At the XP Days Benelux conference, Paul Kuijten did a session called "kill all projects" where he questioned if getting rid of all projects could be a good idea. InfoQ did an interview with Paul about project management practices that can be valuable for agile, and the funding of product development.
Mobile Backend as a Service provider AnyPresence continues to hone their chops. Launching the fifth update to their self-titled platform geared for the enterprise. Co-founder Rich Mendis provides some insights for InfoQ readers…
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?
There is a need for the public sector to adopt agile software development methods. Two case studies which show how agile has been used for the FBI, and at the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
TargetProcess has released a free 5-user Community Edition of its Agile project management software. The Community Edition contains the same features as the full edition of the product with two limitations: a maximum 5 users, and no support.
Aside from "Agile" itself, "Business Value" may be one of the most widely used buzzwords around the floors of any fresh agile project. But, how many of these projects actually have a good understanding of what they really mean when they're saying it? Joe Little presents his thoughts on this very question.
The TargetProcess planning and tracking toolset is evolving quickly. Since release 2.0, they have added Test Cases bound to User Stories and Test Plans, Subversion Integration for requirement-to-source code and defect-to-source code visibility, People Allocation Management and a public Web Services API, making v2.3 a more attractive solution for large Agile shops.
In his Gantthead article, "Get It Right the Last Time: Developing an Agile Attitude," Doug DeCarlo challenged project managers to ditch the counter-productive "get-it-right-the-first-time" philosophy practiced for so long by so many. Instead, he has proposed some Agile attitudes to help managers think differently about what counts.
What happens to planning when teams "self organize"? Agile methods are empirical: plan it, do it, evaluate, plan again. David Hussman reviews practices for planning a project, release, iteration.
Traditional thinking has turned budgets into fixed performance contracts that force managers at all levels to commit to specified financial outcomes, despite the fact that many of the underlying variables are beyond their control. As Agility increases the futility of this exercise becomes apparent. Thought-leader Jim Highsmith proposes a helpful alternative more harmonious with Agile values.
Jim Highsmith, Director of Cutter Consortium's Agile Project Management Practice told the APLN Leadership Summit audience yesterday: "...to achieve truly agile, innovative organizations, a change in our approach to performance management systems is necessary... 'Conforming to plan' while delivering scant business value will seriously impede agility, whether in projects or the entire enterprise.
On the high-volume ScrumDevelopment newsgroup, an interesting question has appeared, once again: "Is it possible to run SCRUM with fixed price contracts especially custom projects?". Ron Jeffries, Mike Beedle and others offer replies from experience.
Detractors have propagated the myth that "Agile teams don't plan", which couldn't be farther from the truth. Planning is essential to Agile, because of its empirical nature: plan, execute, inspect, adapt... plan again. Stacia Heimgartner outlines the five levels of planning required to set good expectations with all levels of the organization.
Mark Hedlund has a favourite story: he tells of the BigBook Technique, a simple ploy engineers once used to communicate with their CEO about a death-march project. With yet another big-project implosion in the news, Hedlund felt the need to roll out this simple remedy, again. In effect: nine women simply cannot deliver a baby in one month. If that sounds familiar, this story may be of use to you.