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The Role of Management in SAFe

NetObjectives - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 20:54
I was asked to chime in on a discussion group about the role of Management in SAFe and as I was writing it up I thought it’d come out better as a blog. I believe the role of manager in Agile has been ignored (the Agile Manifesto), vilified (chickens and pigs) and then to the other extreme transformed (they should be leaders).  In my mind, all three of these is not the role of first line...

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Categories: Companies

#TargetprocessTips: Search, WIP Limits, Batch Actions, Workflows, Card Prioritization

TargetProcess - Edge of Chaos Blog - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 17:14

We've started posting regular product tips to our social media accounts. Just search for #TargetprocessTips on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to see some bite-sized advice on how to get the most of Targetprocess. Here’s what we’ve posted so far:


Placing a ‘+’ before keywords will yield only exact matches in search results. More on search. 

  • The search bar in the the left menu is used to find a specific view or folder. The search bar to the right of this is the global search; it is used to find entities throughout the system.
  • Global search will not yield results for entities in inactive projects.
  • When using global search, you can replace any letter in your keywords with a ‘?’ to include possible misspellings in the results.


WIP Limits

You can set up WIP Limits for both horizontal and vertical lanes on boards by going to view setup → Limits. Read more here. 

  • When a WIP Limit is exceeded, the state column will be visibly highlighted in red.
  • WIP Limits cannot be applied to the first (initial) state of a workflow.

WIP Limits


On Timeline views, the global time period selector is found at the top of the view, while the local time selector is displayed at the bottom. If you're unfamiliar with Timelines, you can learn more about them here


More on Timelines:

  • Timelines are one of the 4 main types of views, along with Boards, Lists, and One-by-One views.
  • You can right-click on a point in the Timeline to add planned start and end dates. 
  • Planned dates are shown with a dotted line, actual dates are shown with solid background, and forecasted time is shown with a semi-transparent background.  


Card Prioritization

Prioritize cards on Board and List views by holding the 'Shift’ key and dragging selected cards to the desired position. If the system prevents your from applying prioritization, this guide article should explain why.


Working with cards from multiple views:

You can use the Selected Cards Panel to work with cards from multiple views at once.

  • Since sharing this tip, we've released Batch Actions, which allows you to update multiple entities at once. However, please note that you can only apply Batch Actions to cards on a single view at once.   

Selected Cards Panel


Workflow customization:

Admins can rename and customize workflows and states by going to Settings → Process Setup. Read more. 

  • Be careful when editing a process that is currently in use. If you remove states which are populated by entities, the entities will be moved to a different state. 



Categories: Companies

How to Design a LeanKit Board that Encourages Speed

Visualizing what you do now is largely regarded as one of the initial steps in a Kanban or...

The post How to Design a LeanKit Board that Encourages Speed appeared first on Blog | LeanKit.

Categories: Companies

Targetprocess v.3.11.5: Inline editing, support for negative numbers in numerical fields, bug fixes

TargetProcess - Edge of Chaos Blog - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 17:43
Inline editing improvements

Two more fields are now available for inline editing in Lists: Owner, and Initial Estimate of Features and Epics.

owner-estimate-inline Negative numbers

Negative numbers are now supported in money fields and numerical Custom Fields.


Enabled searching by folders in the left menu


Fixed Bugs
  • If a conflict occurs with another user while editing a Description, the login and email of the other user will now be displayed in the conflict message.
  • POP/IMAP plugin: a new requester won't be created if an active Targetprocess user with such an email already exists
  • Project quick add enabled from views with a State or Process axis.
  • When a User Story is reassigned to another Team, its related tasks will also move (if they have the same team assignment as the User Story).
  • Fixed: Request terms from a default process will now apply to the Settings menu's 'Request Types'.
  • Fixed 'Filter is incorrect' message if counts with predicates are included into DSL filters. For example: ?Assignments.Count(It.Role is 'Developer')>1
  • Fixed multiple issues with VS2015 Add-In.
  • Fixed hyperlinks and text selection in one-line comments.
  • Fixed: Users that can add cards but do not have edit permissions can no longer assign other users to a card.
  • Fixed markdown editor which decoded HTML in edit mode.
  • Non-admin users with 'add' user permission can now add new users.
  • Fixed: Custom Fields for a user disappeared from System Settings > Custom Fields list after any process soft delete.
  • Fixed an installation error that would occur due to cache folder permissions.
  • Fixed ridiculous error 'We can't see if application is loaded' while sharing a Board.
  • Fixed a case where replies to a requester wouldn't work properly. Requester name will now be correctly displayed in email replies.
  • Fixed a case where exporting to CSV would fail with an exception if any lane was filtered by a collection/count.
  • Fixed image duplication in email notifications if a comment contained two different files with the same name.
  • Fixed follow notifications. Follow Activity widget: prefix <!--markdown--> appeared if a comment was added from the markdown editor.
  • Fixed a complex filter:'?assignedUser.where(it is me) and responsible is me'. This filter helps you to view cards assigned to the logged user which are in the state this user is responsible for.
Categories: Companies

Turn The Ship Around – Intent Based Leadership

Agile Learning Labs - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 00:26

David Marquet was about to become a submarine commander. He spent a year learning everything about the boat he was going to command. Two weeks before he was to assume command he was given a different sub, and the only thing he knew was that it has the reputation for being the worst in the Navy. He made it the best. Here’s how.

Thanks to Peter Green for sharing this video with me in his Certified Agile Leadership workshop.

Categories: Companies

Agile Coach Assessment

Growing Agile - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 10:00

This assessment is for you to take to see where you are on your journey to becoming an agile coach. Everyone is in a different place. We believe you are the best person to judge where you are right now, and where you want to be in a certain amount of time.


About The Assessment

We have broken the large topic of being an Agile Coach into 5 main areas. Each of these areas are split into 3 sub-areas which can contain a number of related topics. Below are the 5 main areas, and their sub-areas, as well as example topics in each area.
The topics below are just examples and by no means a definitive list, since the world of agile coaching is large. However, we expect that most topics should fit into one of the 5 areas we have chosen.

Theory – coaching contracts, the 9 modes
Skills – listening, detachment, feedback
Tools – Motivation Game, Listening Game, Feedback Models

Facilitating – planning, distributed sessions, large scale
Formats – open space, lean coffee, ideation
Techniques – dot voting, brain writing, timelines

Agile Frameworks – Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean, Scaling
Practices – technical practices, Product Owner techniques, Scrum Master practices
Tools – online tools, physical tools

Work/Life Balance – time management, personal Kanban, productivity
Satisfaction – autonomy, mastery, purpose
Growth – networking, learning, community

Activities – posters, ball toss, feedback wall
Delivery – room setup, planning, size
Methods – Training from the back of the room, mentoring, lecture based

Skill Levels
To assess your own level for each sub area we will be using Shu, Ha Ri in this assessment.

At the Shu level: you are learning the basics and just starting out. You might be going to training, reading or trying out some tools and techniques for the first time.
At the Ha level: you have actively practiced and used tools and techniques and are starting to discover how to use things together and blend ideas from various places.
At the Ri level: you are able to create new techniques and tools, and are largely led by your mind and heart. You are able to move beyond rules, but still align with the intended principles and values.


Complete Assessment

Step 1: Download the assessment sheet and print it out.


Step 2: For each sub area on the assessment sheet, draw a dot for where you feel you currently are. Once you are done, connect all the dots with a line in one colour (orange in the picture below). Also fill in today’s date at the top of the sheet.

Step 3: Now think about when you want to revisit this assessment. It could be in 2 weeks, 3 months or even 1 year from now. Fill in this date in the “Date to review”. Think about where you would like your skills to be on that review date, and draw new dots on the assessment sheet. Connect these dots with a different coloured pen (green in the picture below).


Step 4: Take a look at the areas with the biggest gap between where you currently are and where you would like to be. Pick between 1 and 3 items as your top priorities and label them in the Top 3 row. For a short duration (< 1 month), we recommend only selecting 1 area to focus on.

Step 5: For each of your priorities fill in an action plan for yourself in the blocks at the bottom. State what you want to achieve, how you plan to do it, and when you are going to do it. The more specific you are the more likely it will actually happen. Try not to plan on starting 3 things at the same time, rather spread them out.



Step 6: Now put this somewhere visible so that you will be reminded of your plan regularly.


Categories: Companies

Besides Simple and Complicated What Other Choices Are There Besides Chaos and Complexity?

NetObjectives - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 09:01
I changed the title of my recent blog to "Why Simple Or Overly Complicated Solutions Often Don't Work Well for Complex Systems" because from the comments I’ve been getting on the blog I realize that there is a disconnect between the meaning of “complicated” in Gall’s Law and how complicated is viewed in the Agile industry based on Cynefin. But I also realize that the point of the blog was not...

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Categories: Companies

Why Simple Or Overly Complicated Solutions Often Don't Work Well for Complex Systems

NetObjectives - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 17:32
Executive Summary Lean-Agile transformation consultants tend to provide one of two types of approaches to their clients: Simple solutions (e.g., Scrum, Kanban Method) Complicated solutions (e.g., standard implementations of LeSS, SAFe, DAD) Both can (and have) worked.  And both have challenges with them.  A common problem with simple solutions is that they often never get to the real problem an...

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Categories: Companies

10 Essential Scaling Patterns and SAFe NEXT.0 with Dean Leffingwell

BigVisible Solutions :: An Agile Company - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 17:00


I recently sat down to listen to our latest podcast with Scaled Agile Framework creator Dean Leffingwell and, wow, was I excited by what I heard!

There is so much information packed into this episode of Agile Amped, you won’t want to miss it and you’ll likely want to listen to it twice! In this interview, Dean hints at the next iteration of the learning and success patterns from the folks at Scaled Agile and the ever-growing SAFe practitioners contributing their experiences, likes and dislikes, to improve IT delivery agility. But first Dean gives us the deal on the “10 Essential Scaling Patterns We Can (Probably) All Agree On.”


10 Essential Scaling Patterns

This is not the first time we’ve heard about a distillation of ‘Essential SAFe elements’ without which you are not truly leveraging SAFe as a scaling strategy. Think of the ten elements less as an MVP and more as fundamental keystone habits: if you manage to establish a true organizational change mindset, your delivery agility is more likely to succeed and sooner. The 10 Essential Scaling Patterns are:

  1. SAFe Lean-Agile Principles
  2. Agile teams and release trains
  3. Cadence and synchronization
  4. Essential team and program roles
  5. PI Planning
  6. System Demo
  7. Inspect and Adapt
  8. IP Iteration
  9. Architectural Runway
  10. Lean-Agile leadership

In his talk at the Mile High Agile conference, Dean also used this self-assessment tool to energize the crowd. You can read this article at Scaled Agile to learn more. Even if you are not using SAFe as a part of your strategy to achieve Business Agility, there is much goodness in the 10 Essential Scaling Patterns that can help all enterprises start and drive their own transformation.

SAFe Next.0

What’s most exciting about this podcast is the discussion about the future of SAFe. Although the date and version for the next iteration of SAFe has not yet been announced, Dean shares three areas of growth for the Scaled Agile Framework: Configurability, DevOps and Innovation.


One of the most interesting new areas of SAFe thinking is Scaled Agile’s response to those who criticize the Big Picture as too prescriptive or too complex. What if there were some additional flexibility – Dean called this “configurability”– in the way we view the framework as well as use it? Some organizations require the complete Big Picture implementation and while others can start with a smaller SAFe implementation as a transformation starter strategy with well documented case studies to get an organization moving, iterating in a Lean-Agile way and adopting further elements beyond the essentials. Dean provides several examples of different types of organizations customizing SAFe to suit their needs as well as how the next iteration of SAFe will be able to support more configurability.

DevOps and Continuous Delivery

Increasing the guidance and focus of DevOPS is top of mind. If you consider the goals of DevOps is to decrease the delays in the deployment pipeline processes while increasing quality and speed to market with automation, then it’s easy to see that DevOPS becomes a forcing function to smaller batches of releases. To deliver smaller batch releases, other upstream development pipeline and design thinking also needs to “think small” and take a more experimental approach. Dean talked about the underlying principle of P-D-C-A (Plan Do Check Act) as another keystone habit that can provide plenty of continuous improvement thinking at any level or layer it is applied.


In Lean Startup, you ask yourself “What’s the smallest thing I can do to prove the hypothesis?” This thinking has been incorporated into SAFe at the portfolio level, for which Dean gives several examples: the Epic Value Statement is now the Epic Hypothesis Statement and its accompanying business case looks very much like a Lean Canvas. Dean emphasizes that Lean Startup, Agile development, DevOps and Continuous Delivery all enable the business to get feedback quickly from the market and thus reduce risk.

There’s so much more in this podcast, so give it a listen or two! Let us know in the comments what you’re excited about in the new SAFe!


You heard it first on Agile Amped. Subscribe below to get more just like this!

The post 10 Essential Scaling Patterns and SAFe NEXT.0 with Dean Leffingwell appeared first on SolutionsIQ.

Categories: Companies

Property-based testing in Java with JUnit-Quickcheck - Part 2: Generators

Xebia Blog - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 10:45

In Part 1 of this tutorial we created a Property-based test (PBT) from a normal JUnit test with basic types. Now let us extend the domain object PostalParcel with a list of Products. All examples are written with Java 8 and can be downloaded from my gitlab repository. Write an unit test for the function deliveryCosts with […]

The post Property-based testing in Java with JUnit-Quickcheck - Part 2: Generators appeared first on Xebia Blog.

Categories: Companies

Property-based testing in Java with JUnit-Quickcheck - Part 1: The basics

Xebia Blog - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 07:48

To be able to show you what Property-based testing (PBT) is, let's start by grasping the concept of a property in programming languages. Since this is a Java tutorial, I will start with Oracle and their definition of a property in their glossary: Characteristics of an object that users can set, such as the color of a window. Property […]

The post Property-based testing in Java with JUnit-Quickcheck - Part 1: The basics appeared first on Xebia Blog.

Categories: Companies

Rediscovering testing with Horizon: Zero Dawn

Xebia Blog - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 09:20

Recently Guerrilla Games launched its newest and first open world game: Horizon: Zero Dawn. This got us thinking. Is game testing any different than testing 'regular' software? Together with Ana Barbuta, QA Manager at Guerrilla Games, we held a Meetup to find the answer to this question. In this blog post, we reflect shortly on how […]

The post Rediscovering testing with Horizon: Zero Dawn appeared first on Xebia Blog.

Categories: Companies

The Agile Mindshift: Leading People and Managing Systems

BigVisible Solutions :: An Agile Company - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 17:00


The Industrial Age was revolutionary. Many companies point to the rapid development and expansion of business and technology as well as the vastly improved quality of human well-being as reasons for its importance. And yet the time has come to recognize that the revolutions of that age are deeply entrenched today and, in key ways, preventing the next revolutionary advance. We are no longer in the Industrial Age; we are in the Digital Age.

Many if not most corporations operate as if little of consequence has changed. People, they reason, are the cogs of today: with the right amount of administration, coordination and coercion, human systems will yield the same exponential results that Industrial-Age machinery achieved. The evidence cannot be clearer, however: human systems do not operate like machines, and this thinking has been a huge obstacle to realizing that human-driven, human-focused businesses can achieve more than a traditional-minded organization. Creativity and innovation are not something you can relegate to a machine — at least not yet. In the meantime, only those organizations capable of sensing and responding to feedback in real time with creative innovations that meet real customer needs are likely to thrive. This is at the heart of Business Agility: the capability of a business to outlearn and outperform its competitors.

Business Agility is the biggest lever of value and success in the Digital Age, replacing efficiency and scale of the previous era. For organizations to thrive in these uncertain times, the focus must shift from optimizing the work of machines and ordered processes to developing new skills that enable creativity, innovation, continuous learning and change. To accomplish this, we need more leadership, and less management.

But what is the difference between leadership and management? And how extensive is that shift ?

Management vs Leadership

There are many definitions available for the two terms, and most of them bear some similarities. Before distinguishing them, examining the purpose of the two is important: to enable and propel the collective action of a group of people towards a common goal. To do this requires both leadership and management:

Leadership: facilitating alignment on mission, vision, goals and values through human interactions. The product of leadership is manifested in the hearts and minds of individuals and in the shared identity of the community.

Management: enabling the pursuit of organizational goals by implementing and sustaining the physical environment that contains and provisions the rest of the organization. The product of management is manifested in procedures, facilities, policies, etc.

Clearly, both are necessary for success. In an Agile organization, we advocate for both leadership of people and management of systems.

Management AND Leadership

Leadership and management are two sides of one coin: both are necessary for an organization to exist and to thrive. A healthy organizational system is one where management and leadership are congruent and mutually reinforcing. In a developing organization, leadership and management activities form a positive feedback loop that continuously refines, clarifies and improves itself, and in turn improves organizational outcomes.

Unfortunately, today’s corporations suffer from too much management and not enough leadership: short-term focus and neglect of long-term strategy built around people; specialization and silos with characteristic inter- and intra-group fighting, posturing and vying for funds; low inspiration and motivation; and little to no innovation. Leadership without management, however, can be equally destructive:

  • Charismatic leader(s) within a suffering, unsustainable organization
  • Lack of tactical approaches to moving towards strategic vision, evidence that the organization doesn’t have the infrastructure needed to grow
  • Lack of feedback loops, evidenced in the ability of internal operations and development to respond rapidly to feedback
  • Disconnected vision from actual organization capabilities

It is the synergy between leadership and management that unlocks Business Agility capabilities: rapid development of innovative products that meet real user needs and more, including happier, more productive employees and a greater understanding of constantly changing markets and market opportunities.

It’s common for expert managers to downplay “soft” skills like communication and facilitating shared understanding, and for visionary leaders to be critical of management for its rigidity and risk aversion. For any organization, there is no single right answer for the question of “What’s the right balance between leadership and management?” Even in a single organization, the answer changes over time. The right amount and manifestation of each will depend on how much complexity and change the organization faces. The more complexity and the more change, the more that Agile leadership will be the primary driver of success, with Agile management providing the supporting mechanisms for staying on course and getting results. This is why Agile management isn’t for everyone: if your organization deals with little change and your market segment doesn’t require innovation, then perhaps you don’t need Agile leadership and management. However, the vast majority of the world and the businesses in it are experiencing significant disruption, and these are the very organizations that will see the most impactful and pervasive results from Agile transformation, leadership and management.

The Problem with (and Opportunity for) “Agile Managers”

It’s largely our fault: from early on, the Agile community vocally implied that managers aren’t necessary. We realize now that Agile organizations do not require the same services that managers have to date provided (e.g., traditional management). Managers have done nothing wrong in applying the Industrial-Age approach to managing systems: it was simply the doctrine that was appropriate for a different time. In the Digital Age, however, the role of managers has largely changed. Managers themselves? They can still provide a lot of value to the Agile organization.

Agile management is an as-yet emerging concept but it will look completely different from traditional management. Agile management lives at the intersection between the positive legacy of management and the human-oriented, forward-looking Agile mindset. Micromanagement, death by bureaucracy and performance reviews will be replaced by approaches appropriate for human, learning, complex systems. Most importantly, this new collective will need a clearer vision of what it means to be an Agile manager.

In our upcoming webinar “Managing in Agile: Shifting to an Agile Manager Mindset,” we highlight the important and necessary mindshifts that businesses need throughout every level of their organizations and outline how Agile managers — individuals who manage human systems with an Agile mindset — can not only survive but shape the Agile organization for the better. Join Managing Director George Schlitz and Senior Agile Consultant Tiffany Willis as they expand upon management and leadership in an Agile environment and describe the mindshifts that all individuals but especially managers need to undertake to thrive in the digital era we live in today.

Watch Now!

The post The Agile Mindshift: Leading People and Managing Systems appeared first on SolutionsIQ.

Categories: Companies

Top Tips For Distributed Meetings

Growing Agile - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 10:00

We regular talk on how to improve your distributed meetings. This video covers our top tips.


Tip 1: Use Good Tech

Tech is changing all the time, and mostly, it’s getting better. Be sure to investigate tools regularly. We used to love Skype, but with many people it got clunky, then along came Google Hangouts. Awesome we can now see who is talking as their name is highlighted! And then along came Zoom, with features like muting, and switching off video and hangout rooms. I’m sure the next great tool is just waiting for us around the corner.

Tip 2: Working Agreements

Decide as a team what your remote meeting agreements are, that will help you meetings work better. Some we use often are:

Bottom Line – don’t give us the 10 minute version of your story, rather bottom line it and give us the 1 minute outcome that is important. At any point during a meeting anyone can say (or type) “bottom line” to help speed up conversation and get to the point.

Disaster plan – Decide what will happen if someone can’t connect. Or the site is down. Where do they look next? For example: Mostly we meet on Zoom. If you can’t get into Zoom for some reason (or we get cut off half way), then we communicate via our slack channel, and if that not working then we use email. This means everyone knows what to do in the event of a tech failure.

Talking Over – Decide what will happen if people talk over each other. Will you leave it to people to self organise, or should both people stop speaking and wait for the facilitator to ask each of them to speak.

Silence – Get comfortable with silence. Around a table you can see people are thinking and so silence is ok. On a voice only call this is more tricky, are they still there? Did they get cut off? It’s ok for the line to go dead for a bit. Thinking and silence is ok, but it takes getting used to.

Tip 3: Good voice trumps bad video

If on a call with video and voice someone is struggling with a poor connection, rather turn off video. This should allow that person to at least hear the conversation clearly. This is much better than having some video but sound cutting out or distorted.

Tip 4: Same experience for all

If even one person is dialing in, rather have everyone dial in. Otherwise everyone else has an in person experience with facial expressions and body language cues except for those dialing in. It’s almost as if you are having a conversation in another language. Rather have everyone dial in and have the same experience for everyone on the call – this will result in far better communication and collaboration.

Tip 5: Prepare

Most distributed meetings are prepared in that someone will dial someone in. That’s it. You still need to facilitate and prepare for the meeting. Make use of various tools, like whiteboarding or Trello or google draw or boardthing. How can you make the meeting more interactive? Schedule breaks every 50 minutes, tell everyone to get a coffee and join back in 5 minutes. Be creative!

If you have more tips to share – please leave them in the comments field below.

Categories: Companies

Couldn’t Join the #DevOpsValueStream CrowdChat with Forrester Analyst Diego Lo Giudice? Here’s What you Missed!

Danube - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 01:38

Just recently Eric Robertson, VP of DevOps Product Engineering and Management at CollabNet and Forrester analyst Diego Lo Giudice hosted a live CrowdChat to discuss DevOps Value Streams.

CrowdChat makes community discussions around particular topics easy to host. Chats can be accessed via your own LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Chat topics are organized by hashtags. The hashtag of our latest CrowdChat was #DevOpsValueStreams. Diego, Eric and other members of the CollabNet and software delivery community contributed to the conversation with thoughts, questions, comments and lively debate.

The live chat received more than 550 views in one hour, and covered topics around measuring KPIs through Value Stream Mapping, the meaning of DevOps and how to implement Value Stream Management in the enterprise.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the most popular questions and responses excerpted from the crowdchat: 

Q: What is the first step to Value Stream Management for a large enterprise?

John Furrier: “My view is the first use tools that can generate data to identify key events to manage.”

Diego Lo Giudice: “Usually you need to identify the value stream to focus first.”

Eric Robertson:  “Agreed. These key events can used to elicit metrics/ KPIs that are important for driving your devops lifecycle, which then map to value streams you identified.”

John Furrier:  “Having end to end visibility in the data is key.”

Diego Lo Giudice: “Eliminate waste, define the target VSM and implement the pipeline to automate as much as possible to improve. The tools will generate data, so you need to create a baseline of that data, define the important metrics you want to track and compare/analyze and improve.”

Thomas Hooker: “Define the short list of critical applications you want to start with the identify their key stakeholders.”


Q: (Posed by Camille Landau) Is DevOps the “new Agile”? Is it replacing Agile?

Thomas Hooker: “No, DevOps extends Agile.”

Diego Lo Giudice: “Agile and DevOps are two sides of the same coin, the metaphor I use is: Agile is like having the Ferrari you enjoy it, the CX is great and you can go really fast!!!”

Diego Lo Giudice:  “But a Ferrari (Agile) needs a nice motorway or freeway so that you can go fast, on a winding road you might have fun with a Ferrari but can’t go that fast, if bumpy definitively can’t.”

Peter Burris:  “Both use a common foundation — empirical, iterative, and opportunistic — applied to different roles. Throwing a baseball is like throwing a football: different contexts and roles.”


Q: (Posed by Flint Brenton) How does Value Stream Management help monitor and predict the #DevOps lifecycle?

Eric Robertson: “The key for VSM is measurement; you get measurement through monitoring your lifecycle, which gives you current data that you can use analytical models for prediction.”

Diego Lo Giudice: “It helps from two perspectives: one the value stream of what is being delivered (apps, epics, features, etc) and how the tool chain/infrastructure is performing.”

Eric Robertson: “For example, if I add FTEs do they really improve my cycle time?”

Peter Burris: “DevOps and CI/CD are focused on continuous, but IT metrics historically have been episodic (outside of machine-metrics). Value stream can provide a framework for continuous metrics across all resources.”

Eric Robertson: “Yes, metrics become more holistic vs. siloed.”


There were of course many other thoughts, comments and questions shared in this CrowdChat and you can browse the entire transcript for yourself here.

Thanks Diego and Eric for hosting this lively discussion and thank you to all who chimed in! We look forward to hosting more CrowdChats in the future so stay tuned for details.



The post Couldn’t Join the #DevOpsValueStream CrowdChat with Forrester Analyst Diego Lo Giudice? Here’s What you Missed! appeared first on

Categories: Companies

Enterprise Agile Planning: 5 Trends to Watch

Learn the trends shaping the adoption of enterprise Agile planning, and what to consider when choosing a tool to enable your Agile transformation at scale.

The post Enterprise Agile Planning: 5 Trends to Watch appeared first on Blog | LeanKit.

Categories: Companies

Multitasking: My Computer Can Do It, Why Can’t I?

BigVisible Solutions :: An Agile Company - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:00


Well, actually computers can’t multitask. What computers are good at is two things that give them the appearance of multi-tasking. First off, they can store their short-term memory at any time and then recall it exactly as it was. No data loss, no rework — the computer just picks it up right where it left off and keeps going. The second thing is that computers are able to switch between tasks extremely fast. One millisecond it’s calculating π and the next it’s pulling up Google Maps in your browser. In between it checked on the status of its memory or, if the CPU was too hot, contemplated briefly if the toaster in the break room is single.

Now try that with your human brain.

First try and store your memory. Look at a sequence of sixteen numbers, such as 43, 57, 239, 1, 32, 999, 0, 87, 58, 10, 91, 385, 872, 21, 3, 74. Take a good long look at them. Now go get a cup of coffee, check your email and like a couple of posts on Facebook. Okay, what were the numbers?

Now how good at are you at task switching? Grab a book, any book. Read half a page. Now imagine you heard the doorbell ring. In the middle of a paragraph, close the book, set it down and go check the door. No one’s there, so you go back to your book. You forgot to put a bookmark in (storing your memory) and even when you find the page again, you have to scan over the page until you find the place where you left off. Between the time you took to answer the door and to find your page and sentence again, how much time did you just use?

Multitasking is a myth. Even computers can’t do it. (Okay, technically a multi-CPU computer can, but we don’t have multi-brain people, so let’s stick with the comparison to single-CPU computers). Instead the illusion of multitasking can be attributed to how quickly you can switch between tasks coupled with how much you can remember.

I don’t need to belabor for you the limitations of human memory. Suffice it to say that humans have limited short-term memory (between 4+/- 1 and 7+/-2 items) and our recall of long term memory is impeded by delay, interference and accessibility issues. See the Wikipedia article on Short-Term Memory and this article on “Forgetting” in Psychologists World if you want to read more on that.

What I really want to focus on is the problem of task switching.

Task Switching

Switching between various tasks (also known as context switching) has significant costs associated with it. Two of the leading ones are:

    1. Loss of Productivity: In his book “Quality Software Management: System’s Thinking,” Gerald Weinberg visualizes the cost of context switching in the chart below. When you change tasks, your brain has to change the context it is working in. The more you change contexts, the heavier the cost.

  1. Lower Quality: Task switching also leads to more errors, with a popular infographic on “The High Cost of Multitasking” by citing up to 50% more errors when you multitask (the data was probably pulled from this report).

Getting the point home

Odds are that, if you are reading this blog, you already understand this concept at least in part. The challenge, of course, is how to get “those other guys” to see the light. When working with teams and management, I like to boil it down to very simple hands-on exercises or examples. Here are a few things you can reach for to try and demonstrate the value of not multitasking.

1. Hands-on Exercise

Nothing beats first-hand experience. To provide the first-hand experience of the illusion of multitasking, I use a version of an exercise called the “Secrets of Multitasking,” which I’ve revised and updated over the years. It’s a five- to ten-minute exercise requiring only blank paper and ballpoint pens. The short form is you have participants try and produce multiple things at the same time, then have them do one thing at a time and then compare the time results. Inevitably, participants realize that doing multiple things at the same time takes much longer than the total time of working several tasks one after the other. I have used this exercise with five to twenty managers and decision makers to help them see the dangers of multitasking first hand in real time.

You can find a full write up on how I run this exercise here.

2. Visuals

A picture is worth a thousand words. While nothing beats hands-on experience, images can form a lasting impression and are something people can take away from the conversation. The challenge with hands-on exercises is that you have to get them hands-on, which is a non-trivial task sometimes.

When working with a national insurance carrier, the challenge I had to tackle was how to get the message beyond the teams and their direct managers. The chief Product Owner came to my training and he absolutely got the dangers of multitasking. Only he couldn’t just tell his stakeholders, “Trust me, it doesn’t work.” Besides, not everyone is comfortable with asking their bosses to do an exercise. I came up with class takeaways that could be presented to those stakeholders “too busy” to come to training or do a five-minute exercise.

The two visuals above, Weinberg’s chart and the infographic excerpt, are two of the takeaways I provided. Below is yet another. This one-page visual demonstrates the theoretical production of three machines that build different kinds of cell phones, accentuating the difference between sequenced and simultaneous work. A full slide deck presentation on this theme can be downloaded here.

3. Be the Mirror

Like good cream, excellence has a way of rising to the top. If you can practice “right tasking” yourself, you can be the example others can follow. When you, or your team, start getting more done, look happier, and are more engaged, there is a good chance people will start to ask why. You may not be able to change the whole organization. Don’t try. Instead run experiments. When they are successful, show the results and try and run a larger experiment the next time. Rinse and repeat.

How do you and your teams get more done? Do you limit your WIP? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below!

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The post Multitasking: My Computer Can Do It, Why Can’t I? appeared first on SolutionsIQ.

Categories: Companies

Gartner Names CollabNet Visionary in Enterprise Agile Planning Tools Magic Quadrant

Danube - Fri, 06/02/2017 - 02:43

Get Your Complimentary Copy of the Enterprise Agile Planning Tools Magic Quadrant Now

Gartner recently acknowledged CollabNet as a visionary in a broad Agile Planning Tools report, the “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools,” written by analysts Thomas E. Murphy, Mike West and Keith James Mann. You can read the corresponding full announcement here.

Gartner defines visionaries as vendors that understand where the market is going or have a vision for changing market rules. This report specifically cites CollabNet’s strength in helping organizations move from Waterfall to Agile development methods, bridging between traditional IT legacy applications and new technologies.

This is significant because many organizations today require bimodal solutions to move forward. Companies need to continue to leverage well-established investments in legacy systems and processes, while modernizing to provide better products and services.

Industry expert Scott Rose, who is vice president of product management at CollabNet shared these insights about CollabNet’s positioning in the Magic Quadrant:

“Vision is about seeing where customers are headed and helping them prepare for those changing requirements. We also need to be pragmatic and help them adopt those changes and, where possible, leverage their existing investments. Agile planning tools, including application lifecycle management (ALM) platforms, have matured in recent years and now support DevOps and business priorities through collaboration, visibility, traceability and cross-functional integration,” said Rose. “We’ve participated in this evolutionary process and seen it come about firsthand.”

It’s an honor to be considered a visionary in this new Gartner category.

We are making this report available for download at no cost. To receive your complimentary copy, please visit:

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Categories: Companies

The Next Chapter in the Story of SolutionsIQ

BigVisible Solutions :: An Agile Company - Thu, 06/01/2017 - 17:24

We are pleased to announce a new chapter in the story of SolutionsIQ.

SolutionsIQ is being acquired by Accenture.

Back in 2006 when we purchased SolutionsIQ, with a business legacy as a staffing company, we set a new strategy to become an Agile consulting company. Since that day we have not changed course and, as we launch this next chapter of our story, we are the largest pure play Agile consulting company in North America. We have also become an Agile organization, guided by and deeply committed to our Agile values, principles and community, which from the start have been the key to our success.

What’s Next?

Over the next few months, not much will change. We will continue to serve our clients, invite new employees to join us and participate in the Agile community as we have in the past. Perhaps most important, our mission as a part of Accenture will not change. We will continue to help our customers unlock the creative potential of their knowledge workers as they develop new organization-wide capabilities to innovate and respond to a rapidly changing marketplace. However, over time our ability to fulfill this mission will dramatically strengthen, as will our ability to maintain and grow a workplace community where Agile professionals thrive.

This combination made a lot of sense to us. Although we have continued to grow year over year, we have recognized for a long time that the size of the Agile market opportunity far outstripped our ability to realize its potential working alone. We had been searching for and finally found the right partner to help us.

Becoming the newest members of the Accenture team of over 400,000 provides us with extraordinary support and global reach. We also are eager to explore the synergies between our Agile consulting and Accenture’s well-established Agile distributed-delivery capability. We both strongly agreed that culture was of central importance and that the key to a successful combination would be to preserve key tenets of our Agile culture and community within the larger Accenture ecosystem. The entire SolutionsIQ community is now part of Accenture. We are super-excited to continue our Agile journey with new fellow travelers.

We want to thank our colleagues across the Agile industry from whom we have learned so much. We thank our clients for trusting us to let us help them and from whom we learn so much. And we thank our colleagues and their families, who through their will, talent and generosity have helped us create a truly wonderful place to be and the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others. Upon you we will continue to depend and from you we have learned the most. How to be better leaders. How to be better people.

Learn more now

See you all soon,

John and Charlie

The post The Next Chapter in the Story of SolutionsIQ appeared first on SolutionsIQ.

Categories: Companies

Manual Testing and Acceptance Test Automation

NetObjectives - Thu, 06/01/2017 - 15:08
Acceptance tests should always be considered "executable specifications" of the system. This is equally true whether that "executable" part is an automated aspect of your process or not. Indeed many organizations find that in their initial adoption of acceptance testing, attempting to add automation at the same time is simply too large a bite to take. They find that the biggest "bang for the...

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Categories: Companies