It is a well known fact that people leave managers, not organizations. Though, Agile teams are known to have camaraderie amongst team members, however the relationship of the manager with the team members and the organizational ecosystem as a whole holds the key to being an successful Agile manager.
Is "polymath" a required job skill for IT professionals? The rise of cloud computing, "green" computing, ultra-large scale systems, and even SOA and SaaS suggest the answer is yes. A book by Vinnie Mirchandani has prompted a flurry of commentary on what it would mean to be an IT Polymath and why such a skill is desirable.
Recently Adobe released Puppet recipes that they are using to automate Hadoop/HBase deployments to the community. InfoQ spoke with Luke Kanies, founder of PuppetLabs, to learn more about what this means.
Irrespective of the size of the project, stakeholders feel confident when they can a keep track of the risks and their mitigation strategies. Agile heavily promotes the use of information radiators. Keeping in line with the philosophy of radiators, Agilists suggested different ways of depicting risks visually for easy tracking and mitigation.
FAI (Fully Automatic Installation) is a non-interactive system to avoid the boring and repeating task of installing, customizing and managing Linux systems manually. FAI is used for maintaining chroot environments, virtual machines as well as physical boxes in setups ranging from a few single systems up to deployments of large-scale infrastructures and clusters with several thousands of systems.
Many of us, who are new to Agile, would believe that putting an Agile team together in a room gets the job done. A few of us would actually pay attention to what makes a room a team room which can enhance productivity and motivation. Many Agile teams have already shared their perspective on what would make an ideal team room. Here are a few recent ones.
The team at Reductive Labs recently announced the release of version 0.25.2 of Puppet, the open source Ruby-based configuration management and automation tool for Linux and Unix servers. In this software bug-fix release, 123 open tickets were closed, and the developers claim a reduced memory footprint, improved error reporting, threading, and lock contention (a source of reported system hangs).
In a recent Harvard Business Review article Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J Kramer challenged the commonly held mnagement belief that Recognition is the most motivating and positive factor in the workplace. Their multi-year study tracked the motivation and emotions of hundreds of knowledge workers and identified POGRESS as the single most important factor for individual motivation in the workplace
Micromanagement, often has a negative connotation associated with it. It is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of his or her subordinates or employees. Usually Agile development and micromanagement may seem to be opposite ends of spectrum however, they are more related than what meets the eye.
What is an appropriate Agile Metric? If traditional measures like: Earned Value, Hours Worked, Lines of Code, Code Coverage for Tests are not well suited to Agile Projects, then what is? What rules can we define that will help us choose good Agile metrics?
Traditional management models don't tell leaders how to support their Agile teams without undermining their emerging self-organisation. Allusions to musical performance and "conducting the orchestra" abound - but not all are in agreement. Is the "conductor" model a good practice or an anti-pattern? In his TED talk, conductor Itay Talman shows that it may depend on what we think a conductor does.
There has been plenty of debate on what skills a developer needs, or what practices an organization must adopt for agile to be successful. But while undeniably important, is this really what's at the heart of agile success? Mark Schumann suggests that agile's "one essential ingredient" is not ground-level agile technique, but rather is the agile mindset within management ranks.
Mike Kavis, wrote an article for the SOA institute in which he characterizes the success of any SOA implementation into four factors people, process, technology, and business. He believes that a good management strategy is to create and communicate a roadmap that plots out key deliverables in each of these areas.
Mary and Tom Poppendieck have published a new book titled "Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are Not the Point" in which they examine the importance of leadership in Lean/Agile transformations and provide guidance for organisations making the transformation.
Once all your teams use Agile and are busy implementing local improvements, what happens to the larger organization formerly called "IT" or "Systems Development"? A coach with a large Agile program shared the strategy they designed to let the larger community spot trends and benefit from all this learning. Paulo Caroli calls it "Retrospective of Retrospectives".