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Principle

What Does It Take To Be Agile?

subjectiveart

What does it take for your software development team to be agile? Only you and your team can answer that question. I can offer my opinion about being agile but your circumstances may vary. The characteristics that one person requires for agility will be different from what someone else in a different situation requires. For […]

Short Projects Aren’t Necessarily Agile

breakup

In my last post, I discussed getting the waste out of your existing software development process. The idea is to get lean and use the leaner process as a stepping stone to becoming more agile. Let’s continue that discussion. So now that your project approach is leaner — streamlined — what next? Many companies are […]

Bad Officiating Happens in Business Too

referee

Watching an NFL football game and seeing my favorite team lose as a direct result of the officiating got me thinking about the effect of too much management intervention in software development. So here’s what happened. I was watching the (NFL) football game on Sunday between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. […]

Sprint Work Efforts Have To Be Sustainable

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There’s a natural tendency on many agile software development teams to rush the work effort near the end of a sprint. Let’s face it, a deadline is a deadline. The team commits to completing a set of stories during the sprint. They work hard and often scramble near the end to keep their commitments. There’s […]

Is a Sprint in Scrum a Project?

sprinter

Focus on the product not the project. We use the term “project” a lot in software development circles. One person might be building a small desktop application or a massive group of teams might be implementing an enterprise solution. They are both projects. Neither the development approach nor the technology suite matters. Ultimately, anything can […]

Being Agile and Procrustean Don’t Mix

procrustean

Scaling agile software development techniques to enterprise levels has plenty of challenges. Getting a small team — say 5 to 7 people — working together and building great software solutions happens regularly. Getting large teams — say 500 to 700 people — to do the same is an engineering feat that challenges our human abilities. […]

The 7 Benefits of Reducing Software Project Scope

lovework

Scope creep. Virtually every software project suffers from it. Development teams start out with elegant and simple ideas. They toss them around amongst themselves and get excited about the prospect of delivering great software. They engage more people in the effort such as business stakeholders, power users, and senior managers. As they do, features get […]

Poor Quality Software Is Never Done

defective

Defects. Every software package has them. Some defects are minor and don’t interfere with the operation of the system. Others are ugly, causing business users to lose data. Some are repeatable and consistent. Others are hard to replicate and tough to track down. Part of what makes defect repair so difficult is that we often […]

Stop Dawdling and Make a Decision

decisions

There are many decisions that have to be made during the course of every project. No matter how much planning takes place at the outset, many details will have to be worked out along the way. Also, don’t forget the unplanned work items and change requests that inevitably happen along the way. Not a day […]

Software Quality and Time-To-Market Should Never Conflict

tornado

Here’s a question that I believe generates some of the controversy around agile software development techniques versus waterfall techniques. If your team delivers fewer software features and functions but the software is higher in quality, are your user base and your company better off? Agile teams often claim to deliver better quality software. I agree […]

Chickens, Pigs, Commitment and Teamwork

baconeggs

I’m sure you’ve heard the fable of the chicken and the pig as it applies to Scrum. In case you haven’t, it goes something like this: Chicken: Hey, Pig, let’s open a restaurant. Pig: Okay. What would we call it? Chicken: How about ‘Ham ‘n Eggs’? Pig: No thanks. I’d be committed but you’d only […]

Great Agile Teams are Adaptive and Resilient

servererror

This is the sixth and final post in a series about building great software using agile techniques. The series began here. Many people, managers and developers alike, view agile development approaches like Scrum and Kanban as just another way to write software. Once they decide to try an agile approach, they quickly realize how wrong […]

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