Tagagile

Benefits of using Scrum [over waterfall]

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Agile is probably the best approach when it comes to developing complex IT solutions. It’s widely used in product development, but unfortunately, it’s still not that straightforward when you’re working for external clients. The problem is that in far too many situations it’s the corporate purchasing department that awards the seller with a contract, and fixed-scope, fixed...

Inter-team Commitment Stories

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Managing complex and lengthy projects is a challenge. When dozens of people are working on the same product in parallel there has to be a mechanism for identifying and resolving dependencies and cross-team blockers. In traditional projects, it’s a PM’s task to ensure that all the team members are working on right tasks in right order. She is the one who decides about priorities...

100% utilisation myth and slack time

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In my recent blog post I covered a topic of limiting Work in Progress. I briefly mentioned that in many companies working on many tasks in parallel is somehow more important than accomplishing them. 100 utilisation myth Many organisation believe that their employees should always be busy with work which results in aiming for their constant 100% utilisation. At first glance it may sound reasonable...

Limiting Work in Progress

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In many organisations being busy is valued more than delivering the results. At first sight, it may sound quite reasonable – after all, we’re all paid for having hands full of work, aren’t we? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In a vast majority of cases, the more tasks we try to complete, the less we really accomplish. And pushing yourself to work even harder...

Agile Assessment

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Many organisations and teams that adopt Agile come to the point when knowing how agile they are becomes an important question. It’s especially important when first stages of Agile transformation prove to be successful, teams finally work at a sustainable pace and it becomes more difficult to identify obvious areas for further improvements.

Relative Value Points

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Product backlog should be DEEP – detailed appropriately, emergent, estimated and prioritised. Everyone who learns about Scrum should be familiar with these key attributes of a good product backlog. But how is the product backlog ordered? Well, most Scrum practitioners would probably say that it’s Product Owner’s decision, but the business value seems like a fair attribute to be...

Performance appraisals

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Traditional performance appraisals Most organisations have a formal process for evaluating the performance of its employees. Usually, it has a form of an annual performance review where employee’s work performance and behaviours are assessed, rated and documented by direct managers. The ultimate goal of a performance review system is to reward and retain capable employees by keeping them...

Good Retrospectives

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Overview Retrospective is one of the inspect-and-adapt opportunities provided by Scrum framework. It’s a time-boxed event for the team to analyse their way of working and identify and plan potential improvements. Sprint retrospective is one of the most important, but probably also the least appreciated practices in the Scrum framework. Therefore, retrospectives have to be carefully taken...

Managing Product Adaptability

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Overview Creating reliable and adaptable software is not straightforward even if the team embraces Agile practices. In most cases, however, it’s not lack of technical capability or poor performance that prevents the team from achieving this goal. My experience says that the teams are aware that constant refactoring, automated tests, design spikes, etc. are required to keep the system...