A recent Gartner blog raised the issue of Agile projects driving "death march" behavior as each iteration becomes a drive to deliver more and more.
Agile adoption in organizations where command and control is the most dominant management style can be tricky. There have been situations where an agile transition didn’t deliver the expected improvements, or even failed and was stopped. Several authors suggested ways to adopt agile in organizations with a command and control management style. How did you deal with it when transitioning to agile?
Agile retrospectives are used by teams to improve their performance, by reflecting on the way of working and defining improvement actions. But retrospectives can also be used for personal improvement, additional to or as a replacement of performance appraisals. Such retrospectives can be done as a one-on-one by a manager and an employee, individually by an employee, or in a team.
The way that agile teams and organizations take decisions impacts the value that they can get from agile ways of working. To become agile, it can help to learn different decision making techniques, and pick the one which is most suitable for a situation.
Guillaume Duquesnay uses his experience with games and roleplaying in his work as an agile coach. At the Agile Tour Brussels he talked about leadership, facilitation and management styles where no authority was involved. InfoQ interviewed Guillaume on his coaching, facilitation and leadership skills, and asked him if playing games gives happiness and fun to people, and make them more productive?
Maurizio Pedriale & Alan Hortz facilitated a workshop at the Agile Tour Brussels conference where multiple teams played 4 exercises with Lego. The purpose of the exercises is to get a first understanding of the Cynefin framework, and discuss how to use it agile coaching situations.
Organizations adopt agile to be able to handle changes. Agile helps teams to deliver products that satisfy the needs of customers; products which do not contain unneeded (and unused) features. Lean software development says: everything not adding value to the customer is considered to be waste. How can a transition from waterfall to agile software development help organizations to reduce waste?
Enterprises want to increase their capability to deliver value to customers in less time. Many adopt agile software development to iteratively develop and deliver software solutions. Lean startup aims to support developing new businesses and products. Several authors shared their views on how combining agile and lean startup methods can be beneficial.
Teams sometimes consider to skip a retrospective meeting, when they feel time pressure, or do not see direct benefits of doing one. Next they question themselves if they have to keep doing retrospectives? Agile retrospectives help teams to learn and improve continuously, and there are valid reasons to keep doing them also with mature teams.
When enterprises implement agile ways of working, questions can arise if changes are needed in the way performance appraisals are being done? Several authors have suggestions on how you can use feedback next or as a replacement for existing appraisal processes, to improve the performance of individuals and teams.
The 8th annual State of Agile Development Survey was announced at the Agile 2013 conference. Previous surveys have provided insight into agile adoption. You can participate in the survey, and get the data before it goes public.
Being one of the principles of the agile manifesto, sustainable pace is considered important by many to deploy agile. But achieving a sustainable pace can be difficult, and teams are often asked to improve their velocity. What did you do to adopt sustainable pace with your team? And how did you improve the speed in which your team delivers, and establish a new sustainable level?
Organization mostly do an agile transformation for a whole team, project, or organizational unit, given that agile is a team driven approach. But there are also professionals who start using agile practices individually, or who are working agile as a one person team. How can individuals adopt agile, and what kind of benefits can it give them?
Jonathan Kohl makes the argument for adapting processes in response to changes in the environment and technology ecosystem. He provides examples from the mobile device world and how a number of the "accepted" agile practices actually impede rather than enhance teams' ability to deliver value quickly.
The principle of “responding to change over following a plan”, is it a strength or a flexibility that can’t work in practice? For example, what about agile projects that had difficulties managing changes and customers who expect too much flexibility? Can agile not live up to its promises, or is it the way that teams and organizations have adopted agile that is causing the problems?