leadership

Articles

Product owner standing in front of a wall of sticky notes 3 Elusive Qualities of a Great Product Owner

When it comes to guiding the development of a product and ensuring you’re building what the user actually needs, a product owner is the most important hire for the team. There’s just one problem: A good product owner can be really hard to find. The characteristics that make a good product owner are elusive, but here are three qualities you should prioritize in your search.

John Yorke
Smiling team members holding up a trophy 7 Qualities of High-Performing Agile Teams

A high-performing agile team delivers exceptional results time and again, irrespective of the challenges they encounter. While their results may seem magical, lots of effort goes into building such a team, on the part of team members themselves and their leaders. Here are seven common qualities high-performance teams exhibit that you should strive for when building your own agile team.

Pooja Wandile
Drawing of a person ascending stairs Continuous Improvement Activities beyond the Retrospective

One of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto is “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.” Unfortunately, many associate that practice with performing team retrospectives at the end of a sprint, or periodically in kanban. But if you seek to build a high-performing team, there are more improvement activities you should consider adopting.

Jeffery Payne
Globe showing part of the world, photo by Duangphorn Wiriya The 4 C’s of Managing Distributed Agile Teams

Scrum works well for collocated teams, but working with distributed teams brings its own different challenges. There should be some controls in order to prevent instability, ambiguity, and tension from turning into chaos. As the ScrumMaster is the servant leader of the team, here are four important initiatives the ScrumMaster can take to guide their teams—the four C’s of managing distributed agile teams.

Ajeet Singh

Better Software Magazine Articles

Scrum Basics Scrum: Back to Basics

So you think you know Scrum? Using the whimsical notion of farm animals and light-hearted visuals, take a refreshing review of the entire Scrum lifecycle as an intuitive set of roles, responsibilities, and handoffs. Particular attention is placed on what the ScrumMaster and product owner are expected to do at each handoff.

Brian M. Rabon
Scaling Agile Thinking through Empowered Teams Scaling Agile Thinking through Empowered Teams

Just because a software team adopts agility doesn’t mean they’ll see results. Being flexible has its benefits, but ensuring that the team is given total responsibility to make decisions may be more important.

Bob Costello
success Achieving Success through Servant Leadership

Regardless of whether you are working with a stellar team or one that struggles, your style of management can influence the success of the project. Josh Dawson wants you to consider adopting servant leadership.

Josh Dawson
Hire the Right Developer

Wondering why—with all the jobs you've applied for—you aren't getting noticed? Take it from Xojo CEO Geoff Perlman; it isn't just your programming or testing skills that will land you a job. Far from it. Geoff knows from experience that hiring the right individual is a careful blend of skill, fit, and passion.

Geoff Perlman

Interviews

Selena Delesie Discovering the Soul of Agile: An Interview with Selena Delesie
Podcast

In this interview, Selena Delesie, an international leadership and transformation coach and trainer, explains how your team can find the soul of agile, why some agile teams lack creativity, and who on your team should become a leader.

Josiah Renaudin
Isabel Evans How Leaders Can Help Software Teams Thrive: An Interview with Isabel Evans

In this interview, Isabel Evans, a quality and testing consultant, talks about the traits most often seen in effective leaders. She details different leadership styles that work best in different situations, how you can learn to lead agile teams, and what leaders can learn from the animal kingdom.

Josiah Renaudin
Bob Galen Trust Your Testing Team and Stop Leading from the Front: An Interview with Bob Galen

In this interview, Bob Galen, an agile methodologist, practitioner, and coach, explains why you shouldn't lead your testing team from the front. He details how agile has changed the dynamics of a testing team and how you can lead both developers and testers by example.

Josiah Renaudin
Selena Delesie Leadership Lessons to Bolster Your Software Team: An Interview with Selena Delesie
Video

In this interview, visionary speaker Selena Delesie explains how successful teams embrace specific principles, including listening deeply, believing people truly matter, having an addiction to learning, serving others, flowing through change, moving through fear, and following joy.

Jennifer Bonine

Conference Presentations

Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Methods for Handling Key-Person Dependencies in Agile Teams
Slideshow

On any team, from infrastructure engineering to development to HR, there is always a looming danger of one individual being the only person capable of performing a key task, either because of their technical skills, domain skills, or business experience. The risks of having key-person dependencies—reduced productivity, inaccurate project estimates, morale problems, delays, and business-impacting defects and downtime—are hard to identify and can be even harder to resolve. Lee Eason is a leader and coach who has experienced this problem for so long, he finally decided to do something about it. He will reveal a technique that helps him identify and fill those skill gaps and eliminate key-person risks. The approach helps you realize how skills and expertise are distributed on your teams.

Lee Eason
Better Software West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Leadership from Within an Agile Team
Slideshow

Teams struggle for many reasons, leaving people frustrated, complacent, and content to exist in mediocrity. There is a secret sauce that propels individuals, teams, and entire organizations to be really successful. And that secret is effective leadership! And not just the executives, managers, or those with leader titles get to lead – everyone does. The real benefits of agile emerge when each person embraces their personal leadership. By embracing our inner leader, we are able to engage our team, improve the value and quality of our deliverables, and gain the competitive edge the agile methods intended. In this talk, join Selena Delesie as she explores the value and purpose of the agile practices. Showing you the specific leadership behaviors that will make a big impact on any team, and what these behaviors look like within the agile practices.

Selena Delesie
Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018 Five (Oops! I Mean Six) Mistakes Leaders Make
Slideshow

The world of work is transforming at an unrelenting pace. Product development is increasingly more complex and uncertain while the speed of decisions and delivery is escalating at an exponential pace. Many of us are unaware of how our thoughts and actions work against our own objectives and our organizations’ goals and needs. Pete Behrens illustrates how leadership agility improves self-awareness, amplifies decision-making, improves outcomes, and grows resilience and capacity in highly complex and fast-paced environments. Sharing stories from his two decades of personal experience—and experiences of other senior leaders whom he has coached—Pete spotlights six critical mistakes you may not be aware you’re making in your personal leadership practices.

Pete Behrens
BSE Development You Might Be an Agile Leader If...
Slideshow

In case you haven’t heard, the leadership landscape has been changing—and continues to change—to keep up with the accelerating pace of business. And agile development has been an incubator of new leadership approaches. It has introduced or fostered many innovative concepts...

Bob Galen

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