A recent Harvard Business Review article highlights the importance of finishing one task at a time and hence getting more work done. Some of the core Agile practices help minimize context switching and bring a similar task focus while building software.
Esther Derby recently posted an article examining "Manager Think" and how the focus on having individuals work to their maximum capacity is detrimental to teamwork and the maximum delivery of value by teams. She tackles the common perception that teams need to appear to be struggling in order to actually be working hard. This item also examines the danger of excessive overtime on productivity.
For years Agile has been encouraging teams to work together collaboratively in open spaces and encouraging developers to pair program, but lately these types of practices have been coming under fire.
Tony Wong, a project management blackbelt, enumerates some practical points on individual procutivity. This article wonders how well these apply to software development and contrasts his list with that of other lists.
Rashina Hoda achieved her doctorate researching self-organizing Agile teams. She recently spoke to InfoQ about the work she's been doing and the results of her research. She discusses some of the factors that enable self-organization, looks at some of the risks and pitfalls that self-organizing teams face and provides some advice on how to create a culture that nurtures self-organization.
Glen Alleman describes the business management process they use and describes his discomfort with the idea of team accountability instead of having one person be accountable. He questions the effectiveness of having a team accountable and what that means when there is no single point that is responsible for success or failure.
Blog posts by Esther Derby and Mike Cohn focus on two different aspects of the staffing of Agile teams
A recent thread on the pmi-agile Yahoo! group discusses some frustrations of the Agile recommendations that seem on the verge of naivete.
Day two of the 2010 Scrum Gathering, packed full of a whirlwind of topics, talkers, activities, useful nuggets, and again (of course) healthy debates. Highlights including Harrison Owens, the creator of Open Space (as we know it), Jeff Patton's User Story Mapping, Jurgen Appello on self-organization and much, much more.
In response to a question about the Inherit Shortcomings of Scrum/Agile - Uncle Bob Martin penned (in the spirit of Martin Luther), 7 theses: No Technical Practices, 30 Day Sprints are too long, Scrum Master sometimes turns into Project Manager, Scrum carries an anti-management undercurrent, and others.
We often hear stories about daily standups that have become nothing more than long daily status meetings where team members tune out. What techniques do people have for avoiding this and other standup pitfalls?
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.
Self organization is defined as a phenomenon in which the internal organization of the system increases in complexity without being guided or managed by an outside source. However, successful self organization needs the right level of support from not only the team members but also the management and the organizational environment.
High-performance teams constitute a mere 2% of the workforce, but Agile processes appear to stimulate the formation of these types of teams. This article discusses Steve Denning's perspective on how such teams can be nurtured in the workplace; it also looks at a recent talk by Ominlab Media's Stefan Gillard on how to select and employ for the formation of high-performance teams.