However…The RAID 0 is incorrect. The top jug could fail and you’d still get water. If either one of two drives in a RAID 0 fail, you’d lose it all.
However…The RAID 0 is incorrect. The top jug could fail and you’d still get water. If either one of two drives in a RAID 0 fail, you’d lose it all.
While this may give you a smirk as you read it…. it’s so ridiculously true it almost hurts.
It’s that time of year again. You made it through the Agile show with a stack of new business cards from interesting people and minimal hangover pain. [Yeah, RIGHT! Who are we kidding? I saw you running through the Gaylord Orlando at 2 a.m. wearing Mickey Mouse ears and a grass skirt! You just don’t remember; it’s better that way].
Seems like something big in the agile software community always happens right around this time…
You got it. The State of Agile. It’s open and VersionOne is giving away something that I’ve wanted in my home for a very long time. A SONOS® system! And not just one, but NINE – because this is their ninth year running the survey.
Now these things are sweet. If you don’t believe me, go to your nearest electronics store and check them out. “But Peter, isn’t SONOS just a fancy stereo?” If that’s what you think, go back to your iPod Nano, Grandpa!!!The SONOS PLAY:5 + SONOS BRIDGE combo (which is what nine lucky State of Agile participants will get) lets you play all of your music – Spotify, Pandora, iTunes®, Rhapsody, whatever – wirelessly to different rooms in your house.
The PLAY:5 combo VersionOne is giving away includes five speakers, but is modular up to 32 speakers. So depending on how far you want to trick your system out, you can play up to 32 different songs in 32 different rooms of your home at 32 different volumes. All controlled from your smartphone or tablet… kinda like sitting in the cockpit of some bad-ass fighter jet!
Whoa! Sorry, I got a little excited for a moment. Back to the survey… If you’re a returning State of Agile taker, you’ll be happy to know that VersionOne has shortened the State of Agile this year. So it’s faster to take, and easier to get into the drawing.
Now in its ninth year, the State of Agile survey is the largest and most widely cited source for data on agile software methodologies and practices. It gives software organizations a barometer for what works and what does not when adopting and scaling agile development processes to improve software delivery.
Take it now at http://www.stateofagile.com and leave your email address at the end to be eligible for the SONOS drawings. And as always, taking it gets you onto the VIP list to receive the report before it’s publicly available.
While you’re there, you can also check out interesting data highlights from 2013 and get previous years’ survey archives. So go ahead. Take it while you wait for your next test to run. Take it instead of another coffee break or game of pool. Take it in a boring status meeting. It only takes 10 minutes.
Not sure if you remember me – I attended your CSM Training back in April. Just wanted to take a few seconds to tell you I learned a lot from your class:
* What do I desire in my life and career
* If an organization won’t come around, then move on
and the added bonus of…
* Add “CSM” to my title in LinkedIN.
As you said in your class, adding that to my title would attract recruiters and sure enough last week I accepted a new position to startup and Manage a new Mobile Applications Development Team. During the interview the employer (xxxx) pointed out that the one thing on my resume that caught their attention and “sold them” that I was the right candidate was CSM.
Thank you for what you do and your amazing view on life in general.
“Eye opening class. I thought I’ve been doing Agile for a long time but Peter enlightened me about the principles of Agile and how bad corporate America really is.” – Huy
I got this on a feedback form from one of my students from a class this week… do I really put out a … vibe… of distaste for corporate America? #lol
Hmmm… the intrinsic problem with approaching this from the very beginning are these psychological nuances:
I have seen this time and time again. This email is fresh… about 3 hours ago. Rational consideration must be had, hearts must be changed. Never have I seen a substance abuser change their ways by going from “Only drinking 10 times a day to 5 times a day.”
When the chips are down… and really down… the environment and behaviors haven’t changed… he will go back to his vomit once again.
We have to dynamically change NOT just the behaviors of our system (people), but the system (environment) itself. Beyond that we must look at the capabilities for change… and the mission/vision of the system…
In summary. The VISION of a corporate enterprise must change, thereby affecting the capabilities, environment, and behaviors.
One of the hardest things to find out, when prioritizing features for a product is: What is the real Business Value of these features. Not every company in fact, has structured and marketing driven sales processes that can very well determine what is the value, or better potential value of a feature to ship on the market. The value of a feature is linked to the timeframe in which it will be delivered to the market, therefore to determine its value is also a matter of being able to determine the right moment in time when to ship it. It is not uncommon that the Stakeholders in a company have to decide what is more important or “valuable” to be shipped next. What often happens is that these Stakeholders do not agree on priorities together, but they just drop their individual wishes to the development teams, or better to the Product Owners (Scrum), which find themselves in charge of discriminating between different stakeholder wishes and priorities.
This has to be achieved in respect to the fact, that the Product Owner should be the “ultimate” role that is in charge of defining product priorities and owns the product even if he/she may need to be supported from Market Experts, Customers, Key Account Managers, etc.
While we have several mechanism to help aid with the “discovery” of “value” through our Scrum Product Owner course… there is always more to delve into and learn…
What would you add?
QA managers may struggle with landing on a clear definition of a truly agile team.
Given how quickly word has spread about the benefits of agile testing methodologies, it’s no wonder that quality assurance managers everywhere are considering making a change to their test management strategy. Agile can seem like a nebulous concept to some individuals, however. Despite the existence of the agile manifesto, some confusion remains regarding what it means to be truly agile. In addition, QA teams may leverage their own approach to implementing these processes, with some taking too many liberties with agile principles
while others adhere too closely to the letter of the law. With so much uncertainty, team leaders may find themselves asking, “How agile do you have to be to be considered agile?”
When determining a team’s level of agility, it’s important that managers don’t get bogged down in the details of the methodology and instead focus on its overarching principles. Agile Zone contributor Nitin Bharti explained that there are several key characteristics that define an agile team, most notably the ability and willingness to alter an application as needs arise. It may become necessary for QA members to make changes to in-development or recently released software because the current product does not adequately satisfy end users. That is why user feedback is so critical to agile teams and should be collected and reflected upon with regularity. Truly agile teams continually strive to improve not only their programs, but their internal processes as well. Agile QA managers should never feel complacent with the current makeup of their team or strategy and look to enhance both whenever possible.
Although the agile manifesto clearly spelled out the overarching ideas at the heart of the methodology, that doesn’t mean test team leaders need to be slaves to the details. Customization is an inevitable and entirely necessary result of going agile. Team leaders will quickly learn that not all processes are ideal for their specific organizations and will need to make changes while still being true to the spirit of agile. Fellow Agile Zone contributor Matthias Marschall suggested that agile adopters drop any features that either aren’t working for them or are just not gelling with team members. These may even include processes that are closely tied to agile such as daily scrum meetings.
“While there are certain basic principles you should keep in mind, you need to experiment with the processes you use to organize your work,” Marschall wrote. “By observing how your experiments influence your work, you can learn and adapt. … Customize your process according to what you learned from your experiments. You don’t need to care about whether you’re still allowed to call it scrum or whatever. The only thing that counts is whether you can create more value, faster.”
At the end of the day, there’s no one true measure for a team’s level of maturity when it comes to agile. Customization will always come into play, making every implementation unique. It’s important that QA managers stay focused on adhering the core concepts of the methodology and continue working to improve their test management strategy whenever possible.
[About Sanjay Zalavadia – Sanjay brings over 15 years of leadership experience in IT and Technical Support Services. Throughout his career, Sanjay has successfully established and grown premier IT and Support Services teams across multiple geographies for both large and small companies. Most recently, he was Associate Vice President at Patni Computers (NYSE: PTI) responsible for the Telecoms IT Managed Services Practice where he established IT Operations teams supporting Virgin Mobile, ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile and Carphone Warehouse. Prior to this Sanjay was responsible for Global Technical Support at Bay Networks, a leading routing and switching vendor, which was acquired by Nortel.]
The value and importance of the PMP certification is a hotly debated topic within the project management community. One end of the spectrum vigorously defends the credential as the defining standard for competence, whereas the other end views it as a meaningless exercise signifying nothing more than rote memorization. Many fall somewhere in the middle, seeing it as a necessary evil that hopefully yields some advantage to their marketability.
Adding fuel to the debate are the results of a research study published in the Project Management Journal, February 2011. **A little dated, but still provides some insight**
“PMP Certification as a Core Competency: Necessary But Not Sufficient” reports the results of a study conducted by Jo Ann Starkweather and Deborah H. Stevenson of Northwestern University’s Department of Information Systems & Technology.
The study reports the valuation of the PMP certification by IT Recruiters and corporate IT Executives, as well as a statistical evaluation of the PMP as an indicator of project success.
Valuation of the PMP: Of the 15 core competencies surveyed, the PMP certification was ranked #11 by IT recruiters, and #15 by IT Executives (that’s right-dead last!) Shown below are percentages of IT Executives rating of “Important” or “Extremely Important” for each competency.
1. Leadership 95%
2. Ability to Communicate at Multiple Levels 94%
3. Verbal Skills 87%
4. Written Skills 87%
5. Attitude 85%
6. Ability to Deal With Ambiguity and Change 83%
7. Work History 69%
8. Experience 67%
9. Ability to Escalate 66%
10. Cultural Fit 57%
11. Technical Expertise 46%
12. Education 38%
13. Length of Prior Engagements 23%
14. Past Team Size 18%
15. PMP Certification 15%
PMP as Indicator of Project Success: There was no statistically significant difference in the reported success rates for projects led by certified vs. non-certified project managers when considered across 5 Success Criteria:
In the words of the study leaders, “Clearly, mastery of the project management body of knowledge is an important asset in the preparation of professional project managers. An understanding of the methodology is essential to the appropriate conduct of project management. However, based on the narrative explanations offered by both IT Recruiters and Executives, their emphasis on soft skills such as the ability to communicate at multiple levels, and the tacit knowledge of knowing when to exercise leadership and how to do this effectively are critical to eventual project success.”
So it would seem that we as a community must address the gap that currently exists in our curriculum and training when it comes to leadership and soft skills. Furthermore, recruiters must use more screening techniques to evaluate soft skills and leadership abilities when considering candidates for project management roles. As the value of project management has evolved from tactical to strategic in organizations, so must our perspective on the core competencies for success.
The PMP certification is the most popular among the five different certifications now offered by the PMI (Project Management Institute) which are:
According the PMI website, to apply for the PMP, you need to have either:
The PMP is an expensive exam, costing $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members. Many people feel intimidated by what they have heard about the 200-question test and thus take exam prep courses that average between $1,500 and $2,000.
In order to maintain a PMP certification, one must accrue 60 “PDUs” (Professional Development Units) every three years. There are a few different ways to gain these PDUs, either by taking classes, attending PMI conferences, or self-directed study. Generally, one hour of instruction or participation = 1 PDU. There are many commercial providers who offer training, podcasts, webinars, etc., where it can cost from $25 to $100’s per PDU. I estimate that the 60 PDUs over three years costs about $3,000.
So, let’s add it up:
What are your thoughts?
I love receiving emails with people making positive change. Here is a picture of change… beginning to happen.
It is pure joy to work with and train great people, who have open hearts and open minds for change. Great shared-experiences with wonderful people are the small things that keep us going. Thanks guys! We’re keeping hope alive!
I’ve been quoted 🙂
This is an attempt to highlight how the practice of architecture is misunderstood in most of the Agile projects & the root cause behind them – so that you may avoid them at your organization/project.
Agile has always challenged people with the age old question – how much to design upfront? But is the confusion just there? Frankly, it doesn’t even start there! Anyone understands the need of an architect, but how do we position an Architect within an Agile environment? How does Enterprise Architects work in sync with a Solution Architect? How should business leverage the niche skills of an architect to ensure the scalability of the application? And how are the architects coping with the changing dynamics of development methodology? How does this practice work in an onshore-offshore environment?
We take a look in to the current challenges & answer to all the above questions. We try to ensure that Agile delivery makes the best use of architects and architects don’t shy away from Agile world.
If we look from the very inception of a project i.e. the phase where we visualize requirements & float the RFP, we always acknowledge that the backbone of development will always be its architecture. Now, let’s step back & try to visualize how we place our requirement to the market & how they get interpreted.
While floating an RFP – just like any project, we strive to get the final figures from the vendor. In general, any response from a reputed vendor is acceptable, but the lower figures will excite us more. True! Situations tend to get more complex – if it’s an Agile project (well, we all wish to be Agile, isn’t it) – we tend to add some bells & whistles by adding the sizing constraint as well. How? Well, we often put a request of providing dollar value to Story Points. How does that help? Ideally – it doesn’t help us anyways apart from giving us a very high level understanding on how each module may impact us from investment perspective. Continue reading “To be or not to be – Agile Architecture”
[This is an email that was sent to me literally a day after our Certified Product Owner Training… it is things (action!) that I love seeing. Learning is great, but taking what you learn to make positive change in your organization is just yummy all the time! Thanks Miguel for letting me share it with the community!]
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2014 5:13 PM
To: — — —
Subject: Scrum Committee
As a <Manager>
I would like to form an Organizational Scrum Committee
So that we can improve our processes and create high-performance teams
One of the things I got out of Product Owner training is that it’s pretty important for the leaders of an organization to get together and talk about your Scrum processes on a regular basis. What are your thoughts about putting together a Scrum committee of sorts (maybe do a lunch n learn at least once a month?) to get together and discuss Scrum and Scrum processes? It should at least include the PO’s, Scrum Masters and Leads, but I could see how inviting the developers, testers and IT would be beneficial as well. I see it being a Retro of Retro’s of sorts, where each team can discuss what is working and isn’t working for our teams. It would also a great venue to discuss things we learn in training and other educational venues. The goal of this committee would be to improve our development life cycle so that we can archive high performing teams.
It would be great to get the new PO’s and SM’s involved with this from the get go, I’m sure they can provide some good feedback from previous experiences.
I would like to head this up if you agree it will be beneficial for us.
But on another note… something to consider.
As our older generation moves on… and our younger generations (like X and Y and Millennials) begin to take over the upper ranks of management… I know things will change. They always do. The question is: “How will they change?”
I’ll make a prediction:
For the better? Who knows…
Starting a business on the right foot begins with the leadership naturally and the first people to the table always drive the culture as well as the continued environment in which everyone works in.
It’s surprising, then, why many management teams do not spend nearly enough time continuing to educate themselves and optimize their efforts and instead make their teams beneath them spend the time, energy, and resources to optimize.
You’d think they’d take their own medicine once in a while, right? Extraordinary teams can be self-generated, at times, but more often than not they are created through the work, counsel, and direction of extraordinary leaders.
I loved a recent article highlighting 8 essential and core beliefs of extraordinary leaders and comparing them with “average” bosses:
1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.
2. A company is a community, not a machine.
3. Management is service, not control.
4. My employees are my peers, not my children.
5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.
6. Change equals growth, not pain.
7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.
8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.
Isn’t it true that all bosses want to be extraordinary but generally end up just being “average?” It’s a shame that they don’t have the right tools and the right perspective to keep their teams moving at high velocity and performance.
Found this at my local used bookstore where I frequent to pick up tons of used books for the uber cheap.
I scanned it for about 5-7 minutes and found it fascinating… mostly because almost everything I read I said one of two things to myself:
Yup. There are books out there on employee burnout. #sad #reality
Light reading for this week of an oldie but goodie from 1960…
As I further my own education into the world of how people operate and behave it always astounds me of the similarity and relative closeness of systems thinking and how we as people (cognitively) learn and grow. I found myself, after reading Bruner’s work this weekend and today , spending about an hour re-visiting Gestalt Theory of learning… which is very much all about human systems as we see them in corporate America.
“It is worth the effort to provide the growing learner with problems that tempt him into next stages of development.” — We learn best when we are forced to pay attention to other aspects of the problem.
“Effective intuitive thinking is fostered by the development of self-confidence and courage in the person. A person who thinks intuitively may often achieve correct solutions, but he may also be proved wrong. Such thinking, therefore, requires a willingness to make honest mistakes in the effort to solve problems. As the importance of situations requiring decision increases, as in business, the tendency to think analytically also increases. The present system of rewards and punishments tends to inhibit the use of intuitive thinking.” – Meaning, the greater the risks as we go up the ranks in management, the less actual problem solving we do, and less ‘thinking’ is done…
Everyone loves infographics these days, right? It’s a quick and easy way of understanding simple and/or complex data and for many of us who struggle with maintaining focus on the many things that we are responsible for we’ve got little time to read through paragraphs and paragraphs of text.
I saw one recently that focused on the management, titled “Bad Boss Diaries”:
Click the image for a larger view:
It really is too bad if someone of these figures are correct (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are, if not very close).
One of the areas listed is the Top 5 Reasons Workers are Dissatisfied:
Although we can’t do anything about the first and last one on that list it’s the three in the middle that are of personal interest to me as I believe that those can be discovered, analyzed, and improved with a bit of help. Ultimately they all boil down to leadership.
You see, here’s what I know: Your boss and management needs just as much help, support, and encouragement as you need to get your particular job done. They have stresses, anxiety, and worry just like the next person and a lot of it has to do with those that they lead and manage.
Your boss deals with people, relationships, and managing those roles and responsibilities. There’s tons of ambiguity and gray areas to work through and it often boils down to the ability of the manager and his team to communicate. In many circumstances that’s all that’s needed – a better or more functional way of communicating needs, expectations, and everything in between.
Team Science™ does that, as well as many other communication instruments out there! It baffles me how many organizations have terrible communication amongst themselves and yet they invest all of their additional time and resources on things that don’t help them to communicate!
In addition, it doesn’t surprise me when I hear that many workers struggle immensely with their current role and responsibilities – it’s just not “suiting” them well. There’s nothing more depressing than going to a job and doing work that you are not naturally gifted at and that drains you more than energizes you.
There is nothing that can be done to fix “you” as you can’t suddenly become someone you’re not but no one’s willing to help you find a better spot in the organization (or there might not be one available). No wonder many people hate waking up in the morning and plodding off to work!
It’s up to leaders and managers to help facilitate the conversations around roles, responsibilities, and natural aptitudes for their staff. Not all leaders and managers have the right words to say, a common language, that can help them have those necessary discussions and we love coming alongside them and giving them the right dictionary and vernacular to speak well and wisely to their teams.
Finally, culture, culture, culture! Culture is both bottom-up and top-down, but it’s always started up top (via the Founders and the first players to the field, so to speak). Leadership needs to help massage the culture in a way that’s accessible, understandable, and encourages healthy and thriving teams and individuals.
It must start here. Bad boss behavior can be mitigated, managed, and corrected but it must start with acknowledging that the issues exist in the first place! Don’t be fooled, especially if you’re in leadership – your team already is aware of the disfunction; they are just waiting for you to be the leader that they know you can be.
[Click to make larger or download]
I found this over the weekend. This could be helpful for those looking for a job.
It is interesting, however, that we find in research that the person interviewing you pretty much makes a mental decision about you within the first 15 minutes or so… so those first crucial minutes are the most important. We find even more, that recruiters or interviewers have an even better chance at hiring you if they are even more deeply informed about who you are prior to them meeting you, understanding your team dynamics, your personality, and even how you process data. Recruiters and hiring managers alike love Team Science™ because that’s exactly what it allows them to do, before you even step in the door.
“Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”
― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper
I know we have to make profits and such in business… but, on this wonderful Friday, I wonder… “At what cost?”
They are pretty scrummy…but.
Germany’s employment ministry has banned its managers from calling or emailing staff out of hours except in emergencies, under new guidelines intended to prevent employees from burning out.
The guidelines state that ministry staff should not be penalized for switching off their mobiles or failing to pick up messages out of hours.
The move follows similar restrictions on out-of-hours email imposed by German firms including Volkswagen, BMW and Puma.
VW stops forwarding emails to staff from its company servers half an hour after the end of the working day, while other firms have declared that workers are not expected to check email at weekends or in their free time.
The labour ministry’s rules only allow contact if the task cannot be postponed until the next working day. Managers should apply a principle of “minimum intervention” into workers’ free time and keep the number of people whose spare time is disrupted as low as possible.
The code is part of a broader agreement covering remote working. Ursula von der Leyen, the labour minister, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung the rules had been drawn up to protect workers’ mental health. The minister said that it was important for remote workers to know: “When they have to be available, and when they don’t. They now have this clarity in black and white.”
“It’s in the interests of employers that workers can reliably switch off from their jobs, otherwise, in the long run, they burn out,” she said.
The minister called on companies to set clear rules over the out-of-hours availability of their workers earlier this year, warning that: “technology should not be allowed to control us and dominate our lives. We should control technology.”
The culture of routinely checking emails in spare time came under the spotlight in July, when the chief executive of Switzerland’s biggest telecoms group was found dead at his flat in a suspected suicide.
In an interview in May, Carsten Schloter, boss of Swisscom, criticized the need to be permanently engaged.
“The most dangerous thing that can happen is that you drop into a mode of permanent activity,” he said. “When you permanently check your smartphone to see if there are any new emails. It leads to you not finding any rest whatsoever.”
Find yourself Deming’s 14 Points for Management. You can never remind yourself enough.
These are the notes I had to study from to pass the Scaled Agile Framework SPC exam. Yes, there is a lot of memorization. Welcome to college cramming.
“Where are you looking to anticipate change?”
“What is the diversity metric of your network?”
“Are you courageous enough to abandon the past?”
When we spend time with teams with often repeat a number of things over and over and over again in order that they might, at some point in time, “stick” in their minds like dried cement.
One of these is the simple fact that optimizing team performance and team dynamics takes work – and not a small amount either. You see, we can bring all the strategy, tactics, tools, technology, consulting, coaching, and we could even spend our precious time simply yelling at you (but we don’t) – and none of that would do any good unless the individuals and teams have committed themselves to do the tough work necessary of improving themselves and their team.
That’s why we title some of our activities and group assignments as “Team, Work” – reminding the group that it’s going to take your Team + Work to make this happen (or = Teamwork). Not overly clever, I know, but it does cause a few to pause when they see it.
As is often the case, many people commit to the idea of change and perhaps might even fall in love with the idea of change but it can be difficult at times to commit the actual effort that is required.
But your teams, your organizations, and the products, services, and solutions that you have for your clients and customers are worth it – and you’ll serve them better when you’re a better team and more optimized organization.
Go for it! Commit to the work, effort, and time required to help your team improve their performance and enhance the culture and everyday environment. You don’t have to use Team Science™ to do this either as there are many options for improving team performance out there – the point is that you budget in the time, realistically, so that it can be scheduled in appropriately and intentionally.
Our passion is to see teams grow and perform better. Shouldn’t that be one of your top priorities as well?
“When you become all things to everyone, you satisfy none.” – But maybe you’ll become a consultant.
“You strive to never compromise on your values or principles, when you do, you become nothing.” – But if you do, maybe you become a consultant.
“The difference between a methodologist and a terrorist is that you can negotiate with a terrorist.” – But methodologists can become rich consultants.
Like any method or framework one needs to be highly-contextual as to how facets of that method will work within your organization. Meaning, you have to pick and choose what works.
Being educated in a “new” idea of sorts is really (at least to me), and exercise in reflection, introspection, and self-awareness. I was, of sorts, doing reconnaissance. I was also looking for things I might be able to pull from the SAFe framework for my client and coaching work. In some deeper ways, I was looking to see whether my heart was ready for a codified framework on something I’ve been attempting to do for several years. This is an ego issue (hell, I’ve even published a book on Agile).
The first time I touched SAFe was a 2 day course held at my client 5-6 months ago (I got to participate for free because I was, after all, a coach on-site). I was aloof, un-attentive, and didn’t take it very seriously as I was also juggling other consulting duties (e.g. being pulled out of class). Now, after paying $3000+ out of my own pocket, I dug in. I got serious about learning this.
My company has rolled out Agile at scale at several places, and one of my favorite and most successful (probably why it’s my favorite) was a $22.7M program that I was the Agile Architect for, and presented a part of our results at Agile2012 in an IEEE paper. Our company has it’s own home-brewed version of scaling Agile, and we’ve been pretty successful in multiple places. We’ve also had our failures.
That being said, taking this class on the Scaled Agile Framework has allowed me to see many things. A couple here: