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Insights From Three Agile/Lean Product Development Thought Leaders[article]

Here is what Mark Lines (Unified Process Mentors, Co-Founder) has to say:

The fact that basic agile concepts are so easy to learn, as well as the proliferation of certification courses with very little investment required has had both positive and negative effects. Certainly the mindshare of methods such as Scrum has exploded in our industry and people are excited about the benefits that agile can deliver in terms of elimination of waste and timely delivery of systems with immediate ROI.

 

Mark Lines's picture Mark Lines
The Marriage of Lean, Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP)[article]

Many flavors of Agile have emerged: Scrum, Lean, Feature Driven Development (FDD), and Extreme Programming just to name a few. These methods have numerous complementary and distinguishing features, but the gamut of choices can be confusing and disorienting - as if being told to choose the best from 31 flavors of ice cream. Return on Investment (ROI) is important to me, so Lean must be the answer. But wait, I also want to be agile with my business priorities so I’ll choose Scrum. We are left wanting a simple question answered: “Which Agile method should I choose for my organization?”

Geoffrey Bourne's picture Geoffrey Bourne
Active Following[article]

Great leaders don't always lead the charge, stand in front, or offer direction. They know when to step aside to let others step forward. Yet, this type of leadership is often mistaken for passivity or overlooked entirely. Esther Derby shows how "in front" leadership actually can cause gridlock and loss of productivity and destroy the good spirits of a team. You can avoid these pitfalls by noticing when the most effective leadership means choosing to follow.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Agile Removes Limitations—You Must Now Change the Rules[article]

If you're practicing agile methods but continue to reach back to the rules and structures your organization used before adopting agile, you might be asking for more trouble than you know. In this article, George Schlitz discusses the mingling of old and new rules in organizations in different phases of agile adoption and offers a four-step method to help sort out the confusion.

George Schlitz's picture George Schlitz
Using Product Portfolio Management to Improve the Efficiency of Teams[article]

Product portfolio management has become an essential discipline for all development organizations that want to achieve enterprise agility. The repeated process of selecting, sizing, and prioritizing the work to be done ensures that their development teams are delivering the most valuable products and enhancements for the business’ clients. This is required for both external clients in the case of product companies and for internal clients in the case of IT organizations. However, the subject of this paper is another, possibly even more important, reason: avoiding the overloading of the organization’s development teams which greatly lowers their efficiency.

Alan Shalloway's picture Alan Shalloway
Project Portfolio Decisions—Decisions For Now[article]

If you are anything like me, you have a to-do list a mile long. Because I work for myself, I have an integrated list of everything I need to do: projects for clients, books to write, articles to write, columns to write, presents to buy, house maintenance, clothes to organize, office cleanup. The list is long and never-ending.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
So, You Want to Be a Consultant?[magazine]

Many practitioners see becoming a consultant as their ultimate career goal. But what does it mean to be "a consultant"? In this email to an aspiring consultant, Fiona Charles (a consultant for more than fifteen years) discusses different consulting approaches and describes how working for a consulting firm can help you get there.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Catch Them Doing It Right[magazine]

Rewards can be powerful management tools, but only if you implement them effectively. In this installment of the Management Chronicles, discover how the right timing and getting to know your employees better can improve the impact of your recognition method.

Steven M. Smith's picture Steven M. Smith
Rocks into Gold: Part 4[article]

This short book by Clarke Ching is a "biztech" parable for software developers who want to survive—and then thrive—through the credit crunch. We have republished the book in a four-part-series. In part four, our characters pitch Bob's plan to MegaCorp. But will business politics get in the way of a good idea? Follow the story as our characters fight to keep their jobs by implementing creative business ideas and management skills taken from agile development.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
What’s a Tester without a QA Team?[article]

When a tester joins an agile team, she leaves her Test or QA team behind. Often, her old QA team is disbanded altogether. Without the support of a QA team, she might feel abandoned, especially if she now reports to a development manager. She’s in danger of becoming isolated, having lost the phased and gated process that guided her old team. She may feel pushed to the sidelines and like she’s lost any control over quality.

Agile Developer’s Journal: A Day in the Life[article]

People are creatures of habit, particularly programmers: We seek consistency, whether it is the tried-and-true waterfall/SDLC method or our morning routine of reading the newspaper with a hot cup of coffee. Companies or projects looking to adopt an agile process neglect the fundamental concern of an individual developer: "What will my day to day look like working in an agile environment?"

Geoffrey Bourne's picture Geoffrey Bourne
An Introductory Acceptance Test[article]

"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." Yogi Berra

This article is an excerpt from Ken Pugh’s upcoming book – “Lean-Agile Acceptance Test Driven Development” to be published by Addison-Wesley. Debbie, the developer, and Tom, the tester, are introducing acceptance test-driven development to Cathy, the customer.

The Triad – Tom, Debbie, and Cathy – are in their second meeting together. Debbie describes an example of an acceptance test and four ways that an acceptance test can be executed.

 

Ken Pugh's picture Ken Pugh
The Unshreddable Résumé[magazine]

The recent economic downturn has record numbers of job seekers pounding the pavement. Find out what you need to include on your resume to increase your chances of getting out of the paper stack and into the building for that all-important interview.

Heather Shanholtzer's picture Heather Shanholtzer
Hidden Messages[magazine]

A defect management system contains data such as how many defects have been raised, the priority and severity of individual defects, and even who is raising them. This information is regularly used by program and test management to guide decision making. In this article, Dan Minkin proves that an experienced test manager can gather useful information by looking at more than just the defect management system's data.

Dan Minkin's picture Dan Minkin
Selling To Your Buyer[magazine]

No matter how well you've built it, no users will benefit from your product unless you can convince the buyers to purchase it. Selling to buyers is different than satisfying users—and you have to do both well to succeed. Consider the needs of the buyer as stakeholder. When you have no buyers, you have no users.

Scott Sehlhorst's picture Scott Sehlhorst

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