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Agile Kanban: Visual Tracking Beyond the Team Room

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Jan 16, 2008 8

In the beginning Agile was largely a developer-driven initiative, sometimes improving development processes only to find the real bottlenecks lay outside developer control. In his latest InfoQ article, Kenji Hiranabe analyses Lean manufacturing's "Kanban" visual tracking tool, how it differs from the Agile taskboard, and how it helps identify more far-reaching improvements.

Successful Collaboration Doesn't Happen by Accident

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Jan 02, 2008 2

Partnership Coach Michael Spayd tells us that both contractors and permanent employees can find themselves playing a "consultant" role, and should consider using consulting contracts or "designed partnerships" with their clients - not regarding the exchange of money, but to create a climate for stellar results for the client, while also communicating their own values and preferences.

I'm Not Sure What You Heard is What I Thought I Said

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Dec 24, 2007 4

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.

Teleconferencing: How To Keep 'Em Engaged

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Dec 10, 2007 12

While Agile processes recommend to colocate team members for synergy, it's not always possible. More and more projects are utilizing talent from locations all over the world to solve various problems. In these cases leaders and facilitators can contribute significantly to teamwork by mastering the ability to run effective remote meetings.

Holding a Program in Your Head

by Kurt Christensen on  Oct 19, 2007 5

Your code: is it that stuff you store in version control or, as Paul Graham argues, "... your understanding of the problem you're exploring"? Graham has written an essay offering eight suggestions for developers trying to understand the code on which they're working - some of which seem to contradict the advice of the agilists.

Software Development Insurance

by Amr Elssamadisy on  Aug 28, 2007 5

The motion picture industry insures completion of their motion pictures via a performance bond, where an insurance company guarantees satisfactory completion of a project by a contractor. Laurent Bossavit ruminated on what it would take to do the same for software project.

Time for Change: Agile Teams in Traditional Organisations

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Jul 06, 2007 1

Agile teams seem to be meeting more resistance, as they scale up and move from "early adopter" territory into the mainstream. Does this mean Agile can't work in more traditional organisations? Not necessarily, say coaches Michael Spayd and Joe Little, in a new InfoQ interview: what's needed now is an awareness of the need to facilitate organizational change.

Agile, Architecture and the 5am Production Problem

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Jun 25, 2007 25

What does "just enough architecture" mean? Can we agree on this? The answers from FDD and XP seem divergent. Michael Nygard, author of Release It! unravels the story of a production problem which typical Agile approaches would not have prevented, asserting that Agile teams may need to attend more to architecture, if they want to sleep through the night once it's deployed in the real world.

Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Agile compatibility

by Amr Elssamadisy on  Jun 19, 2007 7

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?

What can Math and Psychology teach us about Agile?

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Jun 11, 2007 45

With Agile, we avoid early commitments to gain flexibility later. APLN members Chris Matts and Olav Maassen have noted a connection here with the math behind financial options. Their article introduces "Real Options," applying both psychology and financial math to our thinking about Agile practices. They propose it will help us refine our agile practices and take agile in new directions.

Can Virtual Teams Ever Work?

by Ben Hughes on  Jun 07, 2007 9

Co-location is one of the cornerstones of Scrum, so the increasing trend toward non-co-located teams raises questions on how Agile can work in such an environment. David Churchville has blogged some common distributed team scenarios, and offered solutions to common pitfalls of delivering Agile projects using different types of distributed teams.

Kent Beck: Be Yourself - Create More Value

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Apr 30, 2007

Recent discussions on the extremeprogramming list keep returning to "telling the truth". Why do we bite off more than we can chew? Why the overtime heroics? Kent Beck's one-hour talk "Ease at Work" explored how to get off what he called the "genius-shithead rollercoaster" and just be yourself at work. Question: Would you rather spend energy on maintaining an image, or doing more cool stuff?

Agile UI Development: What's the User Experience?

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Feb 19, 2007 7

While Agile approaches generally shun up-front analysis and design, the emerging practice of User-Centered Design relies on a detailed user research and modeling phase before development begins. Which is right? In his InfoQ article, Dave Churchville explores how these disciplines can be used together for an effective UI development process.

Agile Planning Reduces Stress for Business and Developers

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on  Feb 05, 2007 2

In The Freedom of Limited Capacity, Agile coach Mishkin Berteig wrote about what happened when he used Agile planning practices on his own business. By making his long work queue visible, he now had a better way to grapple with reality. Paradoxically, he also experienced a reduction in his stress level - in spite of his very visible backlog! The same effect has been observed on Agile teams.

Enhancing Scrum with "The Core Protocols"

by Kurt Christensen on  Dec 12, 2006

Alex Champandard has written a piece on using Scrum within the game development industry, and how Scrum can be augmented with Jim and Michele McCarthy's "Core Protocols."

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