Many software project management and architecture approaches tend to parcel out work on a project in a way to create hierarchical layers. This helps simplify both developers’ work and management. However, the underlying information shielding among layers can potentially create a gap between developers and the software they are building, if their tasks are totally taken out of functional context.
Teams moving to an Agile approach may feel irritated as they move from command-and-control to a collaborative culture - which can start to look like non-stop meetings, starting first thing every Monday morning. In this InfoQ exclusive presentation, recorded at Agile2007, Agile coach Jean Tabaka shared her experiences working with teams, offering guidance on how to alleviate meeting burnout.
Agile2006 welcomed over 1100 participants from 29 countries, and offered over 200 different presentations. The exhilaration of a large crowd is undisputable, but now that it's over, it's important to look at the feedback in preparation for next year. Ron Jeffries has made an open invitation for feedback on his blog. Others are planning complementary, smaller events. What's the consensus?
In this month's edition of StickyMinds, communications consultant Naomi Karten has written a short article "Developing Sales Savvy" which may help your new ideas reach the ear of a resistant colleague. She notes that, while sometimes you just get lucky, there are other times when *how* you sell can be as critical to your success as what you sell.
InfoQ brings you an exclusive chapter excerpt from the recent book "Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great", by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. These expert facilitators show how teams can run focused, helpful retrospectives themselves, without an outside facilitator. We asked the authors a few questions about the making of their book.
Conflict is inevitable at work. Sooner or later, you will disagree about what to test, when to test, or how long to test software. How you approach the conflict affects the outcome and, more lastingly, how you feel about the exchange. On StickMinds last week, Esther Derby looked at some of the ways we approach conflict and how they affect solutions - and relationships.
"Highly resilient people are best suited for a world of constant change. They don't fight against disruptive change... they adjust to new situations quickly." Sounds useful for members of Agile teams which want to "embrace change", even more so for those experiencing the drastic change from traditional to Agile methods. Bob Weinstein's article lists some ways to increase your own resiliency.
David Spann introduces Jean Tabaka's book: "Collaboration Explained" in which she shares stories and facilitation techniques to make groups more effective, and provides templates to get them started.
Rather than keeping customers and developers apart (to avoid "misunderstandings"), Agilists intentionally bring them together. Communication tends to improve faster than one might expect, and soon everyone is interacting constructively. But in a team or between teams, there is always room for improvement: Cory Foy blogged what happened when he tried a new idea in "The Dreyfus Model Experiment".