teams

Articles

Barriers in front of a road It's Not Just Culture: When Teams Impede Agile Adoption

Cultural norms can hamper successful agile transformation. Many of these habits and customs are started and perpetuated by senior leadership, but that’s not always the only source of resistance. Often, ingrained behaviors and thinking can occur within the team, including business partners, that also can hinder agility. Five of these barriers are explored here, as well as mindset antidotes to help get the team on the road to agile success.

Joe Schofield's picture Joe Schofield
DevOps team bumping fists 7 Ways to Change the Culture for DevOps Success

The hard part of successful DevOps isn’t implementing the technology; it's ensuring you have the right culture in your organization. You need to break down silos and align competing priorities and individual incentives to gain real benefits from DevOps. Move beyond thinking about technology alone and look at the people side of the equation. Here are seven ways to create a successful team that delivers the benefits of DevOps.

Steve Jones's picture Steve Jones
Two agile team members standing beside a large globe Distributed Agile Approaches Optimize for the Team over Individuals

Consider how your team currently organizes: for resource efficiency, optimizing for the individual; or for flow efficiency, optimizing for the team? Successful agile teams—distributed or not—should collaborate to optimize the flow of work through the team. This approach lets you understand your capacity, learn together, and deliver more effectively.

Playing cards Virtual Agile Games to Strengthen Distributed Teams

While many games and related materials have been created for collocated team-building activities, there is a need for more of these artifacts in virtual form to support distributed teams. These three authors developed a set of virtual agile games that can be downloaded and played remotely, for team-building with newly created teams or as a fun activity with established teams.

Better Software Magazine Articles

Developers and testers 5 Ways to Pair Developers with Testers

Some agile practices stress the importance of pairing team members together to achieve better team performance. Try these five suggestions for pairing key resources.

Jeffery Payne's picture Jeffery Payne
Building Autonomous DevOps Capability in Delivery Teams

After setting up a DevOps team and adopting continuous delivery practices, product releases may not be as smooth as they could be. The missing ingredient requires empowerment and autonomy.

Miiro Juuso's picture Miiro Juuso
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's picture Bob Costello
Bridging the Bimodal Divide between Waterfall and Agile

Most software developers are in either the agile or the waterfall camp. Agile is required to be competitive, but many enterprise processes still rely on waterfall practices for stability. They can coexist.

Steve Elliott's picture Steve Elliott

Interviews

8 Ways to Ruin Your One-on-Ones: An Interview with Jason Wick
Video

In this interview, Jason Wick, senior manager at MakeMusic, discusses his STAREAST presentation about eight ways you could be making your one-on-one meetings completely useless. He discusses in depth what he feels is the number one way to ruin these meetings: holding back on feedback. He also offers advice on how you can educate your team leader to avoid the pitfalls that lead to ineffective one-on-ones.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Melissa Tondi Embracing Tools and Technology in QA: An Interview with Melissa Tondi
Video

In this interview, Melissa Tondi, senior QA strategist at Rainforest, discusses the foundation you need in order to have a positive introduction for new tools and technologies. She explains why the team leader has to understand what motivates each individual and how to get them excited about their job. Melissa says team members also have to realize that if they are in any way involved in testing software, they are a technologist, so they have to embrace the tools and technology that will continuously improve and streamline repetitive tasks.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Agile Transformation 101: A Conversation with Adam Auerbach
Video

Adam Auerbach, VP of Quality Engineering at EPAM Systems, chats with TechWell Community Manager Owen Gotimer about how an inexperienced team can start its agile transformation, the value of stand-ups and retrospectives, and how to make remote teams feel more connected.

Owen Gotimer's picture Owen Gotimer
Finding Microefficiencies in Agile Practices: An Interview with Melissa Tondi

Melissa Tondi discusses retuning your standard agile practices to better engage the project team, enabling them to write code that will pass testing and free testers to assume the role of user advocate.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking in Agile Adoptions
Slideshow

When teams self-organize, they need an effective ecosystem that enables them to collaborate, communicate, and work effectively. Creating such an ecosystem is management’s responsibility. Lean thinking tells us to focus on these systems where people are operating. We can do because we trust our teams to be motivated and do their best. Lean thinking provides a holistic view for the work done in an organization, which is even more important when a company doesn’t already have an agile culture. In this case, management must consider that it’s easier for people to work their way into a new way of thinking than to think their way into a new way of working. Join Al Shalloway as he discusses the critical role that managers have in agile adoptions.

Al Shalloway
Agile DevOps West Reality-Driven Testing in Agile Projects
Slideshow

Many agile teams rework previously deployed stories, even after plenty of in-sprint testing. Even well-groomed, refined stories, framed with typical, alternate, and error scenarios and gracefully described in well-formed Gherkin, continue to encounter all sorts of bugs. Software engineering consultant Rob Sabourin sees rework in over 20 percent of deployed stories, but he can show you how agile teams can drive rework down dramatically, often achieving near-zero rework after a story is done. Rob teaches teams to identify and implement relevant testing activities above and beyond those derived from well-formed requirements. He seeks out testing ideas relevant to what is really being changed in the technological solution, finds ideas based on what the user actually does in the workplace, and discovers rich test ideas based on the target environments.

Robert Sabourin
Agile DevOps West People Operations in a Teal Organization: Tools and Techniques from a Real Journey
Slideshow

The Lithespeed team first read Frederic Laloux's "Reinventing Organizations” in 2015. We immediately said ‘Hell yes, we are doing this - we should never work any other way!’ Fast forward 4 years, a couple conference presentations and a lot of trial and error. On our journey to Teal, we have undergone many transitions. We will share some of our challenges moving towards a deeper teal culture and our goal of developing tools for creating a system of organizational development and self-management. We will share our real-world experience using distributed decision making and organizational structure, self-management for the whole organization, People Operations, peer to peer feedback/engagement/performance reviews, financial transparency, open salaries, managing the business, and giving voice to the organization.

Amanda Geary
Agile DevOps West Pyramid Discussion: DevOps Adoption in Large, Slow Organizations
Slideshow

Are you in a large, plodding enterprise that's beginning, in the midst of, or considering a move toward DevOps? Unsure how or even if it will work, but know you have to make a move anyway? Do you want to hear from your peers about how they've managed so far? A pyramid discussion starts as a series of one-on-one conversations between the participants. After each pair hashes out their thoughts with each other, they join another couple to refine their points and hear pros and cons. After a while, those four join with four more, and so on until there is only one discussion, with everyone sharing and discussing. All attendees will get a chance to have their ideas and experiences heard while building on the thoughts and experiences of others.

Gene Gotimer

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