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A player running up to kick a football for kickoff Kickoff Meetings Give Your Agile Projects a Running Start

Agile projects are ideally a collaborative effort among the team members and with the customers, and the planning process should be a similar endeavor. Everyone should get a clear understanding of the project as well as their respective roles and responsibilities. As the saying goes, well begun is half done. A well-planned kickoff meeting sets the tone for a successful project.

Jane Thomson
A developer and a tester looking at each other warily Examining Cross-functionality Bias on Software Development Teams

Cross-functionality means having all the necessary people and skills on one self-organizing team. Unfortunately, the execution of cross-functionality is often biased. The main traps we fall into are misunderstanding the value of specialization, hero worship, and not “walking the cross-functional talk” as organizations. Let’s examine each of these pitfalls in the hope that your teams may avoid them.

Natalie Warnert
Padlock on a fence 4 Keys to Protecting Your Data in a DevOps World

It may seem like the desires for end-to-end DevOps and protection of sensitive data are in conflict, but if done correctly, they can be two sides of the same coin. DevOps processes such as version control and delivery automation introduce the very measures needed to properly protect production data. The key to keeping data safe while using it during your DevOps process is to focus on these four areas.

Tom Austin
A partially open laptop shows a colorful screen, photo by Ash Edmonds When Software Development Becomes a True Profession

David Bernstein describes the software profession as an industry of amateurs. He argues that it does not yet have many of the things that a true profession has, such as a defined path of entry or good apprenticeship opportunities. A big reason is that computer programming hasn't been around as long as other industries, but what else will it take for software to rise in the ranks?

David Bernstein
Red highway sign saying "Wrong Way" Warning Signs That Your Agile Effort Has Lost Its Focus

Agile should be about using tailored practices, techniques, tools, and team organizations that fully align to your business context. But the world of cookie-cutter solutions strongly influences businesses and their IT teams to follow their one-size-fits-all frameworks, methods, and tools. Such an approach often introduces many risks, so beware of the following symptoms that may indicate that your agile team has gone astray.

Anil Rao
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
Hand holding up a small globe 3 Ways Distributed Design Teams Can Stay Agile

Having a design team an ocean away presents some challenges, including misunderstandings that often result from cultural and linguistic differences, occasional time zone conflicts, and difficulty always keeping everyone in the loop regarding decisions that are being made. How do we combat those challenges? Here are three strategies that can help keep your distributed design team on track.

Ekaterina Kudievskaia
Circle with arrows showing a continuous process Continuous Digital: A New Mindset for New Work

Large companies traditionally have run software development projects so that after delivery, the project finished and the team dissolved. In the digital age, one might think the experience of running and delivering projects would be an advantage, but the legacy mindset and practices of corporate IT projects are actually a hindrance. Digital work needs to be ongoing, which requires a different management approach.

Allan Kelly
A coach training a baseball player What Kind of Agile Coach Should I Hire?

Having your organization make the mental shift necessary to adopt agile is the first important step in an agile transformation. But once you decide you want to change, now what? Should you attempt your agile adoption yourselves or hire an expert? Joel Bancroft-Connors details the benefits and downsides of going it alone and of using contract, consultant, and full-time agile coaches so you can decide what's best for you.

Joel Bancroft-Connors

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