This is the second in a series of discussions looking at factors that enable Agile teams to be successful. Diversity of gender, culture, opinion, perspective, skills and background is considered to be an important factor in forming and persisting high-performance teams. This news item examines the perspectives from variety of commentators.
"Simplicity" is a core agile tenet, particularly when it comes to software design and testing. Since 2006, Naresh Jain has been running a worldwide conference, the Simple Design & Testing Conference, for practitioners to collectively push the boundaries on the topic. Naresh tells InfoQ what's going on behind this small, but well-known conference and why he is so passionate about the topic.
Last week the Agile Boston user group held a full day OpenSpace conference. One session was focused on how to affect other groups in an organization that you and/or your team is dependent on. The members of this session shared their different contexts and problems and came up with several strategies in improving their situations, none of which were were Agile practices.
The Agile community is developing consensus around three important areas of practice: requirements gathering, agile coaching, and open space formats for group learning. At the recent Scrum Gathering, these topics were prominent topics of discussion on Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 of the event. InfoQ explored each of these further to gain a better understanding of their place in Agile.
The 2010 US Scrum Gathering in Orlando wraps up after an all-Open Space Day 3, exemplifying the collaborative and empirical essence of Scrum as its originally intended.
Day two of the 2010 Scrum Gathering, packed full of a whirlwind of topics, talkers, activities, useful nuggets, and again (of course) healthy debates. Highlights including Harrison Owens, the creator of Open Space (as we know it), Jeff Patton's User Story Mapping, Jurgen Appello on self-organization and much, much more.
March 19 - 21, agile coaches will gather in Durham, North Carolina to share, learn, and improve their skills. Registration for this event costs no money, but each participant must write a position paper in order to qualify. The event will have no preset agenda of sessions. Instead, the Open Space approach will be used, and participants will create the agenda at the event itself.
Although it's widely accepted that diversity leads to innovation and performance, visible leadership in the IT community often doesn't represent the diversity of the community itself. What can be done to increase diversity in the leadership of our high-tech communities? One suggestion is to actively help a more diverse group to get their talks accepted at conferences.
High-performance teams constitute a mere 2% of the workforce, but Agile processes appear to stimulate the formation of these types of teams. This article discusses Steve Denning's perspective on how such teams can be nurtured in the workplace; it also looks at a recent talk by Ominlab Media's Stefan Gillard on how to select and employ for the formation of high-performance teams.
The Extreme Programming Yahoo Group has been discussing the pros and cons of low tech information radiators, such as task boards, compared to high tech tools. The original poster preferred a physical task board to a spreadsheet, but found himself unable to explain why to his boss. The ensuing discussion uncovered a variety of reasons to choose simple physical means of reporting information.
Apache Tribes, a Tomcat 6 module, supports group communication in the server cluster. Filip Hanik talked about the challenges in heterogeneous clusters and how Tribes helps with group communication requirements of Tomcat clusters. He did a presentation at SpringOne Americas conference about Tribes messaging framework.
Recently there has been an active discussion in the Scrum Development Yahoo Group about handling an "under-performing" team member. In the 130+ response thread, "Rotten apple in Scrum team", talk ranged from advice for the primary question, to talk of team morale and who manages it, to the classic debate of measuring individuals, to distinguishing whether a team is really a "team", and more.
In this interview made by InfoQ's Greg Young, Steven "Doc" List talks about Open Space conferences, a way of running meetings of groups of various sizes by facilitating self organizing the sessions.
In this interview filmed during Agile 2008, following the presentation "Who Do You Trust?", Linda Rising shows how prejudices can affect the relationships between team members. According to Linda, we all have a tendency to categorize others based on characteristics like race, religion, sex, but also based on more trivial characteristics, and many times we are not even aware we are doing it.
Talk about agile can often tend toward the tangible things that people do day-to-day, toward the "process of agile", but true agility is really less about process and more about principle. Travis Birch presents his perspective about some of these more intangible aspects of agile, namely "truthfulness".