This is the first in a series of discussions looking at factors that enable teams to be successful. This post reports on a recent Wired magazine article that looks at the creative process in use at Pixar Animation Studios and how their process encourages team formation, long-term relationships and trust in a “safe to fail” environment.
Agile projects are (should be?) highly collaborative team environments built on a foundation of trust and open, honest communication. Such collaborative environments don’t just happen, and they can be easily disrupted. There are many commentators who provide advice on how to establish and maintain collaborative teams. This article summarizes the advice from a few of them.
Change is constant, yet people fear change. It is mostly the fear of unknown and loss of comfort zones that makes the perception of a change painful. Though Agile teams are well prepared for change, however most of them are not comfortable when the change affects the team.
If the consolidation and integration of elementary Agile practice is ending, that means something new is starting. Does a new phase of innovation lie just ahead? Where is the edge of the new Agile frontier? InfoQ looked at the research of Michael de la Maza, an agile coach and trainer who is researching controversial topics such as intimacy in teams and organizations, to learn more.
Rashina Hoda is a PhD researcher who has been examining how self-organization actually happens on teams. She has studied teams in New Zealand and India and identified six distinct roles that emerge when teams effectively self-organize. She spoke to InfoQ about her research, which will be published at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE2010) to be held in Cape Town in May.
Agile talks about small team sizes with the magic numbers of 7 plus minus 2. Agile also recommends whole teams. Whole team is a concept that advises for having sufficient skills within the team itself to get the job done. Thus the development team has the testing skills, database skills, user interface skills, apart from the core development skills. Is defining the team structure this easy?
James Carr recently published a list of five rules to help improve the effectiveness of retrospectives. The rules are based on his experiences in hundreds of retrospectives, both successful and not.
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.
Mike Cohn and others present their case to why you should consider structuring your teams around software "features" rather than software "components".
Formalised social contracts provide a structure to help reduce the fear, uncertainty and doubt associated with organisational change, and can enable an Agile transition to go more smoothly. Israel Gat provides an example of the social contract he used at BMP Software.
Microsoft has recently purchased Teamprise Client Suite from Teamprise, a division of SourceGear. The products will continue to be offered under a new brand name with free upgrades once the TFS 2010 version is ready.
The latest version of Tasktop Pro, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) integration suite for Eclipse IDE, supports cross-repository linking, task management focus for C/C++ Projects and agile ALM tool integration. Tasktop Technologies, creators of Eclipse Mylyn and Tasktop, announced last week the release of Tasktop Pro 1.6 version. The new release also supports automated time-tracking feature.
Git# is a .NET and Mono version of the popular source code management system, Git, obtained by porting JGit to C#. Other related projects are: msysgit and gitextensions.
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.
Tasktop Technologies, the company behind Eclipse Mylyn Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) integration framework, now supports integration with Danube Technologies Scrumworks Pro and ThoughtWorks Studios Adaptive ALM software. Tasktop also released Tasktop Pro 1.5 version back in June.