The desire to control comes through loud and clear in the way most people’s worth is measured by their company’s performance management process. When it comes to performance review time, these controlling phrases crop up anew. Many successful agile coaches have been dismayed to learn that, despite the amazing results their teams produced and despite the new clarity and purpose that pervades the workplace, measuring their contributions still includes phrases such as “Herd the cats.”
If you've been tasked with creating an agile team, first consider what differentiates an agile team from a non-agile team. In this column, Johanna Rothman highlights six behaviors of people on successful agile teams that candidates for an agile team should possess.
In a previous column, George Schlitz proposed that process improvements, such as agile, require organizations to change process rules. Now George continues his review of agile in regards to compliance and auditing practices. What he's found is that changes to compliance and auditing rules may appear compatible, but the implementation process usually remains unchanged and conflicts with agile practices.
Sometimes, an ineffective meeting can be more damaging than no meeting at all. But, if you're not the person in charge of facilitating the meeting, how can you help keep the group and the meeting in line? In this article, Ellen Gottesdiener offers some suggestions for both facilitators and non-facilitators that may help ease some of your meeting frustrations.
The definition of a "good project manager" varies depending on what skills you value most of this person. In this week's column, Payson Hall explores the root of the definition, highlighting the key characteristic he believes is the true hallmark of a good project manager.
Great leaders don't always lead the charge, stand in front, or offer direction. They know when to step aside to let others step forward. Yet, this type of leadership is often mistaken for passivity or overlooked entirely. Esther Derby shows how "in front" leadership actually can cause gridlock and loss of productivity and destroy the good spirits of a team. You can avoid these pitfalls by noticing when the most effective leadership means choosing to follow.
If you're practicing agile methods but continue to reach back to the rules and structures your organization used before adopting agile, you might be asking for more trouble than you know. In this article, George Schlitz discusses the mingling of old and new rules in organizations in different phases of agile adoption and offers a four-step method to help sort out the confusion.
Product portfolio management has become an essential discipline for all development organizations that want to achieve enterprise agility. The repeated process of selecting, sizing, and prioritizing the work to be done ensures that their development teams are delivering the most valuable products and enhancements for the business’ clients. This is required for both external clients in the case of product companies and for internal clients in the case of IT organizations. However, the subject of this paper is another, possibly even more important, reason: avoiding the overloading of the organization’s development teams which greatly lowers their efficiency.
This short book by Clarke Ching is a "biztech" parable for software developers who want to survive—and then thrive—through the credit crunch. We have republished the book in a four-part-series. In part four, our characters pitch Bob's plan to MegaCorp. But will business politics get in the way of a good idea? Follow the story as our characters fight to keep their jobs by implementing creative business ideas and management skills taken from agile development.
People are creatures of habit, particularly programmers: We seek consistency, whether it is the tried-and-true waterfall/SDLC method or our morning routine of reading the newspaper with a hot cup of coffee. Companies or projects looking to adopt an agile process neglect the fundamental concern of an individual developer: "What will my day to day look like working in an agile environment?"