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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.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Agile Removes Limitations—You Must Now Change the Rules

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.

George Schlitz's picture George Schlitz
Using Product Portfolio Management to Improve the Efficiency of Teams

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.

Alan Shalloway's picture Alan Shalloway
Rocks into Gold: Part 4

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.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Agile Developer’s Journal: A Day in the Life

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?"

Geoffrey Bourne's picture Geoffrey Bourne
Negative Positive

Testers who point out project risks are often perceived as "negative" thinkers. Software test consultant Fiona Charles (an optimist by nature and a pessimist by trade) writes about how a culture of unthinking optimism pervades our organizations and our society, and describes some of its detrimental effects on software projects.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Empowering Self-Organization and Energizing Project Planning with the Commander's Intent

Things change, and when they do, it's best to be ready to change with them. The best plans are doomed to fail if they aren't malleable. In this column, George Schlitz and Giora Morein take a look at the military concept of "Commander's Intent" and how it can apply to non-military project planning.

George Schlitz's picture George Schlitz Giora Morein
The Challenge of Coping with Chaos

When you face the discomfort and uncertainty brought about by change, it's tempting to want to do something to deal with the situation. But, acting precipitously could be a big mistake. In this column, Naomi Karten explains why and offers some suggestions of what to do instead.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
financial chart Rocks into Gold: Part 3

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 three, when things seem at their very worst, Bob has a "light bulb moment" that just might save the day. Follow the story as our characters fight to keep their jobs by implementing creative business ideas and management skills taken from agile development.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Agile and Lean: Recognizing the Synergy

Bob Aiello explains the process to reaching agile comes from more than simply declaring yourself as such. The road to agile is a journal, and one that requires hard work. But once you get there, the benefits can be immense. Making sure everyone on board is dedicated to the cause to reach the goal.

Bob Aiello's picture Bob Aiello

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