While Agile processes recommend to colocate team members for synergy, it's not always possible. More and more projects are utilizing talent from locations all over the world to solve various problems. In these cases leaders and facilitators can contribute significantly to teamwork by mastering the ability to run effective remote meetings.
Larger team size prevents from adopting the whole range of language abstraction tools and puts constraints on productivity. Reg Braithwaite believes that tools should not be tuned to the size of the team. He advocates for building teams around the tools and keeping them small. It appears however that team growth is often inevitable. What can be done then to maintain quality and productivity?
Inconsistencies between the user interface and user’s expectations can be an important source of bugs. According to Leonardo Vernazza, this is due the fact that the user and the UI do not talk the same language. Using a DSL, characterized by a high abstraction level, would be instrumental for avoiding the risk of translation errors and would therefore reduce the testing burden.
"Big Visible Charts" aren't unique to Agile - Lean manufacturing also has its Kanban Boards. "Kanban" roughly means "card or sign," and each Kanban card is "pulled" onto the board only when the work represented by an "in progress" card is retired. In this InfoQ article, Kenji Hiranabe proposes using Kanban Boards to track Agile project status (Time, Task, and Team) to enhance collaboration.
We may imagine an extremely Agile team as working in a minimalist teamroom, surrounded by whiteboards. But that isn't enough - some of the comforts left behind in our traditional spaces were there for good reasons. In this InfoQ article several experienced coaches offer advice from experience, on creating collaborative team spaces that work.
Co-location is one of the cornerstones of Scrum, so the increasing trend toward non-co-located teams raises questions on how Agile can work in such an environment. David Churchville has blogged some common distributed team scenarios, and offered solutions to common pitfalls of delivering Agile projects using different types of distributed teams.
Danube Technologies this week announced the release of ScrumWorks Pro, an enhanced, commercially supported version of their free ScrumWorks product, created specifically to support the overwhelming customer requests for new features and professional support. The product provides support for business-value driven decision making.
VersionOne, provider of Web-based lifecycle planning and management applications, launched their V1: Agile Enterprise toolset in July, and follows up this month with release 6.4 which includes new features for improved customization, integration, and simplified planning.
At the start of each New Year, some of us stop to look backward, and actively resolve to move forward wiser than before. Scott Ambler, Liz Barnett and Kirk Knoernschild have shared with us their recommendations for working smarter in 2007, including: take a hard look at at your business objectives; equip your teams properly to maximize agility; and above all - behave yourselves!
The terms "Agile software development" and "Business Agility" are confusing: are they orthogonal or complementary? James Taylor says that for even the most complex systems, Agile development can deliver business agility - particularly when supported by the right technology. For business rules he recommends a Rules Engine, and provides guidance in how to distinguish rules from requirements.
InfoQ brings you an exclusive chapter excerpt from the recent book "Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great", by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. These expert facilitators show how teams can run focused, helpful retrospectives themselves, without an outside facilitator. We asked the authors a few questions about the making of their book.
Should the team room be a sanctuary? or a jazz improv session? On butUncleBob.com, Tim Ottinger blogs about his belief that the quiet bullpen is where mistakes are born, and allowed to breed.
For the classic XP team, developers and their customer all work daily in the same room. But other methodologies are less stringent, and even XP teams sometimes need to find compromises. Enter collaborative technologies - where they are allowed. But take note: Bit9, Inc. has compiled a list of the top applications with known security vulnerabilities, including Skype and 4 messenger programs.
June has seen the release of CoView 2.0, an Eclipse plugin to assist with test coverage; Haven 1.2, for automated acceptance testing; and the new Pulse continuous integration server.
How much technology is really needed in the Agile world of "do the simplest thing that could possibly work"? For those needing improved technological support for their collaborative teams, the Collaborative Technologies Conference features thought leaders and technology innovators, including Google and 37 Signals, who will explore both the power of collaboration and its potential pitfalls.