Category: Agile

XP Values – The Forgotten Agile Guidance!

| By Mike Hall in Agile, Technical Practices | 0 Comments

When you hear the term “extreme programming”, what do you think of? Coding while skydiving at 15,000 feet? Bug-fixing while scaling the north face of Kilimanjaro? Refactoring while swimming with sharks at the Great Barrier Reef?

For tech nerds like me, we probably think of the wealth of technical practices espoused by this Agile method. These technical practices include stories, pair programming, slack, continuous integration, test-first, and others. Extreme Programing (XP) practices are typically used within a Scrum or Kanban team to help ensure high levels of software quality and continuous integration.

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Stop Wasting $$$ Building So Much Crap!

| By Reese Schmit in Agile, Lean, Product Owner | 0 Comments

 

So many teams have a list of projects laid out on a roadmap sometimes months or years out, without a clear idea of how success is measured. Are they being measured based on the number of projects completed? Getting them done “on time”? High quality? Team utilization? Are any of these things helping meet the company objectives?

When did we stop experimenting and start believing we were always right?

Why are we spending so much money building things that may or may not have any real value? How are we even determining what we build?

We have spent years calling ourselves Lean or Agile, as we optimize the delivery of the highest priority items in our backlogs. That is making the big assumption that we’re building the right things. What we are probably doing, though, is building the wrong things, faster.

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How To Improve Cross-Functional Collaboration

| By Reese Schmit in Agile | 2 Comments

 

Cross-functional teams are at the heart of Agile development. What is a cross-functional team? It’s generally defined as a group of experts in their individual functional areas working towards a common goal. Most of the “teams” I’ve come across fit this definition. We have everyone needed to deliver the product increment from end-to-end, so what’s the problem?

While we may have all the people, if they can’t all do the work and are unable to collaborate, we end up just creating a mini waterfall of handoffs inside the sprint between silos and specialties. Collaboration is at the heart of a truly agile team. So how do we tip the scales towards collaboration?

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How to Overcome Three Myths of Agile With Real Practices

| By Braz Brandt in Agile | 0 Comments

Image courtesy of GreekMythology.com

 

Myths teach us concepts through a narrative. For example, before we had scientific proof that the earth’s rotation caused our sunrises and sunsets, ancient civilizations believed the sun rose and fell because it was driven across the sky on a chariot.

Myths help explain things we don’t understand, which is why it’s not surprising that Agile has a few urban legends of its own. However, once you really understand and practice the methodology, the myths are quickly disproven.

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The User Story Needs A Remodel. Here’s Why

| By David Hawks in Agile, Process | 1 Comment

 

User Stories have become the standard way Agile teams capture requirements and were introduced almost 20 years ago as a part of XP (Extreme Programming). To put it in context, that’s four presidents and 14 iPhone models later. A lot has changed and it’s time we upgrade how we define and communicate work for teams.

Most teams are using user stories to document requirements and to align expectations between stakeholders and the delivery team. But building features with the goal of satisfying stakeholders is not good enough anymore. We should be focused on satisfying the customer.

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Order Up! Agile & Lean Lessons From The Restaurant Industry

| By Resalin Rago in Agile, Lean | 0 Comments

Three weeks ago. It’s Friday night. We’re in a lazy mood so we hop in the car and go to the new neighborhood pizza place, Aviator Pizza. It’s our second time to go and it’s even busier than the first time, which is a good sign. The burger joint that occupied this space prior to Aviator didn’t last long.

Seems like blue skies are ahead for Aviator.

We order at the bar and find an open table to wait for our food and I spot the sign next to the side door. Written on a small chalkboard, “Grand Opening – March 4th.”

Since I started working in the Agile industry, I’ve started to see Agile and Lean thinking outside software development. Apparently, work followed me to pizza night. Read More »

7 Agile Coaching Roles Besides An Agile Coach

| By Braz Brandt in Agile, Coaching | 0 Comments

juggling roles

 

Vince Lombardi. Phil Jackson. Pat Summit. These are some of the greatest coaches in the history of sports. But what does being a coach really mean? While they are experts of the game at hand, chances are, being an SME is only 50% of what a coach does or is.

A great coach takes on many different roles throughout the relationship,from a defensive coordinator to a father figure. The same is true for an Agile Coach. By effectively and fluidly moving between these roles, a good coach can apply their knowledge and talents to help their clients achieve their best results.

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Lessons Learned from an Ice Cream Social (A Retro On A Sprint Retrospective)

| By William Baxter in Agile, Scrum, ScrumMaster | 2 Comments

iceCream

 

Sprint Retrospectives…the other bookend to Sprints. Retros mark the official end of the Sprint and serves to provide teams the opportunity to reflect so that the next Sprint is even more efficient.
Like all meetings, Sprint Retrospectives can be very useful or attendants can leave feeling confused and even angry if they feel like their time was wasted. They require planning from the ScrumMaster for teams to reap its full benefits. There are a lot of Retrospective activities out there; it helps to know what kind the team needs.

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Sustainable Pace For Everyone (Including Agilists)

| By Reese Schmit in Agile | 0 Comments

sustainable-pace-for-everyone

 

Nod your head if you have said the following:

  • “I need a day off so I can get some work done.”
  • “I’ve been in meetings for the last 6 hours solid.”
  • “It feels like I haven’t been at my desk in two days.”
  • “I’ll get to that this weekend.”

You’ve likely heard phrases like this around the office or said them yourself too many times. According to a Families and Work Institute study one in three American employees are chronically overworked. Multitasking, interruptions, too many meetings and an overwhelming workload are sited as some of the main contributors to their inability to maintain a reasonable work week.  As Agilists we drive home the concepts of focus, prioritization and sustainable pace for our teams but the rest of the company is left out to dry, including ourselves.

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