Many organizations dipping their toes into agile just want to know one thing: Are we agile or not? Most agilists agree, however, that rather than a binary designation, agile is more of a continuum. It's a sliding scale that can vary across the development lifecycle. A better question is: How agile are you?
The definition of done is much more than just a checklist for completeness—it can be a mechanism for determining where your product increment can be more complete by the end of your sprint. By using a discussion board with quadrants where you can sort sprint items, you can challenge yourself to see whether a task could be moved earlier in the lifecycle.
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.
Team members involved in hopeless projects become dejected, stressed, and overworked. Are there any silver linings to working on a doomed project? This article argues that there are. When you and your teammates are stretched to your limits, you can learn a lot about each other, your managers, and what it takes to make a successful product.
Mark Balbes presents a framework for agile project management’s critical techniques. These techniques are required for successful agile development, where rapid requirements changes can be followed through with rapid development changes.
With all of the choices available to software developers, it's easy to become overwhelmed not only by a problem but also by its many possible solutions. One approach that can help you and your team stay on track is to divide and conquer.
As technology development programs represent some of the biggest line items on agency budgets, there should be little surprise that agile development, with its promise of a fast, lightweight, and iterative approach to delivery of value, has caught the attention of officials from across the government space as they seek to improve their programs’ productivity and effectiveness.
Markus Gärtner is a tester and the author of ATDD by Example. In this interview with Zeger van Hese, Markus talks about his new book, the software craftsmanship movement, and “Beyond Testing,” a workshop he’ll be delivering later this year.
By understanding the context in which their existing practices were meant to work, teams new to agile can more easily decide which of those practices still make sense and which are simply security blankets.