Top 10 AgileConnection Articles of 2016

[article]
Summary:
There is no question that agile has gone mainstream. If you aren't already using at least some agile methods, you soon will be. TechWell took a look at which topics the growing agile community cares most about and put together a list of the most popular AgileConnection stories and interviews of 2016. From failing Scrum teams and successful agile communication to facilitating feedback and simplifying user stories, we've curated the content you need to read as we head into a new year.

10. Instead of MVPs, Maybe We Should Be Releasing SMURFS


The term minimum viable product, or MVP, has come to be misunderstood and misused in many organizations. It doesn’t mean you should be releasing half-baked, barely feasible software. Instead, you should be thinking of your product’s capabilities as a Specifically Marketable, Useful, Releasable Feature Set—or SMURFS! By Matthew Barcomb
[Read the article]

9. The Reason Scrum So Often Fails Agile Teams


The core of the Scrum framework for managing product development is the three key roles: ScrumMaster, product owner, and the development team. This triad is what makes Scrum so successful—when it works. However, it is the absence of these three roles that is the root cause of the majority of unsuccessful adoptions. By John Yorke
[Read the article]

8. The Real Key to Agile Success: Communication

Think about the common practices of an agile team: daily stand-up meetings, retrospectives after every sprint, pair programming and buddy reviews, collaborating with customers, and more face-to-face time instead of mountains of documentation. What is the agenda behind all these operations? Frequent and open communication. By Nishi Grover Garg
[Read the article]


7. Do Cross-Functional Teams Mean Cross-Functional People?


Managers who want high-performing agile teams may think this involves finding people who all possess every required skill. But in addition to that being unlikely, it would also be a bad idea; it's the mix of perspectives that really gives benefit and value to the business. Instead, find experts in individual skills who can collaborate well together. By Leanne Howard
[Read the article]

6. Implementing Agile Approaches in the Public Sector


In the public sector, a change in standard processes and procedures requires significant effort and, often, approval from external vendors and elected officials as well as internal stakeholders. To get buy-in to become agile, you have to utilize all Scrum tools at your disposal to show the value of the proposed agile process. By Khurram Shahzad
[Read the article]

5. 5 Ways Agile Testing Is Different from Traditional Testing


It’s the distinctions between agile and traditional software development approaches, as well as the adaptability of testers in these very different environments, that makes agile testing different from traditional testing. Agile demands more from its testers, and, in turn, it values them more, too. Let’s look at five main things that make an agile tester’s life different from that of a traditional tester. By Nishi Grover Garg
[Read the article]

4. Simplify Your User Stories: Make Them Independent


Writing independent user stories seems simple, but it is actually difficult to do well. There are often parts of some stories that are dependent on other stories' functionalities, so it's not easy to keep them separated. Kris Hatcher relates how his team wrote and scored stories to keep them independent but still meeting acceptance criteria. By Kris Hatcher
[Read the article]


3. Strategies for Encouraging and Facilitating Team Feedback Sessions


We know the importance of quick feedback cycles in our builds so we can fail fast, and feedback from the end-user. But sometimes even agile teams forget the importance of feedback from other team members. This article details several methods for eliciting feedback, as well as how to pick what's right for your team. By Kiera Radman, Jeff Wagner

[Read the article]


2. Move Past Your Comfort Zone: Use Imposter Syndrome to Your Advantage

When you're speaking, teaching, or coaching, do you ever suddenly feel like you're in way over your head? That there must've been a big mistake, because you're not qualified? Instead of letting this imposter's syndrome paralyze you, there are ways to embrace being outside your comfort zone and turn your self-doubt into a chance to thrive. By Mark Kilby
[Read the article]

1. Is Your Product Owner an Overloaded Operator?


Overloaded operators exist when an operator or operation has different meanings in different contexts. This usually applies to variables and sets, but it can be true for people, too. These people try to do the work of many different roles—and usually fail. If you have an overloaded people operator, analyze the work and try to divide it up. By Johanna Rothman
[Read the article]

2016's Most Popular AgileConnection Interviews

Deliberate Testing in an Agile World: An Interview with Dan North

The Fundamentals of Agile: STARWEST 2015 Interview with Jeffery Payne

Agile, Change, and the Placebo Effect: An Interview with Linda Rising

Your Test Automation Strategy Needs to Be Optimized: An Interview with Mary Thorn

Top Reasons Why Agile Fails in Large Enterprises: An Interview with Mike Cottmeyer

 

About the author

AgileConnection is a TechWell community.

Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day.