As the need for software products and services increases organizations look for ways to increase their capacity. Often organizations decide to scale up by adding more people. Some question this approach and suggest alternative ways to be able to deliver more software without adding people.
Agile teams measure the velocity of their sprints. It helps them to plan and track their progress and provides insight for product owners to plan product releases. Can teams also use velocity data when they want to improve themselves? Several authors have written about velocity and shared their concerns on measuring velocity to improve the productivity of teams.
Rebel Labs recently released a productivity report indicating DevOps is a key initiative for 2013 with tangible benefits for engineers, managers, and businesses. The report includes findings in the following categories: the work week, application failures/responses, tools, and software releases.
Java software tools maker ZeroTurnaround has acquired Javeleon, a Denmark based startup that produces a product related to ZeroTurnaround's popular JRebel dynamic Java class-reloading tool.
JustCode Q3 ships with several new features which enables developers to minimize coding by automating frequently used tasks and thereby improving productivity.
Microsoft recently released Power Tools for Visual Studio 2012 with three new features to enhance developers productivity.
Alex "Sandy" Pentland, professor of MIT, talks about his experiments with sociometric badges in context of teams productivity in his interview for Harvard Business Review. His research can help in defining optimal communication patters that will make you and your team members more efficient and more satisfied at work.
Interruptions are something that every team has to deal with and, if not managed appropriately, they can potentially have a detrimental affect on their ability to deliver. In a recent post on the Agile Advice blog, Mishkin Berteig described seven options that teams could consider to deal with interruptions when using Scrum or iterative Agile approaches.
As technologists we often never question how technology is affecting us and our world. This interview with Eric Brende presents an a different view on progress, innovation and technology.
Agile practices should foster high-performance self-organizing teams. It is important that high-performance equals value delivery, to ensure that the team solves the right problem. It is also important to create an environment where high-performance can flourish which requires thinking and action at a management level. We examine three commentators perspectives on enabling high performance.
Velocity, the measure of work completed by the team divided by the time taken to complete it, is increasingly being used to manage the productivity of a team and as a comparison between teams. Jim Highsmith, Mark Levison, and Scott Ambler discuss the misuse of velocity as a productivity measure.
Agile does not necessarily mandate or recommend the use of tools. Ideally the development could be done on a command line interface with requirements present on index cards. However, in the last few years, several tools have emerged and they have acted as a catalyst to successful Agile development. Migan and Gaia recently conducted a survey to find out the use of such tools in the Agile space.
Many developers like to work in isolation, for some time, if not always. XP recommends a room arrangement called “Caves and Commons”. Commons area is organized to maximise osmotic communication. Caves are meant to facilitate isolation for activities like personal email, phone calls or a quick spike. However, there could be a situations where a team member wants to take this isolation too far.
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
Context Switching is defined as changing focus and attention from one task to the other in relatively short periods of time. It is widely considered harmful for the team member and the project that he is working on. Charles Miller mentioned a few ways of how they handle context switching at Atlassian.