Interruptions are something that every team has to deal with and, if not managed appropriately, they can potentially have a detrimental affect on their ability to deliver. In a recent post on the Agile Advice blog, Mishkin Berteig described seven options that teams could consider to deal with interruptions when using Scrum or iterative Agile approaches.
Agile experts suggest a slow ramp up, thinking beyond Scrum of Scums, and using techniques like Feature teams, for scaling Agile projects. A feature team takes responsibility for one or two features at a time and works on them as a whole until they are done. Once the features are delivered, each team member signs up for the next feature by joining another feature team.
Retrospectives and feedback loops are at the heart of any successful Agile/Scrum implementation. They’re the tool we use to help teams improve. Yet in two day introduction to Agile classes they often get glossed over. Lacking time trainers (including this one) often race through the topic outlining only one simple type of retrospectives.
Historically, some product owners have prioritized backlogs by making pairwise comparison of projected economic return between two items in isolation. Successful Agile teams often take a holistic approach, accounting for risk, dependencies, and the complex interplay among and across backlog items.
Dialogue sheets allow teams to hold facilitator-less retrospectives. They promote self-organization and encourage everyone to speak in the exercise. This results in great levels of participation in and higher energy levels in teams. The sheet itself is A1 in size, 8 times larger than a regular sheet, pre printed with instructions and questions to motivation discussion.
Lean has the concept of a Sub-Optimal process. A Sub-Optimal process is where a part of the process is optimized to the detriment of the entire process’s efficiency. Are Agile practices creating projects that are in danger of being or becoming Sub-Optimal? What Agile practices are contributing to projects becoming Sub-Optimal? What can we do ensure our projects do not become Sub-optimal?
Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness are wired into the human brain. Michael de la Maza how the latest neuroscience findings support agile software development and that there are good brain-based reasons why agile is so effective.
Rajneesh Namta shares the lessons he’s learned while automating software tests on a recent Agile project. The techniques he recommends illustrate how the Agile principles we follow when building software apply equally as well to building an automated regression test suite: start small, build iteratively and incrementally, prioritize, focus on value, work transparently, respond quickly to change.
In this presentation Don Reinertsen examines some key lean methods including queue management, batch size reduction, WIP constraints, and cadence. He also discusses the governing economic tradeoffs and how these methods can be exploited by product developers.
Joel Semeniuk shares some of the lessons he learned managing development teams, how he got into Kanban and why its principles are helpful.
Jean Tabaka challenges the audience to reflect on what Agile practices they are employing, how they are using them, ending with the questions “Why have their organization chosen to go Agile?
Mario Cardinal explains how to use agile practices to incrementally introduce non-functional requirements into the architecture in order to reduce the complexity of the solution.
In this interview, Jeff Patton discusses the Product Owner role and points out that Agile has never been very focused on the customer. While Agile development excels at “delivery”, it struggles to support “discovery” (i.e. defining what the customer really needs). Also discussed are techniques such as Lean Startup and story maps and the importance of defining business value in an Agile context.
Funding models and portfolio management approaches need to account for increasing levels of uncertainty, change and competition by compressing planning horizons, speeding time to market and recalibrating frequently. In short, organizations should apply real options and Agile methods for project approval, planning and oversight, not just for execution.
In Agile, adoption and transformation are typically viewed as one big event. Mike Cottmeyer provides a holistic perspective that looks as adoption as the implementation of practices, and transformation along two dimensions, organizational and personal. Mike discusses how they are a means to an end, and how to avoid the trap of focusing on practice adoption as a goal.
Chet Hendrickson was interviewed at Agile 2011. He discusses the need to get back to basics, to the ideas that made agile successful in the first place - small teams working closely with empowered product owners and using good technical practices. He describes the Agile Sweet Spot and talks about how organizations can work towards achieving it.