The way that agile teams and organizations take decisions impacts the value that they can get from agile ways of working. To become agile, it can help to learn different decision making techniques, and pick the one which is most suitable for a situation.
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), created by Dean Leffingwell, seems to be gaining momentum in our community and is touted as the equivalent of Scrum at an organizational level. It is currently supported by several vendors including Rally, Net Objectives, Valtech, and Ivar Jacobson International. However, not all in the community think SAFe is a good idea.
Back in November, Spotify released a paper titled "Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds". I recently had a chance to chat with Henrik Kniberg, one of the coaches on site there, to ask him some questions about the paper and to get an update on where they are today.
The introductory keynote at Agile 2012 in Dallas entitled Scaling Up Excellence was delivered by Bob Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University and author of numerous business books including "Good Boss, Bad Boss" and "The No Asshole Rule".
The British Computing Society has awarded its Lovelace Medal 2012 to Grady Booch for his “innovative work in software architecture, software engineering and collaborative environments.”
Agile experts suggest a slow ramp up, thinking beyond Scrum of Scums, and using techniques like Feature teams, for scaling Agile projects. A feature team takes responsibility for one or two features at a time and works on them as a whole until they are done. Once the features are delivered, each team member signs up for the next feature by joining another feature team.
On January 4th, IBM announced it is going to acquire the cloud and SOA integration service company Green Hat. Testing is one of the main challenges when developing cloud or SOA based applications. Buying Green Hat IBM hopes to offer more productive testing approaches and other benefits for such types of large scale software systems. Green Hat will be integrated into IBM Rational Solution.
A number of commentators have been talking about the perceived dichotomy between Agile techniques and architectural thinking. This post investigates some of the tensions between Big Up Front Design (BDUF) and You Aint Gonna Need It (YAGNI) thinking and looks at how the two approaches can in fact work together in complimentary ways.
The Rational Unified Process(RUP) was developed through the 1990's as a framework for software engineering best practices. Features such as iterations, simplicity, focus on value and regular feedback were identified as being important for Asuccessful software engineering. A number of authors have built methodologies that adapt UP to different project domains. This article examines some of them.
Mike Cohn and others present their case to why you should consider structuring your teams around software "features" rather than software "components".
IBM Rational and InfoQ preent an eBook, Scaling Agile with C/ALM, "dedicated to all of the functional and dysfunctional organizations that are eager to break down the organizational and cultural silos, and become a finely tuned software delivery machine." The eBook explores the barriers to team integration and scaling and then shows, in detail, how to overcome these obstacles.
IBM announces three new ways for businesses to utilize cloud computing: standardized services on the IBM cloud, private cloud services behind the firewall (managed by the business or IBM) and Cloud burst a way to seamless incorporate secure public clouds to accommodate "overflow" demand for services.
Promoting, sustaining, and evolving agile practices in an organization requires expertise and experience. Initially, many companies bring in outside experts to help get things started. Laura Moore has described a model, based on the Blue Angels, which companies can use to develop and deploy internal experts.
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about the optimal team size for maximum productivity. While most Agilists agree that smaller teams are more functional and productive as compared to larger teams, however defining the optimal team size is still a challenge.
Scrum has proven effective at promoting communication between members of a development team. The question of how to scale this high-bandwidth communication across teams, especially in large organizations, remains an area of active exploration and debate. Will Read has proposed a mesh-network inspired alternative to the popular Scrum-of-Scrums meeting for achieving this goal.