process improvement

Articles

Prioritizing Effectively as a Team

If you’ve ever worked on a development project, you know you can never be that sure that everything will be completed on deadline. By prioritizing actively, you can change success from something binary—either we make it or we don’t—into something more gradual. By doing this, you increase the chance of succeeding in delivering something. If you prioritize really well, that something may even turn out to be far more valuable than anything you penned down in your initial plan.

Tobias Fors's picture Tobias Fors
Need to Learn More about the Work You’re Doing? Spike It!

How do you estimate work you've never done before? One proven method is to spike it: Timebox a little work, do some research—just enough to know how long it will take to finish the rest of the work—and then you can estimate the rest of the work. You don’t waste time, you can explore different avenues of how best to complete the task, and your team learns together.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Mowing the Lawn: An Application of Agility

Anthony Akins explains how he used agile methods to modify the way he mowed his lawn. Learn how any project can benefit from using an agile approach and how large projects can be broken down into smaller chunks, each complete and with value.

Tony Akins's picture Tony Akins
What Decorating Cakes Can Teach Us about Iterations

Kent McDonald shares with us a story about decorating cakes and how that relates to doing agile the right way. To be truly effective, teams need to focus more on the need to reflect and adapt, and then figure out the best way to do that in their environment without worrying about whether they are doing it exactly right.

Kent J McDonald's picture Kent J McDonald
Building a Backlog for Legacy System Changes

Kent McDonald writes that teams often assume that they cannot split their changes into small stories because the resulting stories would not provide value. What they fail to realize is that they can split these bigger changes into smaller changes and gain value by showing their stakeholders, getting feedback, and incorporating that feedback in their continued development.

Kent J McDonald's picture Kent J McDonald
Seven Strategies for Handling Distributed Agile

Global markets, global talent, and a constant pressure to reduce costs through outsourcing are all major forces that contribute to distributed teams, but distribution can inhibit communication within the team. Here are seven strategies for staying agile in the face of distributed-team challenges.

Sowmya Karunakaran's picture Sowmya Karunakaran
Making Agile Work for Government: Addressing the Challenges of Agile Adoption

Erich Knausenberger and Raj Shah examine the challenges of implementing earned value management and program management to implementing agile for government IT. Then, the authors propose a “blended-approach” by which government and other large entities can address these and other challenges.

Erich Knausenberger's picture Erich Knausenberger Raj Shah
Management Myth #10: I Can Measure the Work by the Time People Spend at Work

Increasing the amount of time someone spends on work does not directly result in better work. In fact, depending on the person, the opposite may be the case—spending less time at the office may improve the results. Johanna tackles myths of measuring work by time.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Making Agile Work for Government: Perceived Challenges to Agile Adoption

Erich Knausenberger and Raj Shah examine three perceived challenges to agile adoption in the government space and explore how the "blended approach" to agile adoption offers an effective response to each.

Erich Knausenberger's picture Erich Knausenberger Raj Shah
Making Agile Work for Government: A Blended Approach

As technology development programs represent some of the biggest line items on agency budgets, there should be little surprise that agile development, with its promise of a fast, lightweight, and iterative approach to delivery of value, has caught the attention of officials from across the government space as they seek to improve their programs’ productivity and effectiveness.

Erich Knausenberger's picture Erich Knausenberger Raj Shah

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