People & Teams

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Common Misconceptions about Agile: Agile Is Just a Project Management Framework

When it comes to transitioning to agile, if a team only goes off what it's heard from other teams and doesn't take a class or read any books about the process, misconceptions can abound. And that leads to problems. Read on to have three common agile myths debunked and to learn why agile is a cultural change, not just a project management framework.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Common Misconceptions about Agile: There Is Only One Approach

Many teams think they're agile. They might work in iterations and have a ranked backlog, but they don’t see the value they could be seeing. Usually that means they have a number of false impressions about agile. Read on to have three common misconceptions debunked and to learn what you need to do to make your agile transition successful.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Struggling with a Transformation? Try Serving Stone Soup

The fable of stone soup is often told as a lesson about cooperation in times of scarcity. Mike Edwards has used an approach based on this allegory to help teams make steps toward improving themselves and the way they work, especially when it comes to shifting to new methodologies such as agile and Scrum.

Mike Edwards's picture Mike Edwards
An Innovation in Scrum Ceremonies: Peer Feedback

Traditionally, the project manager or ScrumMaster is responsible for evaluating a team's performance. But peer feedback, when each member of a team picks another member, observes him or her, and then shares thoughts and suggestions about that other team member’s work, can also be very valuable to continuous improvement.

Rajeev Gupta's picture Rajeev Gupta
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
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

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