg puts it this way: As a software developer, it’s sometimes necessary to set aside good design …

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3 Things to Know About Agile Development

The rapidly accelerating pace of technology change and a desire to achieve a competitive edge are forcing a growing number of organizations—and CIOs—to re-evaluate the conventional approach of simply tossing resources at various enterprise projects and challenges. Agile development, which puts software development on the front burner—focusing on broader and deeper collaboration along with a more iterative approach—has emerged as a key business and IT strategy. That’s Samuel Greengard for CIO Insight describing the aspects and …

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