process improvement

Articles

How to Plan and Execute Programs without Shooting Agile in the Foot

Program planners in IT organizations have a dilemma: On one hand, their agile teams tell them that if requirements are defined up front, agile teams cannot operate; but on the other hand, the program’s budget and scope need to be defined so that resources can be allocated and contracts can be written for the work. How does one reconcile these conflicting demands?

Clifford Berg's picture Clifford Berg
A Case Study in Implementing Agile

This case study serves as an example of how adopting agile can be extremely beneficial to an organization, as long as situational factors are considered. Adopting a new development method is a strategic, long-term investment rather than a quick fix. As this article shows, making deliberate, fully formed decisions will ultimately lead to better outcomes.

Taylor Putnam's picture Taylor Putnam
What Are Your Team's Velocity Values?

For any agile-based operation, you can introduce the concept of "velocity values." Depending on the organizational culture, these values may come as monetary rewards, recognition, or other incentives. This can go a long way toward helping management understand how their respective teams work and can provide great insight into mentoring at both the individual and team levels.

Eric  King's picture Eric King
What the World Cup and Agile Development Have in Common

There are a surprising number of similarities between successful World Cup and agile teams. Both must be diligent in four areas in order to reach their “goals.” This article explores the parallels between the two for selecting the team, getting up to speed, consistency, and game plans.

Michael Rosenbaum's picture Michael Rosenbaum
Avoiding the Organizational Death Spiral

The death spiral supersedes the death march in that the death march is a singular event, whereas the death spiral is systemic. It is the result of organizational dysfunction where teams march toward deadline after deadline without reflecting on or questioning if there is a better way to deliver software. There is! Take these positive steps.

Thomas Wessel's picture Thomas Wessel
How Agile Is Growing as It Goes into Its Teenage Years

Agile is growing up and is now officially a teenager. It has moved from being a somewhat rumbustious child with some overzealous followers and a skeptical management crowd to something that is generally accepted by the mainstream IT community and particular management. Has the agile community lost something? Are the founding members and early practitioners evolving the practice? Is this good? Well, the answers are yes, yes, and maybe.

Jon Hagar's picture Jon Hagar
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

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