Most all project managers are familiar with this Iron Triangle of project management. When a project comes up, one must weigh the project based on the scrop, cost, and time to market. But what ever happened to the quality? Where does this come into the equation?
Agile software development is all about inspecting, adapting, and improving upon findings to better your ___ (fill in the blank) or business or product development. Or “being” Agile as a lifestyle is to continually improve, or Kaizen.
Yep. We get that, and so does Tom Perry, who wrote a recent article on A Call to Practice. So many organizations don’t necessarily practice Agile more than they just “do it.” Never improving upon what they’re doing. That doesn’t seem very Agile at all, now does it?
And that’s exactly Tom’s point.
“We call a lot of things practices and what we really mean is “things we do”. We don’t really practice them… my call to action: find the practice in what you do. Engage in real practice with thoughtful deliberation. Find the techniques that we can all practice… to become the very best at what we do.” – Tom Perry
Agile has created a community of believers and contributors – At a loss for a best way to implement a facet of Agile? Google it. Find Agile thought-leaders. There are plenty out there.
Agile insists on good people who are motivated and flexible – Agile creates a need for best-of-breed-top-quality developers and workers. Design and build your company and teams around people who love challenges!
Agile created the Agile News site: AgileScout.com – Yep. We’re benefactors of this awesome thing called Agile.
There isn’t a week where we don’t see some leader in business or politician in office that is falling off the pedestal of perceived-perfection. Check the news and stay on that channel for 30 minutes. You’ll see it.
Being in a position of authority is a tough spot to be in. With the pressures of running a business well it seems like there is very little room for mistakes. If people do make mistakes, it’s easy to pass it down-hill or just glaze over it saying that it was “All part of the plan.”
I would think that people these days have had enough of the fakery. It’s time to get real. It’s time to be real and take ownership of mistakes and mis-steps. What encouraged us this past month was an article by Scott Lowe, CIO of Westminster Collage.
“I’m not a perfect human and not a perfect leader. Every so often I blow it.”
[This article is a guest post by Rajesh Raheja, who is a senior director of development in the Oracle Fusion Middleware SOA group, responsible for developing SOA governance tools and providing engineering guidance to key customers and partners for Oracle’s Application Integration Architecture. He is a Certified ScrumMaster and a Stanford Certified Project Manager. You can visit his blog or connect on Twitter @RahejaRajesh.
Note: The views expressed on this blog are his personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer.]
Agile faces some key challenges to overcome when dealing with adoption in the enterprise. Projects in the enterprise come in various flavors – from developing minor utilities to large enterprise business applications. The latter kind of projects have characteristics that are a bit different from other projects. For example, integrating multiple heterogeneous applications to satisfy an end-to-end business process, requires a lot of time doing functional analysis as well as testing. A rough estimate pegs approximately 70% of the project time (of around 9-15 months per release) on just analysis and testing.
Robert C. Martin has written a very interesting and compelling piece on the “elitism” that plagued the waterfall movement and certification and how it is coming back in the form of Scrum.
While we certainly hope that this won’t happen for Scrum and Scrum teams, the recent issues plaguing the Scrum Alliance and Scrum in general seem to be taking it’s small toll on the Scrum community at large.
Take a look see and read it for yourself. You may find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with it. Again, we hope that this won’t happen for Scrum.
Martin Proulx has announced a new contest: “World’s Most Agile Manager” (or WMAM for short) Award this last week. I didn’t know what to make of it, frankly, I didn’t know you could just make up awards like this. But we guess you can!
What to make of this?
While I’m all about giving recognition where it is due, I wonder what the real value of receiving this award is. Martin tells us that the winner receives:
“Public recognition and the rights to brag about being the World’s Most Agile Manager, the winner is likely to receive countless job offers, a potential salary increase from his/her existing employer, much publicity in well-known blogs, and maybe even a plaque to be posted on his / her office walls.”
The criteria of the “World’s Most Agile Manager” is:
“[Someone] who clearly demonstrated his/her adherence to the Agile values and principles in 2010.”
Want an easy way to keep your team or client updated on what’s happening? Don’t want them to go through labor-intensive sign-up processes? Want to be able to give clients and customers updated often on the status of their project quickly and efficiently?
Well the Rails Rumble 2010 attendees pushed out this program in 48 hours.
Enter: ClientStat.us – Updates Without the Hassel of Logins or Passwords
How do we track value? Some food for thought on a Friday.
One idea that I recently read about was a technique involving assigning value points to each feature or user story by the product owner. For example, the most important feature may get 10 points, some minor feature only gets one point (btw, business should assign value points).
As features are delivered, you track the points to show how much value is being delivered.
If you create a graph you should see the value goes up pretty quickly but then levels off since by the fourth or fifth iteration we won’t be delivering as much value.
I recently had a quick discussion with a project manager about how an entire industry has been made out of one position: The Project Manager. There are certifications, classes, seminars, books, consultants, coaches, and entire conferences built around the role. He sarcastically told me that the entire industry is built around one tool: MS Project. Ha! So how did it get to such a behemoth?
One could look at the numbers and see several ways why it has increased over the years: Marketing (external or word-of-mouth), certification and business value (perceived or actual), consumer demand as professionals pay for extra knowledge and skills (perceived or actual).
So is this the same way that Agile and the most popular methodology, Scrum, is headed?
Ok. Now we have your attention. Yes, Agile is NOT a methodology. The impetus for this article was that I was recently thrown an article by another Agile coach. He simply asked me what I thought about it. I read it. Digested it. Disagreed with it.
The article was essentially selling Agile as a methodology, using “Agile methodology” buzz words. Wait you say, do we sound like purists? Not really. An easy click over to the AgileManifesto.org tells us that Agile isn’t a methodology at all:
Individuals and processes over tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
Oh, and there are some principles (12) to the manifesto too.
But none of this talks or even looks like a methodology. So this begs the question, “What is Agile methodology?”
Don’t know what this is? Thats ok. We’re here to enlighten you.
This is a QR-Code, one of the many ways to provide your viewers an extra way to interact with your site. We’re still trying to figure out how to utilize these little gems. Stay tuned as we figure it out for ourselves!
We here at Agile Scout began our lives as code-junkies. Thanks to the rise of telnet, bbs, cow email-bombs, ICQ, html, and those awesome animated gifs at our disposal we began developing what is now the worst examples of code known to man (Think blinking and flashing web pages back in the 90’s).
I had a lot of conversations over the week with many project managers at PW&WCBA who are looking to move their IT support division into something a little more Agile. One in particular had a department that mainly supports bugs and quick fixes to websites. Wow, if that isn’t an opportunity for Agile then I don’t know what is!
We began to discuss his need for an Agile project manager to come on board but hasn’t found success in the marketplace as of recent due to the number of project managers that just don’t know how to code, or don’t come from a coding background. He was very dogmatic that a good project manager comes from a development background.
“How could a person who manages development teams know nothing about development and coding and be successful?”