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Always Read the Label: Getting the Most from Your Tools

It is possible to find a new, innovative use for a tool, but it’s much more likely that you’ll do better using the tool in the way its creators intended. And whenever you reach for a tool, check that it’s actually going to help solve the challenge you’re facing. This article explains why first and foremost, conversation is more important than a shiny new tool.

Seb Rose's picture Seb Rose
Guide Your Agile Development with Traceable Tests

Testing professionals who are learning about agile often want to know how they can provide traceability among automated tests, features, and bugs and report on their testing progress. Here, Lisa Crispin gives an example of how her previous team worked together to integrate testing with coding and helped everyone see testing progress at a glance.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
Does Agile Work outside Software?

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.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
Management Myth 36: You Have an Indispensable Employee

An employee may become indispensable through arrogance or happenstance. These employees can cause bottlenecks and often prevent others, as well as themselves, from learning and growing professionally. "Firing" these indispensable employees sets your team free to work even when the expert is not available.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
'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

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