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Agile (micro)Management

Is Agile Development making your development team dread coming into work? Several years ago, a company I was new to had been pushing the need for agile development. After numerous meetings, discussions and even some training, everyone was excited and ready to roll. Only a few weeks after the agile onset, however, I asked a developer how he was liking ...

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Agile adoption by numbers – and some problems

I’ve done a few agile introductions in my time, in fact I’ve started to feel I could almost write a book entitled “agile by numbers”. So yesterday when this question appeared on some LinkedIn group I thought I’d give it a quick go: “I am working with an organization which wants to explore agile adoption. What are the some of ...

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Should you mind your own business?

In a recent Lean Coffee retrospective, each member of our team was asked to raise one question or concern about working environment. For me, my burning question is how much should we mind other business. After voicing out my concern, I got subtle response from the team as people did not feel very comfortable expressing their thought on this controversial ...

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Rebooting ALM Part I: Evolution

This is the first in a series about Rebooting ALM. I’m going to present this next at Agile Slovenia in a week, don’t miss it. I’ve started thinking about how Application Life Cycle Management has changed over the years. It’s funny, because what’s the first thing they teach you in agile class (I hope)? “Individuals and interactions over processes and ...

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Why User Stories Fail

Summary User stories are a powerful agile technique to describe requirements from the perspective of the customers and users. Unfortunately, I find it not uncommon that user stories fail are not applied successfully and fail. This post describes two common failure causes and discusses how you can avoid them. Wrong Context As their name suggests, user stories tell a story: ...

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Do Project Managers need Domain Experience?

Opinions vary on whether a project manager needs to have domain experience.  Certainly project managers that do not have domain experience will be the first to say that domain experience is not necessary as long as they have access to excellent subject matter experts. I would advocate a more nuanced position; that is, a project manager does not need domain experience ...

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Large companies and fast cars

A few weeks ago I tweeted: “Large companies trying to be Agile remind me of middle aged men buying sports cars” I wasn’t saying large companies couldn’t be Agile – heaven knows most are trying and a few have successful software teams but on the whole the successes are few and far between. My thinking has nothing to with whether ...

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Scaling Agile: Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Agile Framework

In the fourteen years after the publication of the Agile Manifesto, many organizations have realized significant gains in productivity, quality, and even job satisfaction at the team level. According to the results of Version One’s State of Agile Survey, 94 percent of the respondents are using Agile practices in some manner. The survey also calls out the increasing interest in ...

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Resource Efficiency vs. Flow Efficiency, Part 5: How Flow Changes Everything

The discussion to now: Resource Efficiency vs. Flow Efficiency, Part 1: Seeing Your System Resource Efficiency vs. Flow Efficiency, Part 2: Effect on People Resource Efficiency vs. Flow Efficiency, Part 3: Managing Performance Resource Efficiency vs. Flow Efficiency, Part 4: Defining Accountability When you move from resource efficiency (experts and handoffs from expert to expert) to flow efficiency (team works ...

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