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When Conflict Is Baked In: Bridging Structural Conflict

No two people or groups are the same, but their differences don't have to force them apart. In this column, Esther Derby uses the example of feuding operations and development groups to explain how focusing on the source of structural conflict can help build a bridge across the disagreements.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Networking for Geeks

Professionals need networks to further their careers. But, for those of us who are geeks, it can be difficult to build connections face to face. Consultant and lifelong geek Fiona Charles shares networking tips that have worked for her.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Acceptance Test-Driven Development: Not as Optional as You Think

The components of software processes work together in important and sometimes unrecognized ways. The removal of one of those components will affect the others. In this article, which originally appeared in the August 2010 issue of the Iterations eNewsletter, Jennitta Andrea takes a look at the value of acceptance test-driven development and the costs of making it an optional practice.

Jennitta Andrea's picture Jennitta Andrea
On Being Absolutely Certain-and Wrong

Sometimes we're blind to what's right in front of us. We think we're paying full attention, but, as Naomi Karten knows from a recent travel experience, we're not. In this week's column, Naomi describes what happened and discusses some fascinating research that demonstrates how common this form of blindness is.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
What is an Agile Coach?

As a go-giver the agile coach focuses on putting others’ interests first and continually adding value by serving an individual’s, teams’ and organization’s needs and helping them effectively and pragmatically deal with both their day-to-day and long-term challenges.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Agile Coaching for Your Agile Company

Coaching and training are indispensable to Agile transformations. This can be difficult for some organizations to accept.Agile frameworks are simple to understand, but there are many nuances to handling the complexities involved in an Agile transformation.While it is often helpful to tap into outside resources (books, websites, courses or consultants), the organization will need someone who understands the subtleties of Agile transformations and the context of the organization to make the transition as successful as possible.We refer to this role as the “internal Agile coach” and we often encourage clients to identify one or more such individuals as the organization's need for Agile knowledge and understanding grows. Being an Agile coach requires a wide range of human qualities, skills and experience, and selecting one for the company should be done carefully.In this article, we discuss when you need an Agile coach, what an Agile coach does, and a few tips on how you might create your own internal Agile coach.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
You Have To Be Agile To Coach Agile

If software development is about wiring code, then coaching is about re-wiring the neurons in each practitioners head and re-wiring their relationships. Yes, coaching is about changing people. You cannot expect a one-size fit all solution, so you need to adapt the recommended practices and approach. This paper discusses how to work with people, how to manage the coaching progress and setting objectives and expectations. This paper also talks about coaching not being just about helping the team learn, but also for you to learn and grow. You have to be agile to coach agile.

 

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Coaching is Key for Scrum Success – Part One of Two

Organizations eager to solve the problems they see in their projects or processes often decide to adopt Scrum in the belief that it will immediate solve all those problems. Although Scrum can and often does resolve some problems immediately, it also has the potential to expose or exacerbate other existing problems and can even appear to create a few problems of its own.

In some cases, this can be seen to be a “failure” of Scrum, even when implemented by an organization that was initially enthusiastic and determined. This perceived failure can cost the organization considerable time and money if the Scrum team continues along the same path they are on, despite the unresolved problems. These costs, as well as frustrations and even pressures from inside or outside the Scrum team can cause Scrum to be abandoned without ever demonstrating its full potential.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Agile Coach Performance Management: Measure Yourself as a Coach, Not as a Manager

The desire to control comes through loud and clear in the way most people’s worth is measured by their company’s performance management process. When it comes to performance review time, these controlling phrases crop up anew. Many successful agile coaches have been dismayed to learn that, despite the amazing results their teams produced and despite the new clarity and purpose that pervades the workplace, measuring their contributions still includes phrases such as “Herd the cats.”

Lyssa Adkins's picture Lyssa Adkins
An Overview of Lean-Agile Methods

Life used to be simpler. In the early 2000s, if you wanted to go "agile," XP was the route of choice. And then Scrum became popular. And it was not too long before organizations began to hit the limits of these approaches due to their focus on teams. And then it became apparent that lean principles could be applied to software and Lean Software Development and later Kanban were added to the mix. Now, you have a great many choices: Not just about which method to use, but where to start, whether to go top-down or bottom-up, and what should be the scope of your effort.

Alan Shalloway's picture Alan Shalloway

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