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Going Beyond Agile like Spotify and Assembla

A few weeks ago, we discussed how to prepare your culture to move beyond agile. Let’s go a little further this week and examine how other companies have figured out what does and doesn’t work for them when it comes to development process. Breaking the Rules of Scrum at Spotify Spotify, for example, started as a scrum company. But as ...

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Question for self-organizing teams

Try this thought experiment. You are a software development manager. You learn about agile and you think it is good. You adopt agile and you make all your teams into self-organizing teams. (Leave aside the question of whether you then quit in a fit of “no managers needed” – we can talk about that later.) Most of your teams work ...

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Why I don’t like to hire team leads

Every company has its own culture that it wants to preserve. As a company grows it becomes harder to preserve its culture as you as a manager need (and should) give up control to team leads and to people you manage. Good company has a set of values, best practices and culture. When you hire a new person to the ...

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Preparing Your Culture to Move Beyond Agile Development

How can companies and organizations build in innovation today beyond agile development? Agile methods are evolving from the basic Scrum and Kanban approaches to better scale and bring new ideas to market faster. This is the first in a series of two posts where I’ll be talking about where some of these next big changes are coming from. Going Beyond ...

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How to Use Continuous Planning

If you’ve read Reasons for Continuous Planning, you might be wondering, “How can we do this?” Here are some ideas. You have a couple of preconditions: The teams get to done on features often. I like small stories that the team can finish in a day or so. The teams continuously integrate their features. Frequent features with continuous integration creates an ...

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The Story with Story Points

I don’t like story points. I think this is part of my crusade against complexity. You can catch a glimpse of  it here. Story points were invented as supporting beams for the bridge between business and development that would later be called agile. They started with a very good concept that wasn’t there before: The story. Remember those hundred page specs, and ...

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Estimates: Jumping To Wrong Conclusions

The main dysfunctions we concentrate on when talking about estimates are how they (and the people who gave them) are treated once they are given.  Management asks for estimations and then either: Disregards them completely and sets a deadline that ignores the estimates, made by the people who actually know and will do the work. Inflate them because “they are always late”. ...

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Who Should be Your Product Owner?

In agile, we separate the Product Owner function from functional (development) management. The reason is that we want the people who can understand and evaluate the business value to articulate the business value to tell the people who understand the work’s value when to implement what. The technical folks determine how to implement the what. Separating the when/what from how ...

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7 Tips for Valuing Features in a Backlog

Many product owners have a tough problem. They need so many of the potential features in the roadmap, that they feel as if everything is #1 priority. They realize they can’t actually have everything as #1, and it’s quite difficult for them to rank the features. This is the same problem as ranking for the project portfolio. You can apply ...

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