project planning

Articles

Five Tips for Retrospective Leaders and Meeting Moderators

Before you schedule or moderate another retrospective meeting, read this column by Esther Derby. Esther offers five tips that will help improve the productiveness of retrospective meetings. You'll also learn how letting the meeting participants run the conversation will solicit more feedback and ownership than traditional moderation methods.

Esther Derby
goal illustration How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Prioritization

Managing an agile project based on uncensored "Very High," "High," and "Low Priority" user stories or backlog items used to induce stress on Jeff Patton. So he learned to implement a combination of prioritization techniques to get these lists--and the job--under control. In this week's column, find out how Jeff utilizes MoSCoW and business goals to make sense of prioritization.

Jeff Patton
Receptiveness to Change

Everyone responds to change differently, whether managers know this or not. A good leader knows this, and doesn't hurt the morale of a team by expecting them to act a way that their incapable of, or that feels unnatural to them. Naomi Karten brings this all to light in this article.

Naomi Karten
Test Managers-Start Managing!

Some things in life, like death and taxes, are a given. Software development teams face their own givens: Project schedules will always change and certain teams will suffer because of these changes. If that's to be expected, then why haven't most managers done anything to save their teams from undue stress and abuse? In this column, Dion Johnson explains that we've got to take care of our teams, or else we'll never see the end of team abuse.

Dion Johnson
Preparing for Resource-Constrained Times

The economy, like the weather, is a complex system that cycles through good times and bad. Dark economic clouds are brewing on the horizon. Predictions of inflation, stagnant growth, crushing debt, tightening credit are in the forecast. Payson Hall tells us how to weather the storm.

Payson Hall
Applying the Inverted Pyramid to Agile Development

Modern day reporters tend to write their articles using what is known as the "inverted pyramid" style. They start with the most important information in the first sentence, followed by the next most important, and so on. This format not only gives the reader the biggest bang for his buck as he reads it also gives both the reporters and their editors huge flexibility in their uncertain and fast-changing environments. Clarke Ching shows how modern software development techniques use the same idea to give customers the best bang for their buck—in equally uncertain environments.

Clarke Ching
Sixty Steps in the Right Direction

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.

Michele Sliger
Looking Back, Moving Forward: Retrospectives Help Teams Inspect and Adapt

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.

Esther Derby
When Trust Goes AWOL

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.

Clarke Ching
Do We Have to Choose Between Management and Leadership?

Do organizations need fewer managers and more leaders? Do the qualities of one outweigh those of the other? In this article, Esther Derby defines leadership and management, and shows how one test manager incorporates both.

Esther Derby

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