• Most Topular Stories

  • How To Thrive As an Agile Tech Writer

    Agile Development Blog: Scaling Software Agility
    Erika Edwards
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Ah, tech writers. We do more than tell the user how something works -- we also explain the caveats and intricacies behind why a feature or enhancement functions the way it was designed. It’s a tech writer’s job to learn and communicate the value of any software we deliver to customers. Since our Rally Help site contains over 1,000 pages of content, it’s imperative that we interface with other teams on a predictable cadence so we know what needs to be updated or refined. Our content also relies on the feedback we receive and our customers’ expectations that they have the online help…
  • How Timelines Help Project Managers Track Progress

    All About Agile | Agile Development Made Easy!
    Olga Kouzina
    10 Apr 2014 | 12:32 pm
    … no matter if it’s agile, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe, lean, XP or some mix of these methodologies. Project managers want to track progress in any software development project, small or large. Sometimes they want to track progress not only in one, but in many projects at a time, and they want to be able to [...]
  • Two-Layered Scrum for Large IT Organizations

    Scrum Alliance RSS Feed
    8 Apr 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Large IT organizations with several business initiatives and multiple projects being executed in parallel require agility and collaboration at two levels: the project level, which is always where it starts; and the application level, which is often overlooked or at least not well defined. . . .
  • Manage Your Job Search is Out; You Get the Presents

    Managing Product Development
    Johanna Rothman
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:28 am
    I am happy to announce that Manage Your Job Search is available on all platforms: electronic and print. And, you get the presents! For one week, I am running a series of special conference calls to promote the book. Take a look at my celebration page. I also have special pricing on Hiring Geeks That Fit as a bundle at the Pragmatic Bookshelf, leanpub, and on Amazon. Why? Because you might want to know how great managers hire. Please do join me on the conference calls. They’ll be short, sweet, and a ton of fun.
  • Measuring Productivity In Software Development Teams

    All About Agile | Agile Development Made Easy!
    Olga Kouzina
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:45 am
    Most software development companies measure productivity of teams and individuals. Those measurements are then used to rate the individual or group performance. Numbers are so nice, cozy and familiar. They make things simpler; and if someone’s productivity can be objectively rated with numbers, lucky is this person and lucky are the managers of this person. [...]
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    Agile Development Blog: Scaling Software Agility

  • How To Thrive As an Agile Tech Writer

    Erika Edwards
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Ah, tech writers. We do more than tell the user how something works -- we also explain the caveats and intricacies behind why a feature or enhancement functions the way it was designed. It’s a tech writer’s job to learn and communicate the value of any software we deliver to customers. Since our Rally Help site contains over 1,000 pages of content, it’s imperative that we interface with other teams on a predictable cadence so we know what needs to be updated or refined. Our content also relies on the feedback we receive and our customers’ expectations that they have the online help…
  • Healthy Planning with Physicians Mutual

    Hannah Shain
    11 Apr 2014 | 7:40 am
    From life, dental, and accident insurance to Medicare supplements and annuities, the Physicians Mutual family of companies has spent the last 100+ years building nearly $3 billion in assets and consistently earning high ratings for its financial strength. The Enterprise Technology Group (ETG) at Physicians Mutual is responsible for strategic and portfolio planning as well as project budgets, managing a portfolio of both Agile-driven and traditional project-driven work. So when it decided to go Agile in 2012, it wanted to choose a solution that would unite strategic and financial planning…
  • Agile Planning Fundamentals with TeamStart

    Rob Ward
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Agile Planning: it’s not an oxymoron. On Tuesday, April 15, our TeamStart webinar series will answer your questions about Agile Planning. Whether you’re just getting started with Agile or consider yourself an expert, join us to get and give good Q+A. We'll talk about making and keeping commitments, using tracking and metrics to predict delivery, and planning levels with time horizons. Here are a few questions from past Agile Planning webinars: How does the product owner role fit into Agile Planning? Are there guidelines for setting up good planning estimates? If the team is not able to…
  • Calling All Citizen Engineers: Let’s RallyON!

    Geri Mitchell-Brown
    4 Apr 2014 | 7:39 am
    We like to say that RallyON is not your typical user conference: you won’t sit and listen to a bunch of speakers drone on and on, then have to weave between advertisements and vendors in the hallways. Instead, RallyON is your chance to get actionable advice, inspiration, and best practices from the leaders, coaches, champions, and developers who make up the Rally community. Likewise, the Rally For Impact Scrimmage -- preceding the conference on Sunday, June 8 -- isn’t going to be your typical sit-and-listen conference event: no way. Intrigued? Keep reading. The Opportunity…
  • Define Your Agile Transformation

    Steve Lawrence
    2 Apr 2014 | 10:56 am
    At last year’s Technology & Innovation -- the Future of Banking & Financial Services conference in Sydney, Australia, senior executives repeatedly used the following keywords (even, at times, trying to outdo each other with them): customer-first agility   transformation Customer-first The first keyword is easy to understand and confirms something we know, but often overlook: we need to be more “customer-aware” and listen to customers’ needs and wants, rather than assuming that we already know what these are. Here's a good example of what it means to be customer-first: at…
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    All About Agile | Agile Development Made Easy!

  • Measuring Productivity In Software Development Teams

    Olga Kouzina
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:45 am
    Most software development companies measure productivity of teams and individuals. Those measurements are then used to rate the individual or group performance. Numbers are so nice, cozy and familiar. They make things simpler; and if someone’s productivity can be objectively rated with numbers, lucky is this person and lucky are the managers of this person. [...]
  • Validation and Uncertainty

    George Dinwiddie
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:54 am
    What an extraordinary conversation I had recently on Twitter. It started with Neil Killick’s statement that we should not consider our stories truly done until validated by actual use. This is a lovely thing, if we can manage it. While I’ve not set such a bold declaration of “done,” I’ve certainly advocated for testing the […]
  • How Timelines Help Project Managers Track Progress

    Olga Kouzina
    10 Apr 2014 | 12:32 pm
    … no matter if it’s agile, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe, lean, XP or some mix of these methodologies. Project managers want to track progress in any software development project, small or large. Sometimes they want to track progress not only in one, but in many projects at a time, and they want to be able to [...]
  • Calculating Velocity FAQ

    Rachel Davies
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:41 am
    Sometimes people get confused about velocity and edge cases of what gets counted or not. It doesn't matter greatly except it helps to do this consistently over time. I wrote a FAQ for our teams because these edge cases come up infrequently and develope...
  • Humor – A Typical Project Launch Meeting

    Mishkin Berteig
    7 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    Learn more about our Scrum and Agile training sessions on WorldMindware.comOne of the things that I love is how many great videos there are that show the ridiculousness of a lot of corporate behaviour.  This video is a hilarious (and … Continue reading →
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    Scrum Alliance RSS Feed

  • Two-Layered Scrum for Large IT Organizations

    8 Apr 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Large IT organizations with several business initiatives and multiple projects being executed in parallel require agility and collaboration at two levels: the project level, which is always where it starts; and the application level, which is often overlooked or at least not well defined. . . .
  • ScrumMaster

    8 Apr 2014 | 11:54 am
    It takes time for a Scrum team to reach the high-performing stage. But you, as ScrumMaster, can compress that time. How?
  • Accountability in Scrum

    7 Apr 2014 | 12:10 pm
    Accountability is a very important concept in Scrum. Most people don't really understand what it is. In fact, there isn't even a word for it in many languages. . . .
  • DevOps and Agile

    7 Apr 2014 | 9:31 am
    DevOps and Agile complement each other to deploy working functionality into production faster. This article focuses on a subset of DevOps philosophy in the context of Agile development and highlights the key considerations for DevOps and Agile to coexist for expedited delivery. . . .
  • Thursday, the Best Day to Kick Off Your New Sprint

    5 Apr 2014 | 11:29 am
    A lot of projects follow Scrum. There is often debate about which day to start a new sprint. . . . Here are a few important points to consider before choosing your sprint start day.
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    agile « Tag Feed

  • How to rebrand content sites

    14 Apr 2014 | 1:54 pm
    Rebranding often goes hand in hand with a change in business strategy or content strategy. As my previous post discussed, big changes are risky. Incremental changes lets you validate you’re on the right track. Fortunately for content sites, content is relatively easy to experiment with. You can try out a new strategy on a small scale. We’ve seen this work wonders on as we’ve shifted from traditional news to shareable content. So, if you’re new strategy is to appeal to a more international audience (for example) then start pushing out a few…
  • Teams: learn to play without your superstar!

    Nicolas Umiastowski
    14 Apr 2014 | 1:44 pm
    It is good to have a superstar in your team. A superstar is the one who will help you make the difference in many occasions, and he will be very useful when thing get tough. You should just not forget that a superstar can be absent, ill for some days or even worse, leave you team. When this happens, you’d better be prepared… The recent defeat of the French soccer team Paris-Saint-Germain against Chelsea in the Champion’s League, is a good example of the fate of a team that depend too much on one superstar. In this case you will have guessed that I want to talk about Zlatan…
  • What is Kanban? An introduction.

    12 Apr 2014 | 6:48 am
    Working more and more with Kanban and Scrum methodologies made me create a presentation deck for a basic Kanban Introduction. Here it is , I hope you like it. What is Kanban? An introduction. from George Psistakis   If you are in Greece you are welcome to join our meetup If you are not you are welcome to follow us in twitter: If you want a more “textier” version of my presentation check this and this and this too… 
  • The ABC(DE) of Task Estimation

    11 Apr 2014 | 11:22 pm
    I opened an agile card deck I have at random to “Story Estimation Fundamentals” or “the ABC(DE) of Task Estimation”. Here are my views … All contributors estimate I like to encourage a culture where the team is responsible for meeting the goals of a sprint, not individuals. By this I mean team members should be willing, even eager, to help each other out. The responsibility is then balanced across the team. Individuals can feel more like they can take that day off they need to do occasionally. Estimation responsibility ties into this as well – I think it’s…
  • Charlie bit my finger - again !

    Enterprise Computing and others
    11 Apr 2014 | 8:59 pm
    The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  The secret of getting started is breaking your comp
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    scrum « Tag Feed

  • FRENDS R&D development process

    1 Apr 2014 | 8:36 am
    Hi, This time I decided to post something not so technical as some of the latest posts have been. While this post does not directly deal with our products, it’s about how we develop them, meaning our processes. Like many teams in software engineering industry, we also adopt agile methodologies in our work. We do not use any specific methodology as they are written, but with some modifications to fit our needs and ways of work better. The easiest way to describe our process is to say it’s a Scrum-like-process. Probably our work as a team resembles that of Scrum teams quite a bit. To an…
  • Agile: An Introduction

    1 Apr 2014 | 7:49 am
  • Norms for Holding Effective and Fruitful Scrum Meetings

    1 Apr 2014 | 4:18 am
    Many types of meetings are held while scrum is implanted in a project. Right from sprint planning meeting to the sprint review and the sprint retrospective, other non-conventional meetings can also be arranged in scrum as and when needed to fulfill specific objectives.  Following certain norms can help to effective and fruitful meetings. ·   Scheduling the meeting The best way to schedule a meeting is to consider all the information that needs to be conveyed during the meeting, and assign a proper time and duration for it. Do not try to cram in too many topics so that enough time is…
  • Scrum Master role within a mature team

    Bassem Hamdi
    31 Mar 2014 | 9:02 pm
    I had an interesting conversation with a developer about how scrum master can serve a mature scrum team and according to him he should be obsolete. This is what I told him to persuade him about the importance of full dedicated SM even though the team is mature. First of all, SM is a role not a job title unless he is assigned to many small team where he can manage all the process management part such as tracking burn down etc. even though it was mentioned in that the DT track its own progress but we know that core engineers are not good when it comes to estimate and tracking etc.,…
  • All about How To Hold Conventional And Non-Conventional Scrum Meetings

    31 Mar 2014 | 3:01 am
    In many ways, scrum is all about meetings. Once the product backlog is created by the product owner, the meetings starts, and keeps on occurring until the entire project is completed. While some of the meetings such as the sprint planning, sprint review, and the sprint retrospective are “planned” meetings, and the scrum guide lays down clear guidelines as to how they should be conducted and what should be availed from them, it may be required to hold special meetings as and when needed to streamline the scrum process. The scrum guidedoes not mention anything about non-standardized…
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    Managing Product Development

  • Manage Your Job Search is Out; You Get the Presents

    Johanna Rothman
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:28 am
    I am happy to announce that Manage Your Job Search is available on all platforms: electronic and print. And, you get the presents! For one week, I am running a series of special conference calls to promote the book. Take a look at my celebration page. I also have special pricing on Hiring Geeks That Fit as a bundle at the Pragmatic Bookshelf, leanpub, and on Amazon. Why? Because you might want to know how great managers hire. Please do join me on the conference calls. They’ll be short, sweet, and a ton of fun.
  • Who Solves Which Problems?

    Johanna Rothman
    3 Apr 2014 | 8:37 am
    Many years ago, I was part of a task force to “standardize” project management at an organization. I suggested we gather some data to see what kinds of projects the client had. They had short projects, where it was clear what they had to do: 1-3 week projects where 2-4 people could run with the requirements and finish them. They had some of what they called “medium-risk, medium return” projects, where a team or two of people needed anywhere from 3-9 months to work on features that were pretty well defined. But they still needed product managers to keep working with the…
  • I’m a Management Expert on Twitter

    Johanna Rothman
    19 Mar 2014 | 11:20 am
    I’ve just been named to one of the 100 top management experts on Twitter. See Keeping Up with #Management:100 Experts on Twitter. You have to page down under “Executive Coaching” to see me. I’ll return to editing my “Design Your Agile Project” series now. It needs serious editing. That’s why you haven’t seen the next post yet.
  • Design Your Agile Project, Part 3

    Johanna Rothman
    15 Mar 2014 | 11:52 am
    What do you do  for geographically distributed teams, if you want to move to agile? First question: does the team want to move to agile? Or, does the management want to move to agile? I am serious. I might take the same actions, but for different different reasons. In either case, the team needs to learn about what agile and lean means, and how to do agile. In both cases, the team needs help and protection from management. Why Does a Geographically Distributed Team Need Help and Protection from Management? Types of Teams Managers create geographically distributed teams for many reasons. Some…
  • Design Your Agile Project, Part 2

    Johanna Rothman
    14 Mar 2014 | 6:49 am
    The point of using agile is to get finish something valuable-to-the-business quickly, to get feedback. Why? For several reasons, but the first one is so you can change the project’s priorities. The second is so you can change the project portfolio. The third is to get feedback on what you’ve done. Okay, you can exchange one, two, and three if you like. For me, those are the top three reasons to get to done every few days to two weeks. They are right behind each other in priority. Agile is all about change. This is why every project needs to design its own way to get to done. If…
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  • Hanging Out

    Jurgen Appelo
    18 Apr 2014 | 2:21 am
    This week I spent more time hangout out with people, which means less time is available for my blog. Sorry about that! (Also, I have a book to finish…) The post Hanging Out appeared first on NOOP.NL.
  • Help Me Promote My New FREE Book!

    Jurgen Appelo
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    The PDF version of my new book will be free. Soon! Now that the writing of my third book is nearing completed (estimated release date of the free PDF version: 3rd week of May) it seems I will have some more time to talk about it. Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will appear in a Stoos Sparks webinar episode, to discuss remote collaboration, together with Dawna Jones, Lisette Sutherland and Elinor Slomba The post Help Me Promote My New FREE Book! appeared first on NOOP.NL.
  • You Make It Happen (I Go Where People Send Me)

    Jurgen Appelo
    9 Apr 2014 | 8:16 am
    I don’t decide which countries I go to. You do. My new one-day workshop follows an important principle: I go where people send me. Selecting countries and cities Every week I get questions such as “Will your book tour come to Argentina?” “When will you visit China?” and “Why are you not planning for Norway?” And every time my answer is the same: I go where people send me. The backlog of countries is based on the readers of my mailing list The post You Make It Happen (I Go Where People Send Me) appeared first on NOOP.NL.
  • Workshop Management 3.0

    Jurgen Appelo
    7 Apr 2014 | 3:19 am
    The approach to organizing my new one-day workshops is a bit weird, I admit. That’s because I don’t care about doing things the “normal” way. What I care about is exploring new ways to organize events. What I also care about is practicing what I preach in terms of modern management practices. The post Workshop Management 3.0 appeared first on NOOP.NL.
  • Management 3.0 Workout: One-Day Workshop (Part 1)

    Jurgen Appelo
    2 Apr 2014 | 6:37 am
    While I am frantically working to finish my new book (with three copy editors and fifty proof readers) I’m also developing ideas for the new one-day workshop that is part of the global book tour. The post Management 3.0 Workout: One-Day Workshop (Part 1) appeared first on NOOP.NL.
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    Mike Cohn's Blog - Succeeding With Agile

  • Building a Product Users Want: From Idea to Backlog with the Vision Board
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:58 am
    Many of you will know Roman Pichler as the author of Agile Product Management with Scrum. For the last few years Roman has been working on various ideas to support envisioning and ideation. I’ve asked him to write a guest post here describing his Vision Board and how it connects to Scrum’s product backlog. I’m sure you’ll find his ideas very interesting. —Mike Vision and Backlog Scrum is a great framework for building a product with the right features. It encourages the use of a vision shared by the product owner, the ScrumMaster, the development team, and the…
  • Scrum Repair Guide Giveaway
    13 Apr 2014 | 7:11 pm
    Our newest venture, Front Row Agile, launched last week to bring online agile and Scrum training from the industry's leading educators to people all over the world. To celebrate its launch, we're running a raffle to give away my newest online training, the "Scrum Repair Guide," to one winner.  Entering the contest is simple. Head on over to the contest page at Front Row Agile to learn more. The contest starts today and ends at midnight Pacific Time this Thursday, April 17. As part of the giveaway, I'll be donating $1 for every person who participates to the non-profit…
  • Announcing for Video Training
    7 Apr 2014 | 2:14 pm
    I’m happy to announce the release of a new website, will provide the highest quality video training on agile and Scrum. The site launches with two courses from me and with courses from others soon to follow. In addition to hosting all my current and upcoming video courses, will soon feature: Ken Rubin on Agile Portfolio Management Ilan Goldstein on Scrum Shortcuts: Agile Tactics, Tools and Tips Mitch Lacey on The Scrum Field Guide Online and Scrum for Managers Pete Deemer on Distributed Scrum Primer and The Manager and Scrum…
  • Introducing the LAFABLE Process for Scaling Agile
    1 Apr 2014 | 1:00 am
    Over the last year or so, scaling agile and Scrum have become very popular topics. A variety of scaling approaches have been promoted—and some of them were even tested on real teams before the marketing machinery spun up to promote them. You've undoubtedly heard of a few of these scaling frameworks. Today, Mountain Goat Software is proud to announce its own scaling framework: LAFABLE or the Large Agile Framework Appropriate for Big, Lumbering Enterprises. Building on the popularity and success of Scrum, LAFABLE projects employ a variation of Scrum’s “sprints.” But…
  • 3 Roles That Need to be Involved in Agile Estimating with Planning Poker
    25 Mar 2014 | 5:00 am
    When estimating your product backlog with Planning Poker, it’s important to have the right people participate. Let’s go over who needs to be there, and what the job of each is during an agile estimating meeting. First, of course, we start with the team. All of a Scrum team’s members should be present when playing Planning Poker. You may be tempted to estimate without the individuals in some role—don’t. An estimate put on a product backlog item (most frequently a user story) needs to represent the total effort to deliver that item. It’s not an estimate of…
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    Agile Coaching

  • No Magic Words

    Rachel Davies
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:45 am
    I gave a talk at Agile Coaches Exchange meet up yesterday and someone emailed afterwards saying: "Rachel mentioned about few questions that she uses during one on one. Those set of questions could help me a lot because I am terrible to start and flow the conversation with my team." So I thought it might be handy to do a quick write-up of what questions I tend use in individual coaching sessions.
  • Calculating Velocity FAQ

    Rachel Davies
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:41 am
    Sometimes people get confused about velocity and edge cases of what gets counted or not. It doesn't matter greatly except it helps to do this consistently over time. I wrote a FAQ for our teams because these edge cases come up infrequently and developers often don't remember what rule to apply. I'm sharing a slightly abbreviated version of our Velcoty FAQ as an illustration of working agreements around this. Your team might choose to do this differently and that's okay.
  • Estimates Considered Useful

    Rachel Davies
    7 Apr 2014 | 3:38 am
    Despite the current #NoEstimates trend, at Unruly we still estimate our user stories. The way we do this is in small informal meetings in our development area . Why do we find this useful? Because estimates of development costs inform decisions on what to develop next.
  • No Sprint Demo Needed

    Rachel Davies
    6 Mar 2014 | 3:33 am
    Over the years I’ve done lots of work with Scrum teams and I appreciate that Sprint Demo/Review meetings can be a useful way to give stakeholders visibility of features implemented prior to pushing out a product release. Teams that find this way of working helpful typically work in larger organisations, where they don't have the capacity to make frequent software releases due to restricted access to servers or a heavy reliance on manual regression testing. However, the ceremony of Sprint Review may be propping this system up allowing teams to work in a pseudo-Agile way placating…
  • Dot Counting

    Rachel Davies
    3 Mar 2014 | 5:08 am
    Here’s a very simple tracking mechanism that your team can use for physical story cards to learn more about the proportion of time you spend on different types of work. One of our product development teams (Tabasco) has used this approach for tracking time spent on things for at the last year and a half. As a team, we don’t typically do any deep analysis of the data gathered but it does help us understand what’s going on
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    The Agile Management Blog

  • The Agile Checklist Manifesto

    Satish Thatte
    18 Apr 2014 | 9:09 am
    Airline pilots use a checklist to clear their planes for takeoff.  In an experiment Dr. Pronovost, a critical care specialist at John Hopkins, used the checklist strategy to attack just one common problem in the I.C.U., infections in patients with central intravenous lines. Dr. Atul Gawande is the author of The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. In his review…
  • What’s So Special About Agile?

    Lee Cunningham
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:19 am
    Admit it.  You enjoy telling people that you’re an Agile “practitioner”, “coach”, or “evangelist”. It’s OK – I do too. I also enjoy reading a well-researched article in, say, the Harvard Business Review or the Wall Street Journal that validates what we do every day in the Lean-Agile community.  It shows that they want what we got (and sometimes, vice versa). But I recently happened across the April 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine, the riveting theme of which was “Spring Cleaning”.  My curiosity as to how that subject could possibly warrant an entire issue led me to…
  • Is Your Sprint Pipeline Running Well?

    Satish Thatte
    11 Apr 2014 | 7:55 am
    Most agile teams, when starting out new on their agile transformation road, conduct all sprint related activities in the same timebox, i.e., sprint planning, sprint execution, sprint review and sprint retrospective.  This is illustrated in Figure 1, where each sprint (from Sprint 0 through N+1, represented by each row) is mapped onto a single sprint timebox (Timebox 0 through N+1, represented by each column), and successive sprints are executed in successive timeboxes in a sequential order (Sprint 0 in Timebox 0, Sprint 1 in Timebox 1, and so on).  Figure 1: Sequential execution of sprints…
  • The Agile Coach on Production Support

    Mike McLaughlin
    8 Apr 2014 | 5:53 am
    One of the biggest struggles I’ve seen in organizations adopting Agile is in the area of Production Support. Every organization that has a product to support has to manage this. It’s a critical part of the business. There’s a lot of responsibility to manage a 24/7 Production environment. The middle of the night calls, working on code you didn’t create. Speediness, precision, reaction time and problem-solving are crucial. The struggle typically comes in the form of pulling people away from active Scrum teams to make whatever hot fixes are necessary. This is clearly disruptive to…
  • The Missing Agile Value

    John Krewson
    2 Apr 2014 | 9:24 am
    This post was originally published on Author Carol Dweck has completely changed the way I approach the world. I’m a smart guy. I’m no genius but I’m pretty smart. Through most of my life, I’ve been able to get by just by being smart. For the most part it has turned out to be a pretty good strategy. I complete tasks in less time by thinking about them longer, I demonstrate industry knowledge (thus impressing my bosses) because I can hold a lot in my big fat brain. The problem is, I allowed the world around me to turn my smarts into my identity. It became my brand,…
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  • Hard work is killing people. Literally!

    Tathagat Varma
    18 Apr 2014 | 4:11 am
    Burnout is a serious issue for several countries, industries and people, even if we don't acknowledge in as many words. In our industry, where heroism, cowboy programming and all-nighters are considered cool and an integral part of the software subculture, there has been a (really) small effort to address work-life balance.
  • Let’s free up agile teams…

    Tathagat Varma
    2 Feb 2014 | 6:07 am
    Why are we so parochial in software industry about not recognizing the bigger economic sense rather than limiting ourselves to a singular idea that collocated teams are the best option?
  • How do you design agile feedback?

    Tathagat Varma
    15 Jan 2014 | 7:30 pm
    Feedback is perhaps the most important aspect of the overall agile lifecycle - without a proper, honest and timely feedback, there is no ‘adapt’ step in the inspect-adapt cycle. However designing a proper feedback instrument for a human-human interaction, like a training program, is a totally different thing because it entails imprecise measurements that are often influenced by people’s mental models, skills and experiences, and not to mention - their calendars! Needless to say, these feedbacks could mean anything to different people on different days.
  • Design Vs. Innovation?

    Tathagat Varma
    7 Jan 2014 | 8:28 pm
    Even the ideas need to procreate in order to produce better ideas! Innovation tells which ideas should procreate, and Design tells how they should procreate! They both must be present in a 'cooptetive' manner - competing and yet collaborating at the same time.
  • Dude, where’s my customer?

    Tathagat Varma
    11 Nov 2013 | 8:29 am
    Startups that operate under a stealth mode achieve over 90% failure rates. While they might have bright ideas, access to top talent, adequate funding, etc., they typically fail to accomplish their original objectives. A key reason behind such spectacular failure rates is premature scaling at each stage of the startup. In this talk, we will examine the mistakes that startups make, and what we can learn from the Customer Development model proposed by Steve Blank to improve better chances of survival and growth.
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    Atlassian Blogs » Blog Category » Developer

  • Practical continuous deployment

    Steve Smith
    17 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    In February, I had the pleasure of speaking with the London Atlassian User Group (AUG) about some of our experiences with continuous delivery and deployment at Atlassian. The slides for this are available online, but the talk generated a lot of discussion at the time and I’d like to recap some of it here. To give a bit of context, I work in the business platform team; we’re responsible for developing the tools that allow the business to interact with the customer. In particular, we develop the order management tools such as HAMS (hosted account management system)…
  • Git and project dependencies

    Nicola Paolucci
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    Consider the following questions: How do you handle project dependencies with git? Our project is made up of multiple inter-dependent repositories. Currently we manage those with svn:externals. What’s the best way to handle those with git? How do you split a very big repository in smaller components using git? These are some examples of the most asked questions we got at the European leg of our recent Getting Git Right tour. The topic appears to be a big pain point for many software teams adopting git, so in this article I’ll try to shed some light on the issue. Obviously…
  • A look back at the past months for FishEye and Crucible

    Sten Pittet
    9 Apr 2014 | 10:05 am
    Not so long ago I was lucky enough to speak at our Getting Git Right tour about our migration from Subversion to Git here at Atlassian. I loved sharing our experience, and I had great questions from the crowd. It also confirmed my belief that many people need some time to make the transition from traditional SCMs to DVCS. There are many development teams still on Subversion, and the FishEye/Crucible team is on a mission to support them and provide great tools to help them develop better. So this post is for them – to give an overview of what we’ve done in the past year to support…
  • How to tear apart a repository: the Git way

    Andrea Villa
    1 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    How do you divide a Git repo without squashing the history and breaking the original repo? I’ll show you how to do it with as little pain as possible, by splitting the main repository, thus making your team and Git happy at the same time! Here at the Hosted Operations team, we have many small repositories, and sometimes they just contain single scripts. This approach eventually produced some duplicated code and effort, leading to considerable maintenance issues. What we decided then, was to create a repo in which we could consolidate many of those scripts and concentrate our refactoring…
  • What I miss in Java 8 lambda functions

    Marek Parfianowicz
    24 Mar 2014 | 6:00 am
    I’m a Clover developer at Atlassian, and I had an opportunity to work closely with new language features introduced in Java 8 during development of Clover 3.2.0 (which has the support for Java 8). I’d like to share my impressions about a major language feature – lambda functions. I’m pretty sure you’ve already read a lot of articles about lambdas, and already know how they are going to reduce boilerplate code. And I totally agree with this point. I can bet that most of anonymous in-line classes you have in your code might be changed to a simple lambda function, quite…
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    Agile Software Development

  • Targetprocess 3 Launches to Bring Visualization and Flexibility to Project Management

    17 Apr 2014 | 2:08 am
    Targetprocess announced the availability of Targetprocess 3, which now includes more ways to visualize project data, track work across multiple teams and align business initiatives with development. This latest release reinforces Targetprocess’ dedication to offering a project management s ...
  • WANdisco Releases SmartSVN 8.5

    15 Apr 2014 | 6:51 am
    WANdisco, a provider of high-availability software for global enterprises to meet the challenges of Big Data and distributed software development, today announced SmartSVN 8.5, the latest version of its platform independent graphical client for Apache Subversion.
  • Perforce Introduces Hybrid Version Control

    20 Mar 2014 | 9:12 am
    Perforce Software has announceda platform for hybrid version control. Unique capabilities across the Perforce suite of solutions help developers use Git alongside Perforce's native versioning protocol (P4) without hindering DevOps teams from implementing and accelerating their continuous del ...
  • TechExcel Announces DevSuite 9.3

    20 Mar 2014 | 8:31 am
    TechExcel has announced DevSuite 9.3, the latest edition of its ALM platform with integrated Requirements, Quality and Agile Management. DevSuite 9.3 includes usability enhancements and performance improvements that enable companies to more effectively and efficiently manage requirements, develo ...
  • Load Impact Releases Plug-in for TeamCity Continuous Integration Server

    17 Mar 2014 | 10:03 am
    Load Impact today announced the immediate availability of a plug-in for TeamCity that allows users of the popular Java-based build management and continuous integration server to run automated tests on the performance of their software.
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    Software Development Musings from the Editor of Methods & Tools

  • Software Development Mantra

    The Editor
    7 Apr 2014 | 6:51 am
    We believe developers should have a particular attitude when writing code. There are actually several we’ve come up with over time – all being somewhat consistent with each other but saying things a different way. The following are the ones we’ve held to date:Avoid over- and under-design. Minimize complexity and rework. Never make your code worse (the Hippocratic Oath of Coding). Only degrade your code intentionally. Keep your code easy to change, robust, and safe to change.Source: “Essential Skills for the Agile Developer – A Guide to Better Programming and Design”, Alan…
  • Being a Great Software Development Manager

    The Editor
    27 Mar 2014 | 7:33 am
    Any manager, when goals are not being met, identifies the impediments and whenever possible removes them. A good manager goes further by identifying and removing potential impediments before they lead to the goals not being met. A great manager makes this seem easy. Tony Bowden, Socialtext Source: Managing the Unmanageable, Mickey W. Mantle & Ron Lichty, Addison-Wesley
  • Software Development Conferences Forecast March 2014

    The Editor
    25 Mar 2014 | 6:04 am
    Here is a list of software development related conferences and events on Agile ( Scrum, Lean, Kanban) software testing, programming (Java, .NET, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, PHP) and databases (NoSQL, MySQL, etc.) that will take place in the coming weeks and that have media partnerships with the Methods & Tools software development magazine: Big Data TechCon, March 31-April 2, Boston, USA Software Testing Analysis & Review Canada Conference, April 5-9 2014, Toronto, Canada Agile Adria Conference, April 7-8 2014, Tuheljske Toplice, Croatia Optional Conference, April 8-9 2014, Budapest,…
  • Done & Retrospectives in Scrum, Software Architecture in Methods & Tools Spring 2014 issue

    The Editor
    24 Mar 2014 | 8:05 am
    Methods & Tools – the free e-magazine for software developers, testers and project managers – has just published its Spring 2014 issue that discusses how to be bone in Scrum; why, when and how to perform successful retrospectives; Why it is better to chop onions instead of layers for a improved software architecture. Methods & Tools Spring 2014 contains the following articles: * The Principles of Done * Doing Valuable Agile Retrospectives * Chop Onions Instead of Layers in Software Architecture * Ranorex – Automated Testing Tool for Desktop, Web & Mobile Applications…
  • NoSQL Databases Adoption Survey Results

    The Editor
    18 Mar 2014 | 6:20 am
    NoSQL databases (MongoDB, Couchbase, Riak, Cassandra, etc…) are getting more and more visibility in software development discussions and conferences. The last Methods & Tools survey wanted to know if organizations were using NoSQL databases. The results are mixed. On one side, 60% of the participants answered that their organization was not using at all this technology, with 20% that are even unaware of their existence. On the other side, more than 25% of the organizations had NoSQL-based applications in production, which is not so bad for a relatively new technology largely ...
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    Axosoft Blog - Agile, Scrum and Business of Software

  • You’re safe! Why the Heartbleed Bug Doesn’t Affect Axosoft

    Axosoft IT Department
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:02 pm
    The Heartbleed Vulnerability (a.k.a. “The OpenSSL Bug”) exists in implementations of OpenSSL, which is used to provide SSL/TLS content encryption HTTPS (as well as some VPNs and other services). OpenSSL is widely used, with the vast majority of its use is in open source products like the Apache web server and nginx running on Linux or other *nix operating systems.  Even some networking equipment uses implementations of OpenSSL.  While not used or implemented on Windows servers or IIS natively, OpenSSL can still be present and installed on Windows servers if you install it directly or as…
  • New Axosoft Pricing, New Features, Branding Tweaks and Other Big Announcements

    Hamid Shojaee
    13 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Today, we are announcing a number of very exciting changes to Axosoft and OnTime, so lets get right into them: NEW V14.1 released – Tons of new features. Check out our “What’s New” page here. Axosoft and OnTime branding changes – We are dropping the “OnTime” name from our hosted product, but keeping it for our installed customers. Read more below. New pricing for Axosoft Scrum, Bug Tracker and Premium Support – Lots of exciting changes to pricing that you can read about below. Axosoft and OnTime Branding Changes Since Axosoft was founded in 2002, customers often…
  • The Making of Axosoft’s “Logotype in Water on Leaf”

    Shane D Rymer
    4 Sep 2013 | 2:46 pm
    Have you ever seen a word created from actual water drops? I hadn’t either until one day I came to work to see this beautiful picture of our company name made from water drops. Yes, a picture of the word “axosoft” made from water drops. This wasn’t some 3D computer generated graphics. It was a picture! To think that all these water molecules would be coordinating with each other and gathering themselves into English letters that formed the word “axosoft” was just amazing. I had never seen anything like it before. To me, it was an absolutely stunning thing to see. The picture was…
  • How Amazon has Ruined Shipping Products for Small Businesses

    Mona Munoz
    15 Aug 2013 | 9:37 am
    Coming up with the idea for our Agile Notetaker was a fantastic ‘light bulb’ moment. Creating and designing the notebook was exciting and involved some seriously talented people. Building the notebook shop page was fun and surprisingly easy. Setting up the shipping process for the notebooks was like visiting the fifth level of hell. There were many interesting/annoying elements that made our shipping experience such a debacle, but let’s start with the most prominent…  “AMAZON!!!!” <insert fist shake here>. Amazon has spoiled the world when it comes to shipping.
  • JIRA to OnTime Migration Tool

    Hamid Shojaee
    17 Jul 2013 | 9:54 am
    An increasing number of teams have been switching from JIRA to OnTime and taking advantage of our unified agile/Scrum experience, so now we’ve decided to make the transition easier! Our new JIRA-to-OnTime Migration and Import tool uses APIs to pull and push your data between systems. The import options allow you to map your projects, items, priorities, statuses and users. Even your custom fields and attachments can be transitioned into OnTime! Check it out: JIRA to OnTime Migration and Import Tool Please send your suggestions and feedback to
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  • How Agile Helped Me Survive Being a Business Analyst

    Jeff Howey
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:16 am
    Over the last 20+ years, I’ve enjoyed more of my career as a Business Analyst than in any other role I’ve been able to play on a team. The control freak in me loves to practice my Project Management skills, the perfectionist in me always loved getting into Testing roles, the innovator in me loved trying my hand at Product Management. But the perfect balance, for me, is in playing the Business Analyst role. As the consummate “contractor” for the first 20 years of my career, I was able to play the Business Analyst role in at least 10 different companies with 50 different ways of doing…
  • Don’t Estimate Spikes

    Andrew Fuqua
    8 Apr 2014 | 4:51 am
    Don’t Estimate Spikes I don’t estimate spikes. Do All Your Spikes in Sprint 0? If you implement all of your spikes for each release in a “Sprint 0″, you could estimate them. If you do, do so always so that your velocity will be reliable. Spikes are, like defects, generally harder to estimate correctly relative to user stories. It’s best to time-box them. If you don’t estimate spikes, your Sprint 0s or HIP Sprints may have no points. That’s no problem. When computing your average velocity and when release planning, you can exclude Sprint 0s or HIP…
  • Managing the Impossible with an Agile Budget

    Isaac Hogue
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:13 am
    The Agile Budget Release planning is without a doubt one of the most challenging responsibilities for agile teams… at least that’s what I’ve experienced both personally and while coaching enterprises through transformations. Most teams are working to deliver solutions where the question of “what will I get” at the end of a release can not be left open ended. Furthermore, these teams don’t have an unlimited capacity. They are working within what appears to be a constrained iron triangle, cost, time and scope are all fixed. Mike Cottmeyer’s recent blog about the agile home…
  • Introduction to Business Capability Modeling

    Doug Brophy
    25 Mar 2014 | 4:24 am
    Business Capability Modeling In any Enterprise-scale Agile transformation, having the right structure and governance to support how work flows through the organization is crucial to having a successful transformation (see “How to Structure Your Agile Enterprise“). Business Capability Modeling is a method LeadingAgile uses to inform and customize our recommendations around this structure and governance. We work closely with our clients to develop their unique business capability model. We then heat map the capabilities in terms of business value, performance, and risk, based on…
  • Redefining Heroics

    Tim Wise
    18 Mar 2014 | 7:25 pm
    Recently, while working with one of our customers the topic of heroics came up… okay, this comes up all the time It seems hard to argue with heroics, from the time we were young we’ve heard stories of heroes in our family tree or national history. The term is attributed with acts of valor and selflessness. Upon closer examination, frequently we find that the heroics that are being described in many enterprises could be better attributed with undisciplined, or even un-intentional delivery…. How do you define a hero in your business? How does your business define a hero? How…
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    OutSystems Blog

  • Best Cloud Platform as a Service – OutSystems Named Finalist for CODiE Award

    Sean Allen
    8 Apr 2014 | 4:48 am
    Last week, OutSystems was selected as a finalist for the prestigious 2014 SIIA CODiE Awards. We placed in its Best Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) category along with several other firms, including Red Hat and NetSuite. We’re honored by this nomination and recognition. A tremendous amount of effort and ingenuity has gone into developing OutSystems Platform. Our team is among the most dedicated in the PaaS market today, working with and listening to our 350+ enterprise customers so we can continually deliver something truly remarkable – a solution that empowers them to create,…
  • Need Speed? OutSystems Boosts Performance of 1-Click Publish Feature

    Miguel Rebelo
    25 Mar 2014 | 7:26 am
    The process of continuous iteration as an OutSystems developer requires quick change and test cycles. The 1-Click Publish (1CP) operation is a core part of this process, and one that is used dozens or hundreds of times per day. Whenever you need to see the effect of changes you have done to an application, be it UI, Business Logic, Data Models, Processes, or Integrations, the OutSystems Platform lets you do that with just one click. Getting from your changes done in the model, to a fully deployed application in the cloud or across your on-premises server farm is a heavy lifting job – so…
  • OutSystems Platform 2014 Winter Release

    Gonçalo Borrêga
    10 Mar 2014 | 8:23 am
    To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we launched a series of updates to the OutSystems Platform. I guess that for a lot of you, this is one of those gifts you’ll be excited to use all year around. There are so many mind-blowing improvements that we’re even a bit ashamed of naming it 8.0.1. There’s a great reason for that though: it works just as a patch release… our cloud users will start seeing their platform get updated with the new capabilities and our on-premises or hybrid customers can simply patch their installation and immediately benefit from all that is in there. So, what can you…
  • The Changing Role of CIOs

    Zahid Jiwa
    5 Mar 2014 | 6:50 am
    I read a recent analyst report from Forrester which outlined its view on the role that CIOs now fulfil. According to the Forrester report, CIOs are now viewed as the most important senior leaders in driving business transformation and innovation, with many believing them to have more input than a CEO. Forrester highlights the CIOs key role in supporting business change with technology playing a key part in breaking down barriers within an organisation’s structure. This view is backed by a survey of respondents from the US and Europe involved in business transformation projects in the last…
  • Why Retailers Need High-Productivity Development Environments to Speed Innovation

    Zahid Jiwa
    20 Feb 2014 | 2:51 am
    The retail sector was hit hard by the recession. High-profile struggles of longstanding fixtures such as Blockbuster shook the industry as many retailers worked to stay afloat. The retail industry tends to be the bellwether for the economy as it highlights consumer confidence and today there are signs of cautious optimism. According to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), UK retail sales were up 0.4% in December 2013 on a like-for-like basis from December 2012, when they had increased 0.3% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.8% in December 2013…
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    Agile Complexification Inverter

  • Exercise:: What motivates your team members?

    David Koontz
    27 Mar 2014 | 1:28 pm InfographicUnderstanding why an organization thinks it needs to change is enlightening.  Many times the people at the bottom ranks of the organization have no idea the driving forces that necessitate a change.   As a group brainstorm a list of possible reasons for the change.Dialogue on the difference between change and transition.  How long does change take?  What is a transition?   Bridges Transition Model:  Ending - Neutral Zone - New Beginning.Dialogue on the difference between satisfiers and dissatisfaction in the workplace…
  • List of Agile Team Exercises

    David Koontz
    27 Mar 2014 | 12:51 pm
    A list of Agile team exercisesVideo series on Scrum (short takes) Release planning and Scrum simulation - Priates of the Carriballoonian Project success sliders video explains relative vs absolute measures  Dog…
  • Book Review: 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

    David Koontz
    26 Mar 2014 | 1:55 pm
    I've listened to the audio book several times on trips across country, and each time I've said that I needed to buy the book (paper version) so that I could study it better.  So I did, and this is an attempt to outline the books major points.The book:  The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking  by Burger & Starbird.In the audio format I found it hard to visualize the 5 elements, perhaps because of the analogy to the classic elements of earth, fire, air, and water.   So before any confusion sets in, here are the author's 5 elements:Grounding Your Thinking; Understand Deeply…
  • Agile Tetrahedron move above the PM Triangle for Value

    David Koontz
    7 Mar 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Agile Tetrahedron - ver 1Who can explain the classic Project Management Triangle?  I've found that everyone has heard of it and uses it fairly well in a sentence. But when it comes to actually explaining the analogy to the triangle the struggles begin.  Some call it the iron triangle - as if nothing can stretch or shrink it's features once set.  I created a plastic triangle that was adjustable to illustrate the nature of negotiation of each of the sides.I want to move beyond the classic three variable problem of the project (scope, schedule & cost) and envision a model that…
  • The Agile Late Majority has different needs

    David Koontz
    6 Mar 2014 | 2:21 pm
    Are we applying a great solutions to a poorly understood problem?   What is the question - we know the answer is 42.The early adopters of Scrum were seeking a method of controlling the chaos of emergent product development processes.  They needed empirical methods to discern if the product was moving in a meaningful direction.  They were willing to risk accepting technical debt to validate working solutions in the hands of real customers.  They were focused on delivering value, they wanted a process that optimized on value delivery and embraced the learning process…
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    Boost Blog

  • The Board – Episode 26

    3 Apr 2014 | 3:35 pm
    This episode our Agile Coaches based around topics that came about during the Scrunch Meetup sessions we run every month. Topics: How to change the negative perception people have of scrum? Working with conflict Love languages What makes a good scrum team? Blog: What makes a great Scrum Master? Blog: If you are doing Scaled Agile you should be doing these things Kanban Links: Lyssa Adkins: Navigating the Five Levels of Conflict – The Agile Way Love language: The 5 Love Languages Geoff Watt’s blog post: Towards a Definition of a Great ScrumMaster Al Shalloway blog post: Not Doing…
  • Scaled Agile Framework – Release Planning

    23 Mar 2014 | 1:47 pm
    At the end of my last blog post on SAFe - Scaled Agile Framework – The Team Level - I said that I would devote an entire post to the Release Planning session as this was one of the key meetings in SAFe.  This post covers the following points: What is Release Planning? What is the Release Planning Session and how does it relate to the PSI and Release Management? The PSI/Release Planning meeting What is Release Planning? When we kick-off an Agile project, the very first thing we will do is some form of collaborative, deliberate discovery workshop to determine the initial set of User…
  • The smiley face game

    13 Feb 2014 | 6:18 pm
    In most cases your first idea will not be your best idea. In order to illustrate this concept we recently did an exercise with our Agile Coaches. We first came across this activity when some of our team members attended Jeff Patton‘s Passionate Product Ownership course. Jeff calls it Circles, we called it the smiley face game. This exercise is best for 3+ people. Materials you’ll need: one sheet of A3 paper per person a sharpie for each person Directions: Ask participants to fold their A3 paper lengthwise, then in half, and half again until they have folds that form 16 squares.
  • The Board – Episode 25

    22 Jan 2014 | 6:55 pm
    Today’s episode was based on Jeff Sutherland’s blog post “Can You Define Agility?” Jeff Sutherland has a competition running at the moment to come up with the best definition of Agile. During the show our Agile coaches talk about “What is Agile?” and come up with their best definition of Agile. Topics: Definition of Agile The art of possible Ken Schwaber’s quote Cynefin Model Agile health checklist Version One: Agile checklist  Agile in China Do you think there are culture barriers in promoting the idea of Scrum in China? – Ken Schwaber Finding…
  • New free workshop – An introduction to running Agile projects at scale

    16 Jan 2014 | 5:04 pm
    Last Friday we ran our latest free workshop “An introduction to running Agile projects at scale“. What does it mean – Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)?  The Scaled Agile Framework for enterprise – SAFe – describes a framework for scaling Lean/Agile in the enterprise. The SAFe Big Picture highlights the individual roles, teams, activities and artifacts necessary to scale from the team, to teams of teams, to the enterprise level. This workshop is run by Paul Flewelling, an Agile coach and certified SAFe Program Consultant. Description of workshop Scrum advocates…
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    Practical Agility

  • Gourmet Crow, or Wearing a Different Hat

    Dave Rooney
    24 Mar 2014 | 11:00 am
    For readers to whom English isn't their first language, we use the phrase "eating crow" to describe a situation when you must admit that you were wrong after taking a rather strong position about something. While this isn't exactly that case, hence the second title, it does illustrate a lesson in perspective. First Hat - "Sherpa" While I was working at Shopify, one area on which I focused
  • Mandated Agile - A Contrarian View

    Dave Rooney
    20 Mar 2014 | 6:32 am
    There was an interesting exchange recently on Twitter about Agile adoptions/transformations that are mandated. Dan Mezick asserted that: Between 75% and 85% of all #agile adoptions fail to last. 99% of these adoptions are implemented as mandates. Any connection here? I responded, asking for Dan's source to those stats. His answer was that it was "pro coaches" like myself. What ensued was a
  • Solve the Right Problem, Solve the Problem Right

    Dave Rooney
    19 Mar 2014 | 6:23 am
    Over twenty years ago I learned a valuable lesson about solving the right problem for the people who used the software that I was building. I was working on a training management system, specifically on the reports that were needed by the people who handled training for a relatively large organization. There were a number of 'canned' reports, meaning that the format was fixed and the query
  • Interesting - Packing List for Your Agile Journey Virtual Training

    Dave Rooney
    9 Mar 2014 | 8:21 am
    My good friend Gil Broza, author of The Human Side of Agile, pointed me towards an upcoming virtual training event called the Packing List for Your Agile Journey. It's a 5-day event with a tremendous "cast of characters", including Johanna Rothman, Arlo Belshee, Ted Young and Paul Carvalho among others. Gil's approach is to interview each of these 10 industry leaders, having them discuss their
  • Upcoming Book: Effective Software Delivery - Agility Without the Dogma

    Dave Rooney
    6 Mar 2014 | 6:16 am
    I've started working on a new book with the rather lofty goal of cutting through the marketing hype and near religious dogma of the various brands of Agile. My focus is on conveying what is effective in the context of a group of people building software in their particular domain. Effectiveness is the book's overarching concept. There are a multitude of different ways to deliver software, but
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  • Guest Post: 5 Tips for Making the Dreaded All-Day Meeting Productive and Fun

    30 Mar 2014 | 11:51 am
    Major projects often require half-day or all-day meetings to get everyone in sync and plan the high-level steps needed to finish the effort. You could find yourself leading such a meeting and you might dread it. It doesn’t have to be painful. You might actually enjoy it. The grunts and sighs usually begin early in the morning after the attendees hit their smartphone’s snooze button for the tenth time. They’ve known about this day for weeks, but it’s finally arrived and they’re neither ready nor willing to participate in it—the dreaded all-day meeting. However, I’m here to tell…
  • Being Agile Means Changing Corporate DNA

    12 Mar 2014 | 6:47 pm
    Successful companies have well-defined business models. They know what works and what doesn’t. They have a formula for generating revenue and controlling expenses. It’s all good — until the business model needs to change. Why would a successful company want to change its business model? New product competition, disruptive technologies, lower-cost competitors, marketplace demands, rising costs, etc. Business models get stale and obsolete. It’s only a matter of time. Business models are a kind of corporate DNA. They affect everything — corporate culture, business…
  • Just-In-Time Planning Reduces Waste and Improves Software

    25 Feb 2014 | 6:34 pm
    The best agile software development teams use just-in-time planning. It’s a simple concept, really, but not-so-simple to put into practice. It has roots in product manufacturing and is embraced by companies following a kanban approach to building products. You’ve probably heard of just-in-time inventory management. It’s a set of techniques for minimizing both raw materials and finished goods. Raw materials needed for building finished products are kept to a minimum so that excessive amounts of storage space and working capital aren’t tied up for extended periods of…
  • Flight Times and Project Timelines Have Something in Common

    2 Feb 2014 | 7:12 pm
    Have you ever noticed how predicting the travel time of an international flight covering 4,000 miles is often more accurate than predicting the time to commute to your office? The same is true of software development projects — it can be easier to predict longer term schedules. Here’s why. We’ll ignore catastrophic situations. Some flights arrive at their destinations a day late or are cancelled. Some commutes are so horrible that people work from home or take the day off rather than deal with them. Normally, an international flight covering about 4,000 miles is likely to…
  • You Can Have It Good, Fast or Cheap. Pick Three!

    27 Jan 2014 | 6:32 pm
    Most software developers have heard the line “You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two.” This idea relates back to the iron triangle of software development. The usual idea is that quality is fixed while time, money and/or scope can change. In reality, all four elements are changeable. We simply don’t like to discuss compromising quality — yet we do it all the time. The quote above reflects all-too-common situations where the scope (feature set), quality (the good), time (the fast) and cost (the cheap) are fixed — the business wants everything they specify.
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    Agile Scout

  • The Expert [Humor] – For All You Engineers

    18 Apr 2014 | 5:15 am
    Every feel this way? This brought chills to my spine in remembering my [core] developer days. *sigh The Expert [Humor] – For All You Engineers
  • Agile Day Atlanta

    16 Apr 2014 | 10:37 am
    I know it’s tough to take a day off of work. You leave the office for one day and you return to find your unread emails in quadruple digits. Certain events, however, need to be circled on your calendar as ‘must-attend’. April 30th is one of those days.   VersionOne has partnered with DevJam to bring Agile Day Atlanta to the community. The focus of the day is Scaling Agility: More Value over More Process. What’s the best thing about Agile Day Atlanta? You could say the price: only $89! But the super cool thing is that we’ll skip the keynote and dive right…
  • Death March – A Guide for Software Developers

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:03 am
    Found this at my local used bookstore where I frequent to pick up tons of used books for the uber cheap. I scanned it for about 5-7 minutes and found it fascinating… mostly because almost everything I read I said one of two things to myself: Agile can help with this Wow, that’s pretty Agile (as a solution to a problem he was talking about in the book) Yup. There are books out there on employee burnout. #sad #reality Death March – A Guide for Software Developers
  • On The Process of Education – Jerome Bruner

    10 Apr 2014 | 5:15 am
    Light reading for this week of an oldie but goodie from 1960… As I further my own education into the world of how people operate and behave it always astounds me of the similarity and relative closeness of systems thinking and how we as people (cognitively) learn and grow. I found myself, after reading Bruner’s work this weekend and today , spending about an hour re-visiting Gestalt Theory of learning… which is very much all about human systems as we see them in corporate America. “It is worth the effort to provide the growing learner with problems that tempt him into…
  • How is Your Boss Behaving? – Infographic

    8 Apr 2014 | 5:18 am
    Everyone loves infographics these days, right? It’s a quick and easy way of understanding simple and/or complex data and for many of us who struggle with maintaining focus on the many things that we are responsible for we’ve got little time to read through paragraphs and paragraphs of text. I saw one recently that focused on the management, titled “Bad Boss Diaries”: Click the image for a larger view: It really is too bad if someone of these figures are correct (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are, if not very close). One of the areas listed is the Top 5…
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    AgileIQ Blog

  • What Sets SolutionsIQ Apart?

    11 Apr 2014 | 10:35 am
    by Kathy Simmons Learn how unique SolutionsIQ is and what differentiates us from our competitors! We have a depth and breadth of Agile talent and services that you won't find anywhere else.   For greater insight our culture, check out these videos of recent company gatherings! December 19, 2013 August 16, 2013 May 17, 2013 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
  • An Introduction to DevOps

    28 Mar 2014 | 11:23 am
    by Laszlo Szalvay Traditional IT groups have responsibilities in two areas: Apps and Ops. The lines between them are becoming increasingly blurred. Watch as Laszlo explains where we see the market going.   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
  • Why We Do Test Driven Development

    11 Mar 2014 | 4:00 am
    by Blake Lindsay At SolutionsIQ, our developers practice Test Driven Development (TDD) to deliver well. Learn why TDD makes great business sense.   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
  • Test-Driven Development and the Discipline of Juggling

    6 Mar 2014 | 12:34 pm
    by Steve Kuo People who know me know that I like analogies. I have many to describe Test-Driven Development (TDD) and how I use it, one of which is relating it to juggling. Here’s how I explain it: To me, writing code can be a lot like juggling. I write a method that is 15 lines of code. I consider this method to be the equivalent of one ball. Almost all people can juggle one ball with two hands  it's essentially handing it back and forth. Next I write Method2, another 15 lines of code, that interacts with Method1. Slightly more complexity but still straightforward. In my…
  • Facilitating Meetings That Get Results Every Time

    28 Feb 2014 | 11:01 am
    by Pam Dyer Meetings can be powerful accelerators when a company wants to build alignment, deploy strategy, get work done, and accelerate/deepen organizational transformation. Solid facilitation skills are key to achieving results — someone has to shape and guide the process of working together so that you move through the agenda, meet your goals, and accomplish what you've set out to do. In a recent Wall St. Journal article, SolutionsIQ Agile consultant Steven M. Smith reflected on the role of meeting participants in making sure that conference calls are leveraged to their full potential:…
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    QSM SLIM-Estimate blogs

  • New Article - Software Estimation: How Misperceptions Mean We Almost Always Get It Wrong

    Elisabeth Pendergrass
    15 Apr 2014 | 12:35 pm
    In a recent, highly-discussed article for Dr. Dobb's, QSM's Carol Dekkers asks a tough question: why are we so woefully poor at estimating software projects? It's a tough pill to swallow considering software developers are among the smartest people on the planet, often boasting advanced degrees in mathematics, engineering, or computer science. Yet study upon study cites that less than one-third of projects are delivered on time or on budget. The problem of software project estimation is not straightforward. To get the heart of the issue, Carol Dekkers takes us through the…
  • SLIM Suite 8.2: The New Look

    Katie Costantini
    10 Apr 2014 | 7:58 am
    The new look and feel of the default workbooks in SLIM Suite are based around infographic and dashboard design principles.  Information Dashboard Design by Stephen Few served as an excellent resource for updating the views and color schemes in SLIM Suite 8.2.  Our goal in updating the look and feel of SLIM-Suite 8.2 was to highlight the pertinent inputs and outputs in bright, bold colors and to allow other view elements like gridlines or historic data to fade into the background by using more muted colors, allowing you to focus on the important metrics when making key management…
  • New Article - Big Agile: Enterprise Savior or Oxymoron?

    Elisabeth Pendergrass
    2 Apr 2014 | 1:02 pm
    We know agile works well for small teams and small projects, but monster enterprise projects often require greater capabilities than a small team can provide. So why not scale up agile teams to maintain the cost and efficiency benefits of the agile process while accessing the necessary manpower to pursue complex global projects? On the surface, it makes sense, but what if agile only works when teams and projects stay relatively small? That's the question most CIOs want answered before investing scarce time, energy, or resources chasing the big agile paradigm. In this article recently…
  • How to Build Better Software

    Donald Beckett
    26 Mar 2014 | 11:51 am
    The problems of software projects are concentrated in three areas: schedule, cost, and quality.  These problems have accompanied software development from the beginning, so they are not new.  Nor have they been ignored.  Huge amounts of thought and effort have been focused on them with unfortunately modest results.  Improvement efforts have been concentrated on management technique (think PMO), process improvement (CMMI, for example), and better tools.  These are all good things, and I can’t imagine embarking on a development activity of any magnitude without…
  • The Cinderella Stories of Software Development

    Taylor Putnam
    21 Mar 2014 | 11:31 am
    After enduring the longest winter I can remember, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring, and what better way to do that than to participate in QSM’s annual March Madness Tournament?  For those of you not familiar with our March Madness pool, it’s kind of a big deal.  The top finisher receives a portion of the winnings as well as bragging rights for the following year, and in the process gains immunity from being subject to ridicule by our Commish.  This year the steaks are especially high, as Warren Buffet has offered $1 billion to the person who can guess the perfect…
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    Agile World

  • Scrum, XP, SAFe, Kanban: Which Method Is Suitable for My Organization?

    Venkatesh Krishnamurthy
    13 Apr 2014 | 5:12 am
    I have recently seen the SAFe framework criticized by the Scrum founder as well as the Kanban founder (see "unSAFEe at Any Speed" and "Kanban -- The Anti-SAFe for Almost a Decade Already"). Method wars are not new, however, and could go on forever. In the face of these discussions, it is important to remember the real intent behind Agile methods. In this recently published Cutter article, I discuss the importance of understanding Agile as a tool rather than as a goal.  I am also proposing some ideas from complexity theory and Cynefin framework to substantiate the need for parallel/safe…
  • Tennis coaching , Halo effect and celebrity bias

    Venkatesh Krishnamurthy
    3 Apr 2014 | 12:34 pm
    One of my friends is a very successful  tennis coach, however, he sends his kids to a different coach.  This was interesting, and I asked him why can’t he teach his kids. His response didn’t surprise me at all. He said, kids take parents for granted and some times, they listen to outsiders more intently. I see a similar pattern at work as well.  Some times, employees listen to a highly paid external consultant rather than an in-house expert or supervisors. Why is that ? I googled around to find some research or articles around this kids behavior, and I found this…
  • First book: Who is Agile in Australia and New Zealand is published

    Venkatesh Krishnamurthy
    12 Mar 2014 | 1:22 am
    I had the privilege to  Co-Author  my first book “Who is Agile in Australia and New Zealand”  with  Renee  and Sunish .  This book is available for purchase from here This book is a collection of interviews with passionate Australia & New Zealand agilists who answer the following questions: 1. What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are? 2. What would have become of you, if you were not doing the job you do today? 3. What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you? 4. What drives you? 5.
  • Which Agile adoption Strategy is good for my company ?

    Venkatesh Krishnamurthy
    12 Mar 2014 | 12:46 am
      The statistics I have seen recently give me a euphoric feeling about the pace of Agile adoption. However, I feel that most of the so-called "Agile projects" are just the "water-Scrum-fall," which no one is willing to admit. I could list various reasons behind the failure, but one thing that stands out clearly is a poor Agile adoption strategy. Organizations generally go with copying the practices/strategies from other popular brands/companies with the assumption that it works for them. In reality, it won’t.  Every practice is context dependent, and since each company is…
  • How to overcome resistance to change ?

    Venkatesh Krishnamurthy
    16 Feb 2014 | 11:22 pm
    One of the key responsibilities of the change agents is to bring positive change to the teams. However, we always hear that people resist change !  Some of the common answers for any change proposal includes,  “It won’t work here”, “It doesn’t work”, “We don’t have time”, “Our priorities are different”. According to Peter Senge, “People don’t resist change but resist being changed”.  As human beings we change almost every day. Whether it is getting married and living with a new person or a new born baby adjusting to the changing environment by…
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