As agile principles and practices receive greater organizational exposure, business teams are embracing certain aspects of agility that were traditionally reserved for technology teams. This article details the experiences of a group of people with business roles who have adopted some agile methods and how their teams have benefitted.
There are two practical goals for user stories: Each story should be beneficial to the business, and each story should represent a small piece of work. However, there is tension between these rules, and they often push in opposite directions. This article discusses how to keep stories small and tasks manageable, while ensuring they retain business value.
Agile emphasizes just-in-time requirements rather than upfront preparation. The requirements person—be it the product owner, business analyst, product manager, or someone else—embodies the understanding of what is needed, and the user story represents the work that needs doing. This article details what user stories are (and what they are not).
As real and daunting as scheduling pressures can be, they have to be balanced with the consequences of a potentially disastrous premature go-live. Don’t let all the reasons a system simply "must" be implemented by a target date overwhelm compelling evidence that it is not ready. Consider these eight questions honestly first.
The first keynote of the Agile Development, Better Software & DevOps Conference West was Why DevOps Changes Everything, by Jeffery Payne. There are definitely tools and processes that can help streamline a DevOps shift, but Jeff said that fundamentally, building a culture where everybody can communicate and collaborate effectively is key.
Of course, all companies would like to reduce their budgets. But cutting back in the IT department can have unintended consequences. This article looks at two of the more well-adopted cost-cutting approaches, the software factory and distributed teams, and goes into how they can help and hurt your company.
The term minimum viable product, or MVP, has come to be misunderstood and misused in many organizations. It doesn’t mean you should be releasing half-baked, barely feasible software. Instead, you should be thinking of your product’s capabilities as a Specifically Marketable, Useful, Releasable Feature Set—or SMURFS!
Product development organizations that skip or rush through critical preplanning activities run the risk of failure. Organizations that use a more agile approach to product development ensure that the teams work on the right things, have the right amount of dialogue with their business partners, and produce the right amount of value to the product.
A couple of years ago, the Twitter hashtag #NoEstimates appeared. Its purpose was to start a discussion about alternatives to estimations, but the idea of a project without explicit estimates is odd to most people in software development. However, if you start exploring it, you may find better sources of information to rely on.
People will ask, “Can you use agile outside software development? In real business, not just in software teams?” Most experienced agile practitioners will instinctively want to shout, “Yes! Of course!” But intuition apart, where is the evidence? Allan Kelly found some examples and shares how agile works in environments outside software.