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Announcing the PAS Workshop: Double Your Professional Impact in 8 Weeks

Scrum Breakfast - 7 hours 16 min ago
I have created a video about my new workshop on the Personal Agility System: Double your professional impact in 8 weeks.

The online workshop starts next week. You can learn all about it here, and you'll find a special 2 for 1 offer towards the end...


You can sign up and get full information at https://saat-network.ch/pas!
Categories: Blogs

Keeping Up with the Agilists – Spring Events Roundup

BigVisible Solutions :: An Agile Company - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:00

Conference season is in full swing! We love this time of year because it gives us an opportunity to reconnect with the thousands of SolutionsIQ clients, and our own distributed team of coaches and consultants from coast to coast. This spring we will be in so many more places. If you plan on attending any of the following conferences, stop by and say hi! Agile Amped will be onsite at Change Management 2017 capturing video podcasts with thought leaders from the organizational management industry. Meanwhile our Agile Amped In-Depth audio-only podcasts will be onsite at Keep Austin Agile and Mile High Agile, recording deeper dives with Agile experts and luminaries.

 

Learn more about each event here!

Event Highlight: Change Management 2017

Change management is a crucial part of any Agile transformation, because it focuses on helping individuals transform and change in concert with the organization’s own transformational changes. The Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) arose in direct response for the need of guidance and support for change professionals from a formal organization. It’s been six years since ACMP launched the annual Change Management conference and SolutionsIQ is again excited to participate in Change Management 2017, bringing our expertise and experience in Agility to share with this industry. This year, the three-day conference will focus on providing the tools to help change professionals, including Agilists, help their client organizations succeed. SolutionsIQ’s all-access podcast series Agile Amped will be onsite so you won’t miss any of the action! You can expect more “Inspiring Conversations” with thought leaders in the change management industry.

Podcast Highlight: High-Performing Agile Teams with Yasser Farra

“High-performing Agile teams” seems to be what everyone wants — but do you know what that means and what it takes to get there? Yasser Farra, CEO of Agile Accompli and a speaker at Keep Austin Agile, gives his perspective of high-performing teams and how to help create them. He gives us some helpful tips on team makeup and dynamics, team environment, and more. We also spend some time at the end of the episode talking about the upcoming Keep Austin Agile conference.

 

And don’t forget to subscribe to Agile Amped to get event updates from Change Management 2017, Keep Austin Agile and Mile High Agile!

 

The post Keeping Up with the Agilists – Spring Events Roundup appeared first on SolutionsIQ.

Categories: Companies

Simple Visual Scrum Meeting Overview

Growing Agile - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 10:00

We’ve been working with a new client helping them understand how Scrum will work in their environment. They are getting ready to transition their team to start sprints. To help the team keep focus on the right things, the Scrum Master and Product Owner put together two 1 page summaries of the Scrum meetings and Daily Scrum. We loved them so much we asked if we could share them here.


 

Categories: Companies

Agile Movement's parallels to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Agile Complexification Inverter - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 23:36
What parallels are there between Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the state of the Agile movement's union?

Lincoln was a primary figure at the dedication of Soldiers' National Cemetery, in Gettysburg. He did not wish to upstage the keynote speaker, Edward Everett, and so summarized in 2 minutes the principle of human equality as defined by the Declaration of Independence and the Civil War.  Do you remember, the keynote speech?  Few people do.


Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. - - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln
I heard an NPR story about a person that give their grandkids twenty dollars to recite the Address.  It sounded like a wonderful way to engage kids in history and the founding reasons of the existence of this nation.  I'm assuming that it would take the children some time to memorize the short speech and in so doing they would have questions, about what the words meant.  How many of your colleagues know what unit of quantity a score represents?  Do you know what happened four-score and seven years before 1863?

The foundational document of this new nation is the Declaration of Independence - signed in the summer of 1776 by a group of wealth white men.  They are now described as our founding fathers, yet some were quite young at the time (Hamilton, 21; Jefferson, 33; Washington, 44).  These free thinking people (and some were women - they just didn't sign the document) were called radicals by their government and traders by their neighbors.


Does any of this sound like a fractal of the Agile Manifesto and the movement that was started back in the 1990s with lightweight frameworks for organizing software product creation.  The desire to increase the good aspects and there by overcome the poor habits (appreciative inquiry or extreme programming - is there a difference?).

Is there a revisionist movement some 15-20 years beyond the 2001 manifesto creation?  Yes, there appears to be a constant yearning for the next wave, the next wagon to hitch your cart onto.

Are there amendments that need to be added to the manifesto much like the Bill of Rights?  Or is that a fringe movement on the periphery?



Modern agile  defining four guiding principles:

  • Make people awesome
  • Make safety a prerequisite
  • Experiment and learn rapidly
  • Deliver value continuously

Alistair Cockburn observer his communication style in beginner and advanced classes, he said: "[I] found that when I was encouraging getting back to the center/heart/spirit of agile, I kept emphasizing these four things, and drew them in a diamond:"


Could the newest technique Mob Programming be anything more than an incremental addition to eXtreme Programming (XP)?  Some 30 years in the making.


Categories: Blogs

Change Artist Super Powers: Empathy

Esther Derby - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 18:33

Some people seem to think that empathy has no place at work…that work requires a hard-nose, logic, and checking your emotions at the door. But, in periods of change, emotions—which are always present, whether we choose to acknowledge them or not—surge to the surface. Ignoring the emotional impact of change doesn’t make it go away. Rather, attempts to depress or devalue people’s response to change may amplify emotions.

Empathy is the ability to recognize and vicariously identify someone else’s experience and emotions. Empathy enables you to understand someone else’s point of view, the challenges posed by the change, what they value, and what they stand to lose by changing.

Empathizing doesn’t mean you have to feel the same thing, think the same way, make the other person feel better, or fix the situation so everyone is happy. Demonstrating empathy means you listen, acknowledge, and accept feelings and points of view as legitimate. Empathy is fundamentally about respect.

Three kinds of empathy play a part in change.

Emotional empathy, understanding another’s emotions and feelings. This is what usually comes to mind first when people hear the term. Emotions are a normal part of change—from excitement, to grief, puzzlement, loss of confidence, and anger. Too often, people who “drive” change dismiss these responses and urge people “just get on with it.”

Cognitive empathy means understanding someone else’s patterns of thought and how he makes sense of his world and events. Understanding how others think about things may help you frame a new idea in a way that meshes with their views. That also helps you—you’ll know more about the obstacles and issues you are likely to encounter.

Point-of-View empathy combines a bit of both of these, and it allows you to say genuinely, “I can see how it looks that way to you.” Once you extend that courtesy to someone, he is more likely to want to see how the situation looks to you.

Empathy provides information that helps with change in at least two ways:

You can refine your ideas about the change based on local information, which people are more likely to share when you make an effort to listen and connect with them.

People are more likely to listen to you when they feel listened-to.

The more you listen, the more you learn about the needs and values of the people facing a change. And that is the key: People rarely change because someone has a bright new idea. They change to save something they value. But you won’t learn that unless you empathize.

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Categories: Blogs

The Product Owner Podcast

Scrum Expert - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 17:14
The goal of the Product Owner Podcast is to share stories from real product owners working in Agile teams. It proposes tips, tricks and lessons learned from experience. Listening to these interviews,...

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Categories: Communities

Info Radiation vs Info Refrigeration - a metaphor

Agile Complexification Inverter - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 17:09
Is a metaphor a form of lightweight model?

"All models are wrong, some models are useful."
-- George Box
The metaphor of information radiation is quite well know to many in the software industry.  Did you ask why?  Maybe because much of our work is very hidden from view, until we run the program and the computer interprets the code to produce some desired outcome.  Even that outcome may be obscured from view, and we must produce reports upon the data that the program produced.  So in a world where smoke and mirrors are common, one antidote to the common problem of not knowing where one is along the path toward product completion, a visualization is a powerful tool.  

Generally speaking the information radiator has similar properties to the old fashion building heat radiator that used a steam media source to heat heavy iron and radiate the heat from the iron into the room.  It feels great to be standing next to a radiator when you've just come in from the cold.

What is the refrigeration process - what's required to cool some air?  Currently we use the 200 year old Carnot cycle to produce the cooling effect that your summers are known for.  I doubt that my home of Dallas Texas would be the Mecca of IT if not for Mr. Nicolas Carnot and his research into what would become air-conditions environments.  A comfortable 70 degrees indoors while the Texas sun is 95 in the shade.

Pressure-Volume diagram of Carnot cycle
I will leave the internal working of the AC unit to your study (I did it back in college - fascinating stuff).

When we put information is some systems we encode or compress it in such a way that the storage is efficient.  Think of a data base, significant work is done upon the data to store it.

When we pull it out of those systems we also must now do work to make the data into information, and then do more work to make the information understandable by the people that have little knowledge of where the data came from, the purpose of storing the data and the context from which that data/info may have resulted.  Someone will interpret that context, information and purpose and try to convey all this in a summary of the meaning behind larger data sets that the important people reviewing the information have time for.  This expansion of the information and subsequent summarization or generalization takes energy from the system as a whole.

pondering the connections - AC to info refrigeration metaphor....  what do you see in this metaphor?

is there a useful model to play with?


Categories: Blogs

SAFe® 4.0 Release Train Engineer course now available!

Agile Product Owner - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 15:39
The RTE has been a key role in SAFe since version 1.0

The concept of the Agile Release Train (ART)  originated a decade ago, and the role for the Release Train Engineer (RTE) became evident in version 1.0 of the Framework.

As ARTs have grown their ability to continuously deliver value, the RTE has evolved into a critical role as servant leader and coach for the program, and the value streams they support.

Being an effective RTE requires an exceptional range of skills, and is a career path for many servant leaders. However, until now, there has been no formal training for RTEs working in a SAFe enterprise, and the demand—as seen in job sites like LinkedIn, indeed.com, and glassdoor.com—has been skyrocketing. That’s why we are excited to announce our newest course offering: SAFe 4.0 Release Train Engineer Course with RTE Certification.

This advanced three-day interactive class offers attendees an in-depth understanding of the role and responsibilities of an RTE. Through active learning, attendees will learn how to facilitate and enable end-to-end value delivery through ARTs and value streams. They will also learn how to build high-performing ARTs by becoming a true servant leader and coach, and how to plan and execute a Program Increment (PI) planning event, which we all know is the primary enabler of alignment throughout all levels of a SAFe organization.

View prerequisites and the full course description here.

Visit the list of public RTE classes here.

If you know an RTE, or someone aspiring to be one, be sure to spread the word. This is an empowering course, and the feedback from the alpha and beta classes has been inspiring.

“The RTE class provided a great opportunity to network with other RTEs and facilitate real life learning and takeaways. The content is rich as well as thought provoking, and the exercises are equally dynamic and engaging.”

Desirée Cuniberti, RTE, Bloomberg LP

An enormous amount of sweat, thought, and effort went into developing this course and the exam that supports it. Many thanks to all who contributed, including our exam SMEs Eric Myers, Mark Byers, Sue Shreve, David Daughenbaugh, Catherine Turley, Kathy Marshak, Henk Mooijweer, Bas Willemsen, Cecile Auret, Chris Wagter, Jason Butler, Doug Less, Ron Alvey, Robert Ramirez-Dahlberg, Shane Harrison, Sean Baggett (and others far too humble to have their names listed…) and the entire Framework team: Dean, Inbar, and Richard, as well as the Learning and Certification team: Susan Farago, Chuck Ferguson, and Jeff Long.

Cheers and Be SAFe,
—Jennifer Fawcett, SAFe Fellow and Carl Starendal, SPC and Course SMEs

Categories: Blogs

How To Learn ES vNext Without Jeopardizing Existing Work

Derick Bailey - new ThoughtStream - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 15:00

Around a year ago, I wrote a blog post lamenting the high cost of entry for using ES6 features like generators, modules, etc. Since then, the world of JavaScript runtime environments has progressed significantly.

Most (if not all) of the features that were once difficult to use without pre-compilers are now available to the general population with updated browsers, and to back-end developers with new versions of Node.js. The state of JavaScript has improved significantly!

But the problem of new features hasn’t gone away. It’s only moved.

Now instead of wondering how I can work with generators, I’m looking for opportunity to work with async functions and other ES2017 (and beyond) features.

There’s an underlying problem that we have, as JavaScript developers, when it comes to new language versions and features. Most languages require us to install the specific version in whatever environment we are running our application.

But JavaScript is different – at least on the front end of things.

Instead of developers and production engineers installing the latest JavaScript features, we’re waiting for web browsers to catch up to the features. Not only that, but we’re waiting for the general population of people that use our web sites to update their browsers so we can safely use those features.

Sure, we can install new versions of Node.js on our server and run new code in the back-end. But even that can be dangerous.

I mean, when was the last time you heard about a great new language feature or syntax change in JavaScript, and thought to yourself,

“That’s great! I’ll just install the latest, unstable Node.js release, update my Babel.js version and plugins, and download an experimental browser versions that might support this syntax if I use command-line flags when starting it!”

If you’re like me and millions of other developers, this isn’t even a remote possibility. It’s just not going to happen.

Why?

Because you have existing projects that need tried-and-true, stable, well-tested and supported versions of all these things. And the risk of installing new, unstable and experimental versions of Node, Babel or any other runtime, and having it break your actual work is far too great.

It’s enough to make a developer want to forget about learning new JavaScript features… to just wait until they become “old” features. Which is unfortunate – because when I see the future of JavaScript, I see code that I desperately want to write, now.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. It is possible to learn new JavaScript features – to take advantage of async functions and other improvements that can greatly reduce the amount of code you have to write. And it can be done safely.

On May 2nd, I’ll be presenting a live WatchMeCode session all about this problem and solution.

The ES7 and Beyond with Docker webinar will give you everything you need to learn the latest JavaScript features without once putting your current projects in danger from new runtime libraries, or other software updates.

Es7 and beyond vsl

And don’t worry if you’ve never used Docker – with the solution that I have, you won’t need any prior Docker experience to take advantage of the latest JavaScript features.

Learn more about this session and register today, at WatchMeCode!

The post How To Learn ES vNext Without Jeopardizing Existing Work appeared first on DerickBailey.com.

Categories: Blogs

Book Review:: Agile Noir by Lancer Kind

Agile Complexification Inverter - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 14:38

 Agile Noir by Lancer Kind    and I'm envisioning a 1956 black and white film Kartar is the metaphor of his project.



First, allow me to layout some ground rules and a touch of the backstory...

I'm not a professional book reviewer, nor paid in anyway to read.  But if I could get that gig... I'd be a happy camper.  I've never written a book, but I've hacked out some code, a few articles, some of which might be considered book reviews.  I've worked in the Agile industry for more than a decade (but who's counting), and so - I may be a little close to the topic to have proper literary impartial bias.  In fact let me just go ahead and be explicit - I've done this, been there, got the t-shirt; I shit you not - this shit is for real!

Agile Noir by Lancer Kind
Now the ground rules...  I think this review will be written ... what's the word... while I'm reading, at the same time, without much delay in the reading - writing phases....in situ.... iteratively... oh I give up...

So don't be surprised - dear reader - if I just drop off in the middle...
                       ... maybe check back every week until I finish
March 22,
I've studied the cover... quite a nice graphic - to bad the whole novel isn't a graphic novel; oh - maybe it would be too bloody,  I could see Agile Noir becoming a Tarantino film.  As I sat looking at my book to-do stack... I skipped a few levels down the stack and pulled out Lancer Kind's 2016 Agile Noir.  I have read some of his previous comics titled Scrum Noir (vol 1, 2, 3).  So maybe I know what to expect - should be a fun romp in the fast lane with lots of inside the industry puns, innuendo and metaphors.

Well the damn dedication just reeks of an Agile Coach - Servant Leader (puke, barf.... moving on).

The High Cost of Schedule Slip
Now you may not find the situation Kartar finds himself in funny...  allow me to add some overtones of irony....  I'm going to go out on a racist limb and suggest that Kartar is an Indian.  That he is working in the heart of the Indian nation (Los Wages, NV), perhaps on a job for an Italian crime boss.  And none of these circumstances have anything to do with one of the world of science's biggest failures - Columbus's discover of the New World - which the thought was India, and named it's inhabitants there by creating the confusion we will have to deal with evermore.  Now Columbus was of course searching for a way to reduce the schedule required for shipping spices.

Kartar appears to be very emerged in planning and the art/science/pesdo-truth of planning and predicting the future of projects.  And he may be a master with the Gantt chart (which is footnoted on page 18).

This is all ringing just too true ... and I'm envisioning it in the style of a 1956 black and white film...

Kartar is the metaphor of his project... it seems that it's not quite on schedule... he's late to a just announced meeting with some superior and is driving at break neck speed on loose sand in the Vegas out skirts creating over bumps and ditches in his car with the accelerator pinned to the floor - because some people in a van might be trying to kill him.  Happens ALL - THE - TIME.

April 4th
Finished chapter 1.  That Bastard.  He killed off our hero Kartar.  oh - OPPS - SPOILERS!
I truly don't know if I should throw the book in the garbage bin or keep reading... going to bed.

April 6th
OK - that was quite the trick, Chapter 2, Rowing over a better Waterfall is a twist... but now it's getting interesting and our hero is back, yet I fear not quite in control of his project.

April 10th
The chapter Death by Documentation is just that... a death march, I almost quit.  The chapter is worth skipping if you have ever been on one of these classic projects - then you already know enough to thumb to page 89 and restart.  However if your not in IT or project management work of any type (Record Scratch: then how in the heck did you find my blog - and why are you reading this book?) you might enjoy the chapter as it will explain how all of your companies IT project fall behind schedule and never deliver what you want.  Read it - little bells of enlightenment will chime in your head.

The introduction of the IT Mechanic is quite fun.  He's almost a stalker... yeah, he's definitely a PM stalker.  This character is going to be fun.  He's reminding me of someone I've met... and someone from my youthful days of reading Carlos Castaneda.  The character's name is "J" could it stand for Jaun (as in don Jaun Matus)?  He's got an interesting calling card with no numbers or email addresses.  I'd recommend he try Moo - best printing house in the business.  J has some psyc skills and quite a few trick up his sleeves (he is living in the land of Penn & Teller after all).

I really enjoyed this chapter, but then almost any thing would be great after that death slog of documentation hell.

April 12th 
Sprinting is the right word for the next chapter... it's a dash by Usain Bolt.  In Sprinting with a Bollywood Autobot Kartar learns to write user stories and mix drinks of analysis, design, requirement, and development.  He attempts to negotiate on delivery with the owner and in the end crosses the third rail of the PMI tracks in a Lovers quarrel.  Oh - damn, that's not at all what happens.  But it's a lot of fun and went by really fast.  Don't know if we can sustain this pace for the rest of the book.

April 19th
Scrumming in a Waterfall - nice visual, great chapter.  I'm pulling for Kartar, he's doing all the right behaviors, making mistakes and learning each step of the way.  One day he's going to land this project in the success column of management's spreadsheet.  It appears that's how interested the big boss is in the project (affectionally called "Winner").  It's right when Kartar is about got the dirty little secret of Scrum figured out in this iteration that the Lovers, Sis & Lex show up and we cycle under the pressure of the waterfall, tumbling and gasping for air.  

How do you explain water to a fish?  I'm thinking that Kartar is learning all kinds of things in this iteration.  He's gotten lesson at the firing range, upgrade his tiny pistol to an arsenal that Fiona Glenanne (Burn Notice) would be proud of - maybe she'd invite Kartar to show her his car trunk.

But by the end of this chapter - we are back in the rabbit hole with Alice and late, we're late, for an important date.

April 23rd
I've come to understand something about "new new product development" in the software world... it requires great Product Vision and this chapter illustrates a wonderful secret of the process.  This is a wonderful view of the typical company move to the Agile mindset.  Place yourself in Kartar's view and you may believe you have the system figured out.  But is there something missing?  All the teams are scrumming and getting along, produce working software.  It's a happy time on the project.  I'm left wondering what could possibly happen next (hint its not near enough to the end of the book).



Table of Contents:
  1. The High Cost of Schedule Slip
  2. Rowing over a better Waterfall
  3. Death by Documentation
  4. The IT Mechanic
  5. Sprinting with a Bollywood Autobot
  6. Scrumming in a Waterfall
  7. Product Vision
  8. Sustainable Pace
  9. Liberation and Libations
  10. Agile Development is about having FUN!
  11. Why Let Your Framework Limit You?



See Also:
Scrum Noir - several volumes of graphic novel about scrum masters and the projects they encounter - also by Lancer Kind
I will have a Double Expresso - Amazon review of Scrum Noir.
Categories: Blogs

How Agile is creating a new Horizon for HR

A collaboration by Amy Jackson and Mario MoreiraGone are the days of certainty.  In order to stay competitive companies must constantly innovate, adapt to changing market conditions, and deliver value to their customers faster than ever before.  As a result, many organizations are embracing Agile principles and practices, which are highly collaborative, iterative and focused on delivering maximum value to customers. As Agile adapts organizations, so must Human Resources (HR) adapt.  HR is poised to become leaders in the Agile transformation.  From an organizational change perspective, HR can facilitate and improve organizational agility by crafting programs that improve collaboration, ownership, adaptability, speed, and customer focus.  This can include:
  • Continuous Learning –determine the appropriate Agile learning path for your teams.  For those just starting out, introduce the Agile Values and Principles and make parallels to the culture and behaviors your organization values. 
  • Adapting Leadership - rethink the role of the manager.  Consider moving from a command and control approach to servant leader/ coach.  Leaders should focus on coaching and removing impediments.
  • Empowering Teams – teams that are given clear direction and outcomes should be empowered to determine how they will work to achieve their outcome.  This autonomy will drive higher levels of creativity and engagement, and if done right, deliver maximum value to customers.
  • Adapting Performance Feedback – consider moving away from “traditional” annual reviews to more frequent feedback and faster feedback loops.  Individuals and teams can adapt more quickly and apply learnings to improve work.  Provide tools and techniques that empower employees to take ownership of their development.
  • Rewarding Agile Behaviors – evaluate programs to ensure they reward the behaviors and mindset you value.  In an agile environment, teams work collaboratively, consider rewards that promote teamwork and collaboration, or recognition for continuous learning, and rewards for delivering value to customers.  A one size fits all approach may not be appropriate.
  • Reshaping Talent Acquisition– hire for culture fit and mindset and make this a priority.   Working in an agile environment is not for everyone. 
In addition to focusing on programs that drive agility, HR as an organization should embrace new ways of working that reinforce the Agile Values and Principles.  First, educate yourself and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new ways of working within your HR team.  For example, if you’re considering the idea of Self-Organizing teams, consider experimenting within your team.  You will become more knowledgeable and better equipped with first-hand experience to help guide, coach and facilitate the organization in their journey to become agile. 
As you think about adapting your programs, consider using Open Space Technology.  Open Space is a great way to gather feedback, ideas and insights from your employees that can inform how you design programs for your teams.  This approach promotes collaboration.If you plan to change or modify one of your existing programs, consider breaking this work into small increments to avoid delivering a “big bang” fully baked program which may not meet the needs of your customer.  If you plan to move away from “traditional” performance management in favor of real-time continuous feedback consider starting with one team, educate them on the value of real-time feedback and then train them on how to give and receive feedback.  Gather their feedback and iterate as needed and then begin to scale the program.In addition, start connecting to customer value.  Consider creating a compelling purpose that is focused on customer value.  Strive to keep the (external) customer front and center by linking your programs to the value they will bring to the customer. Empower your employees to make decisions that are customer centric – this shift may mean that you change how you compensate or incentivize your employees by moving away from performance metrics that are internally focused in favor of rewarding behavior and actions that delight the customer. Strategic HR organizations have expertise in helping companies achieve objectives through focus on organizational culture and high-performing teams.  Given this capability there is a natural role for HR to play in an Agile culture.  HR has an opportunity to become Agile coaches and change agents.  Embrace and ready yourself for change. This may be the new horizon for HR.-----------------Learn more about Amy Jackson at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amjackson/Mario Moreira writes more about Agile and HR in his book "The Agile Enterprise" in Chapter 21 "Reinventing HR for Agile"
Categories: Blogs

The Objective of Time-Boxing

NetObjectives - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 14:22
This blog continues my series on Going Beyond Practices to Achieve Objectives   Timeboxing is used as a project planning technique. The schedule is divided into a number of separate time periods (timeboxes), with each part having its own deliverables, deadline and budget. In Agile, these time boxes are known as “iterations” (XP and generic Agile) or “sprints” (Scrum). The deliverables of each...

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Categories: Companies

Values, Practices and Principles Are Not Enough

NetObjectives - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 14:12
Agile has been around for over 2 decades now. Most every method talks about values, principles and practices. The Agile Manifesto, for example, is comprised of 4 values and 12 principles. XP, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe, LeSS and Nexus have added a considerable number of principles and practices as well. However, there has been little discussion of the laws of software development and insufficient...

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Categories: Companies

Eight Characteristics of Successful Software Projects

Xebia Blog - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 10:21

We do a lot of software projects at Xebia Software Development. We work most of the time at our client’s location, in their teams. Together we improve the quality of their software, their process, and engineering culture. As such, we’ve seen a lot of projects play out. Most of these efforts succeeded but some failed. […]

The post Eight Characteristics of Successful Software Projects appeared first on Xebia Blog.

Categories: Companies

Being an Agile Security Officer: user stories

Xebia Blog - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 15:28

This is the fourth part of my 'Being an Agile Security Officer series'. In this blog post I will go deeper into the details of how user stories are created and what role security stakeholders should play in that. The Epic Within Agile, work is usually defined in user stories. These are minimal and defined […]

The post Being an Agile Security Officer: user stories appeared first on Xebia Blog.

Categories: Companies

Design Your Competition's Support Department

Agile Complexification Inverter - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 21:46
You are presented with a common business problem.  One technique that has always helped me to define the problem space is to invert the problem, take it to an extreme to explore the continuum of your domain.  Let's imagine that we want to redesign our software support department at MegaSoft Corporation.  Applying our inversion principle we will leave our MegaSoft support as is, and instead we will design the competitors support group. It's going to stink, people are going to hate to even call them, their people will be arrogant techies with no human compassion - they will actually hire with those skills required.  Let's pause and give this company a name...  TechHard sounds great.

Who's time is most valuable?  At TechHard the support engineers time is very valuable, so we will have process that time how long a support tech. is on the call with a customer so that our process gurus can optimize for the use of this most valuable resource.  A typical call from a director or VP in our internal support operation should be logged by an administrative receptionist (maybe even automated system) and then the support techs time can be queued up with return call tickets.  We will return the VPs call when it is convenient for our tech.  The tech can validate that the VP is authorized to access the system, and will confirm that they are still experiencing the problem by walking through a standard checklist.  Being efficiently minded the tech may skip over some simple question like power plug, on/off, reset/reboot, logout/in again if they feel the user is competent.


Answering the basic question of who's time is most valuable via the design of the competition's process is enlightening.  Which is it?  The support person's time - or the customer's time.

How are support systems designed?  Has anyone ever heard of a company that used Design Thinking or High-Tech Anthropology to create a customer centered support group?

Is this Conway's Law at work - are we truly designing the support function of our products/services - or are we just reacting?

Give me an example of great design for support:  Nest Thermostat and Fire Alarm Installation
Have you installed a Nest product?  Their installation and configuration process is well designed.  I don't know about their support department - but my expectations are set very high, if I have a problem.


History will repeat
In the 1980s universities started teaching about design for manufacturing (robots would make the parts).

Are you designing your business departments for it's function?

Speaking of support tools - your going to want a great issue tracking system.  Why not look to a market leader that has all the features your people can put on a check list?  Let's buy Jira - or should we look at the competition's product?



See Also:

Cable Internet provider Frontier's support group struggles with the corporate infrastructure that can not resolve customer problems.







Categories: Blogs

The Question Isn’t ”Scrum Vs Kanban?” or Even “Scrum and Kanban?” But Rather “What Works?”

NetObjectives - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 19:11
If you find this topic interesting, check out our webinar Blending Kanban and Scrum Or What to do When Neither Kanban or Scrum Is Optimal Executive Summary We should not be debating whether Scrum or Kanban is better.  Both have practices and principles to offer.  Each has a different mindset towards learning, however.  But instead of just blending them, we should look to a mindset that embraces...

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Categories: Companies

Dialogue on Prerequisites for Collaboration

Agile Complexification Inverter - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 19:10
IDEO-University 'From Ideas to Action' Lesson 1.

Join the dialogue on G+ Agile+ group.

Dialogue on Collaboration on Facebook (PDF)


Collaboration starts with who we are and our story - not the technology or the data
"The Future of Work Is Social Collaboration from Inside Out, where people connect around the why of work from who they really are as individuals in community.
They collaborate in generative conversations and co-create what’s next, i.e. their unique Contribution of value to society – what we might call Social Good.
They collaborate by taking the time to appreciate and align each other’s unique, hard wired, natural strengths, creating new levels of authentic and trusting relationships to take the Social Journey."Jeremy Scrivens Director at The Emotional Economy at Work

What does dialogue mean... what does it contribute to collaboration? Here's what the inventor of the internet Al Gore had to say about this:

Audie Cornish speaks with former Vice President Al Gore about the new edition of his book, The Assault On Reason.


Well, others have noted a free press is the immune system 
of representative democracy. And as I wrote 10 years ago, American democracy is in grave danger from the changes in the environment in which ideas either live and spread or wither and die. I think that the trends that I wrote about 10 years ago have continued and worsened, and the hoped-for remedies that can come from online discourse have been slow to mature. I remain optimistic that ultimately free speech and a free press where individuals have access to the dialogue will have a self-correcting quality. -- Al Gore
Excerpt from NPR interview with Al Gore by Audie Cornish March 14, 2017. Heard on All Things Considered.

See Also:

Mob Programming by Woody Zuill

If Your Team Agrees on Everything, Working Together Is Pointless by Liane Davey - HBR

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Categories: Blogs

Cheating and building secure iOS games

Xebia Blog - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 08:53

You probably have one of the million games where you earn achievements and unlock specials on your iPad or iPhone. If you develop games, you've probably wondered about people cheating your games? In this blog we're going to show you how to try cheating out yourself and how to build secure iOS games.The actual question […]

The post Cheating and building secure iOS games appeared first on Xebia Blog.

Categories: Companies

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SpiraTeam is a agile application lifecycle management (ALM) system designed specifically for methodologies such as scrum, XP and Kanban.