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'Tis the Season for Annual Planning: How to Have a Jollier Experience This Year

One of the primary goals of annual planning is to translate aspirational strategic plans into realistic execution plans. Sadly, rather than delivering plans we can all feel good about and believe in, too often it leaves us depressed about the work ahead of us. This article shares five practical principles to remove the emotions associated with annual planning.

Catherine Connor's picture Catherine Connor
Five Common Pitfalls When Organizations Neglect Agile Values

As agile development has erupted over the software landscape, its core philosophy often has been neglected as organizations hurry to implement cherry-picked practices in the name of pragmatism. By avoiding these five common pitfalls, companies can better realize the true benefits of agile: high productivity, great software quality, and happy customers.

Victor Szalvay's picture Victor Szalvay
Management Myth 35: Friendly Competition Is Constructive

Competition between teams does not improve performance. In fact, the added stress may shift team members' focus from creating a quality product to self-preservation due to fear of failure. Johanna suggests managers emphasize collaboration between teams over competition.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
The Five Levels of Agile Planning

Contrary to popular belief, agile projects require as much planning as any other project type. It is the timing of this planning and how we attempt to minimize wasted effort that is different from other approaches. This article attempts to explain the different levels of agile planning and how we utilize them in an ongoing project.

Paul Ellarby's picture Paul Ellarby
Team Assembly and Its Impact on Value and Innovation

Simply putting a handful of developers together and calling it a “team” doesn’t cut it. There’s a better, more analytical approach to team assembly that results in more cohesive teams, faster ramp-up times to peak velocity, and improved innovation, business outcomes, and value.

Michael Rosenbaum's picture Michael Rosenbaum
Accelerating the Adoption of Technical Practices

Agile teams are supposed to take responsibility for how they work and how they learn. But what if you need to jump-start that learning? Agile transformation is about making this happen rather than waiting for it to happen. You need to get your team to learn the technical side of agile, and soon. Here are some effective approaches.

Scott Barnes's picture Scott Barnes Clifford Berg
Why Teams Stop Improving—and How to Jumpstart Their Efforts

One of the most important features in agile software development is continuous improvement. However, after an initial burst of inspiration and productivity, teams may stop improving because they believe there are no issues left to address or the issues are too difficult to solve. People need to switch their mental models to keep addressing processes efficiently.

Aleksander Brancewicz's picture Aleksander Brancewicz
Using Agile Pods to Realize the Potential of Your Team

Agile pods are small custom agile teams, ranging from four to eight members, responsible for a single task, requirement, or part of the backlog. This organizational system is a step toward realizing the maximum potential of agile teams by involving members of different expertise and specialization, giving complete ownership and freedom, and expecting the best quality output.

Nishi Grover's picture Nishi Grover
Agile: Don’t Worry, It’s Natural

Although the idea of repeatedly exercising the full development lifecycle on smaller chunks of the requirements is newer to the software industry, it isn’t at all new to many other aspects of life and nature. We have been agile practitioners for quite some time, and the software development industry is just catching up. John Ryskowski addresses a few examples.

John Ryskowski's picture John Ryskowski
Mitigating Team Hazards without a Typical Scrum Product Owner

A good product owner should be collaborative, responsible, authorized, committed, and knowledgeable. But what do you do if yours doesn’t exemplify these characteristics? This article aims to showcase mitigation plans that can be effective for overcoming Scrum violations due to the fact that you’re not working with a typical product owner.

Rajeev Gupta's picture Rajeev Gupta

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