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Scaling Agile Processes: Five Levels of Planning

Experience gathered during large-scale implementations of agile concepts in software development projects teaches us that agile methods, like Scrum, do not scale to program, product and organization levels without change. However, various planning frameworks have, in fact, been used successfully in large-scale agile projects, which can broadly be defined as projects that involve over 50 people and take months or years to complete.

The Agile Pyramid: Aligning the Corporate Strategy With Agility

Agile software engineering and agile project management have become more mainstream in recent years with great success. But the benefits from agility should not have to stop there. Instead of initiating a project and letting the team run with it, progress reporting, planning and estimating should translate through all the channels, back to the corporate strategy. That way, executive management or the PMO can continuously balance the vision of the organization. This article will present these concepts for agile portfolio management.

The Metaphors of Scrum

We claim that by exploring the metaphors of Scrum, many of the common confusions and debates surrounding Scrum are easier to understand. It has been our experience that people often reach different conclusions with the same words because they are using different metaphors. Additionally, we have observed that that once people become aware of the differences in their applied metaphors they can see each other's point of view more easily. 

Disciplined Approach to Adopting Agile: Adoption Framework

Over the past few years organizations have asked the agile community "Why should we adopt agile practices?" Today, however, they are turning to the agile community, with a different question: "How do we proceed with adopting agile practices?"; Unfortunately, there is no structured approach (at least that is published in the public domain) for agile adoption. The absence of guidance and assistance to organizations pursuing agility is the main problem addressed by this article.

Agile Tooling: A Point, Counter-Point Discussion

It has been six years since the authoring of the Agile Manifesto, and the technology and tooling landscape has changed since then. This conversation between Ron Jeffriesand Ryan Martens debates the merits and weaknesses of tooling agile.

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Agile in the Enterprise: How Tools and Processes Enable Interactions

Agile development approaches are moving into the mainstream. They are no longer relegated to small co-located teams. Large application development organizations in and outside of IT are betting their businesses on globally distributed teams using agile methods to create and maintain their products. In these organizations, the Agile Manifesto's principal to value individuals and interactions over process and tools is impossible to realize. The complexity created by scale cannot be managed without judicious use of both process and tools.

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High Performance Agile Teams: An Overview of Collaboration

Any team benefits from being highly collaborative. This is especially true in agile development, where the techniques for rapidly building quality software rely on communication and relationships over documentation and process formality. Yet the agile community doesn't have a common definition for what “collaboration” is

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The Renaissance of Paper for Agile Software Development

Fast cars, flat-screen television, high definition gaming consoles, and dual core processor equipped laptops: the amenities of modern technology rule us. Computers are an integral part of our lifestyle and work-life, and many people define themselves by their choice of tools to complete tasks. Those interested in implementing agile frameworks are no exception, often voting to use electronic tools before exploring alternatives. This article is meant for the open-minded, ready-to-explorer surrogate who is not afraid of being a low-tech hippie in times of high-tech espresso machines.

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Community Developed Builds for the Agile Developer

Agile development is a process methodology where, at its core, is the ability for developers to share and test changes in software as rapidly as possible in an efficient but disciplined approach. The Continuous Build process is based on manual scripting and therefore is highly redundant and non-adaptive. Continuous Builds that rely on redundant scripts become road blocks for agile teams when attempting to move quickly from code to deployment. Agile developers must recognize the problems of manual scripting and begin moving toward a non-redundant Community Developed approach to managing the Continuous Build. 

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Fast, Automatic Builds: the Agile Heartbeat

I think that the person most affected by the introduction of agile or extreme programming techniques is not the software or quality assurance engineer, but the build manager. Agile techniques are a throwback to the age when developers were able to work on small projects in small teams. Each developer once again concentrates on small building blocks of code and integrates regularly with other developers to ensure that the overall software project is progressing. For developers, agile techniques are a natural fit because they reflect how developers like to work best: on small, manageable pieces of code with regular feedback. However, even though developers are working on small sections of code, their overall projects are now large and continually growing. And it's the large body of code that the build manager is expected to work with, not the manageable chunks. While daunting, this precipitous increase in builds can be managed by carefully implementing continuous integration and making fast, automatic builds the quot;heartbeatquot; of your agile development.

John Graham-Cumming's picture John Graham-Cumming

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