During Agile 2008, Dr. Linda Rising held a presentation centered on experiments conducted many years ago, presenting how deep, powerfully affecting, and difficult to avoid are human “prejudices” and “stereotypes” as seen from the perspective of psychology and cognitive science. The article, written by Tsutomu Yasui, is a summary of that presentation.
A Scrum team has no designated leader; the team is expected to self-organize. Similarly, one of the world's most renowned orchestras has dispensed entirely with the role of conductor in favor of a process where leadership is shared and decisions are made by the team. Along the way, they have learned lessons and ways of working together that any Scrum team can benefit from.
XP might not be for everyone. An interesting discussion on the Extreme Programming group, tries to find the factors, on which, an individual should be evaluated, to determine, whether he is fit to be on an XP team.
Declan Whelan wrote a thought-provoking blog citing an idea he learned from Mishkin Berteig about an (unspoken) principle behind successful Agile teams: truthfulness. The idea is simple: without individuals being honest and open, most agile practices will not work.
On Agile teams there is a definite possibility of having a team member who is not a good fit. Members of the Agile community discuss the reasons and possible ways of voting someone off the island.
An Agile team is mostly a cross functional team comprising of generalists and specialists. Jurgen Appelo, challenges this concept and suggests that having just specialists on an Agile team adds more value. The post tries to correlate various view points on team composition by other members of the Agile community.
Joseph Pelrine has come full circle: from university studies in Psychology, journeying through SmallTalk, XP and Scrum, and now back to broader questions: Why and how does Agile work? In this interview, Joseph talked about Complexity Science, and how story-telling, "sense-making," network analysis and speed-dating's gut-feel approach may prove more useful than our old toolkits for managing teams.
The Agile “self organising team” paradigm requires that team members develop strong interpersonal skills. Now management gains an important role in helping teams learn new ways to communicate and collaborate. This article proposes some strategies for imparting new skills without crushing a team’s growing self-organization, and suggests some sources of helpful material for developing new skills.
At NFJS Venkat Subramaniam, co-author with Andy Hunt of "Practices of an Agile Developer," shared his pragmatic approach to some of the important technical and non-technical factors contributing to project success, including: coding, developer attitude, debugging, mentoring and feedback.
Here is a story about Agile's use in a governmental organisation: at the 2006 APLN Leadership Summit Mark Salamango and John Cunningham looked at the problems and opportunities of introducing Agile in Army environments. True Agile practices cannot be 'commanded' or 'directed’ but frequent delivery offers Agile leaders a "soft" kind of power that is, in fact, very effective.
Are family celebrations a challenge? You get together to catch up and swap stories, and invariably something gets "taken the wrong way." It's not restricted to families is it? So it's not surprising that the Satir Communication Model jumped the fence from family therapy to team building! J.B. Rainsberger uses an amusing Christmas-at-Walmart anecdote to illustrate its use.
Many software project management and architecture approaches tend to parcel out work on a project in a way to create hierarchical layers. This helps simplify both developers’ work and management. However, the underlying information shielding among layers can potentially create a gap between developers and the software they are building, if their tasks are totally taken out of functional context.
Teams moving to an Agile approach may feel irritated as they move from command-and-control to a collaborative culture - which can start to look like non-stop meetings, starting first thing every Monday morning. In this InfoQ exclusive presentation, recorded at Agile2007, Agile coach Jean Tabaka shared her experiences working with teams, offering guidance on how to alleviate meeting burnout.
Design in the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) world involves working with the user to understand the problem and come up with a user interface – typically on paper - of the entire system before turning it over, in Big Design Upfront (BDUF) manner, to the rest of the development team to build. So how can Robert Biddle claim that HCI has home-grown practices that are very similar to those of Agile?
Seasoned practitioners packed a small room at Agile2006 to hear Linda Rising's "Are Agilists the Bonobos of the Software Community?" where she shared her thoughts on the evolutionary roots of teamwork. In this InfoQ interview, Linda talked with editor Deborah Hartmann about how writing her book "Fearless Change" led her to read on the science of the human brain and the social rituals of apes.