Leading and working in distributed knowledge worker teams is reality for most organisations today. To get a perspective on some of the challenges and how to tackle them we spoke to Floyd Marinescu, CEO of C4Media, InfoQ's parent company. InfoQ is a globally distributed organisation with 35 fulltime and 150 part time contributors distributed across the whole world.
Esther Derby shares her thoughts on language, communication and change and their importance in organisations, the definition of metaphor and designing your environment for Agile success.
Ed Cortis talks about Agile (or whether it is just common sense) in Operations teams as well as sharing his experiences in rolling out an Activity Based Working environment at Bankwest.
Amr Elssamadisy, founder of Agile Culture New York and author of the book Agile Adoption Patterns, shares his thoughts on why safety is essential to Agile success. We know that learning is essential for successful agility, and teams learn best through failure – but failure is inherently unsafe. The key to success is in making things safe. Without safety you cannot learn effectively from failure.
Dan Mezick, author of the book The Culture Game, shares his insights on engagement as the fuel of successful and lasting Agile adoptions. Pulling examples from Open Spaces and the computer gaming industry, Dan explains how they both implement four basic rules: have a clear goal, a clear set of rules, a good feedback system, and support an opt-in participation strategy.
Vickie Gray, author of the book Creating Time, shares her insights on the Core Protocols and how they can be used to solve many of the common problems that plague teams. The Core Protocols provide a common API on which the team can operate when performing Agile processes like Scrum or Kanban, and according to Vickie, we need this common API because humans are much more complicated than code.
In this interview, Jim and Michele McCarthy, co-founders of McCarthy Technologies, Inc. and authors of the book Software for Your Head, share their insights on the Core Protocols and the Core Commitments on which they’re based. These tools provide a set of structured interactions between people on a team, and when coupled with safety, freedom, and radical democracy, can lead a team to greatness.
Johanna Rothman discusses the application of portfolio management thinking in an Agile way, and having the courage to stop work and cancel projects when they have outlived their usefulness. Tackling topics such as the mission impossible project, the sacred cow project and other management impediments and how to overcome them.
In this interview, Jeff Patton discusses the Product Owner role and points out that Agile has never been very focused on the customer. While Agile development excels at “delivery”, it struggles to support “discovery” (i.e. defining what the customer really needs). Also discussed are techniques such as Lean Startup and story maps and the importance of defining business value in an Agile context.
Linda Cook, a well-known agilist, and board member of both the Agile Alliance and the Agile Leadership Network, discusses the agile coaching profession. Among other things, she covers servant leadership, being as a role model, types of individuals appropriate for the profession, and the differences between being an external coach versus being an internal employee in the coach role.
Roy Osherove talks about the challenges and opportunities of being a software team leader. He shares his hard won experiences in growing teams, their members and influencing behaviour. Being a software team lead is about getting out of your comfort zone, creating trust and commitment in your team but also about knowing about team maturity levels and the different approaches needed.
In this interview Jez Humble discusses the concept of continuous delivery, which implies that software should always be production ready throughout its lifecycle. That means that every build could be released into production and run effectively. Continuous delivery involves build and deployment automation, continuous integration, test automation, managing infrastructure and environments and more.