There are no best practices for creating a productive, global development organization, just a few good ideas to think about and tailor around your particular objectives. Consider three universal issues every organization must grapple with to make a global agile team successful: data considerations, communications needs, and a company's agile readiness. How you handle each of these issues will vary widely, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every organization.
Esther Derby has noticed something lately, namely that when people write about collaboration, they discuss facilitated meetings. Well-run meetings that encourage participation and building consensus are certainly valuable, but there's more to collaboration than just well-run meetings. Esther explains that true collaboration assumes shared responsibility and shared ownership and boosts creativity and learning.
Michele Sliger uses a simple exercise to exemplify the changes self-organized teams cause in any company, especially with the project manager. In this column, Michele explains how to conduct this exercise and how to review and use the results to improve work relationships and communication. Above all, this exercise should help your whole organization understand how everyone's knowledge of a project's initiatives and goals affects the project's success.
Decision making should be approached just like a software project: You have to map out what you want and how you're going to get it. Payson Hall tells the story of a team that set out to find the perfect product—without an official plan. Learn how to avoid the mistakes they made.
Retrospectives are a great way for teams to inspect and adapt their methods and teamwork, and they're a great way for teams to build on success and learn from hard times. Retrospectives take a critical look at what happened during an iteration (or part of a project) without being critical of people. But not everyone realizes that, says Esther Derby, so in this column she outlines how to approach retrospectives in the most productive way.
Successfully persuading others to adopt your point of view is a matter of neither magic nor luck. It's a skill and like any skill, improvement takes know—how, opportunity, and practice. In this column, Naomi Karten offers pointers to help you strengthen your persuasion skills.
Trust is invisible, but the symptoms of its absence are not. That is the theme of this column, in which Clarke Ching recounts the difficulty one of his clients went through to rebuild trust with a customer. The customer had long ago lost faith in the quality of the products provided by this client since every piece of software delivered seemed buggy. But both were determined to make the relationship work. That's when Clarke Ching stepped in and took an agile approach to relationship therapy.
Our society is founded on the importance of meetings, and it seems that the higher on the corporate ladder one climbs, the more meetings he must attend. Indeed, one of Michele Sliger's coworkers calculated that the amount of time she spends arranging meetings, getting to meetings, and in meetings equates to almost her entire workweek-thirty-six hours on average. Even though we may lose track of time in meetings, we all are painfully aware of the time we spend waiting for everyone to show up. In this column, Michele Sliger explains some of the tactics she's seen teams use to ensure that meetings start on time.
A phrase heard often in Agile discussions is "Let the product lead." Applied correctly, these four words powerfully focus an Agile team's energy directly on work that provides the highest business value. Deep focus on technology decisions breaks the line-of-sight with business goals, creates opportunities for over-engineering, and requires complex tracing activities, which ultimately slow the process.
Usually, when Jean Tabaka lists practices, techniques, ideas, or recommendations about software development, she sticks with the number ten. It's nice and neat and has a fine history of enumeration cleanliness dating back to the Old Testament. But for agile adoption failures, Jean thinks it is time to invoke some Spinal Tap and go to eleven. Here are her top eleven signs that your agile adoption is headed down a slippery slope to failure.