Agile


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Deconstructing Value Is Just Like Demolition!

Trust is an important component for building effective teams, unfortunately, you can’t buy a bag of trust and like plant fertilizer, sprinkle it on a team. In a special panel discussion aired on SPaMCAST 591, Jeff Dalton reminded us that trust is built; it does not magically appear because we want it to. Many of the Software Process and Measurement Cast and Blog listeners have been thrust into situations where they are suddenly remote and learning to build trust as part of newly remote teams. Sandeep Koorse made an interesting observation in the same podcast that many of us had been lulled in a false sense of trust and intimacy because we have been face-to-face for so long. The implication is that teams don’t invest the time needed to build trust that can withstand shocks like we are now facing. A few simple (no consultants needed) ideas to begin building trust on your suddenly remote team include: (more…)

Listen Now!

The SPaMCAST 591 is a very special podcast.  On the 18th of March, I convened a panel of luminaries to discuss how they were supporting and working with remote teams. I recorded both the audio and video, today I am releasing the audio version.  The panel for this show was  

Jeff Dalton jeff@broadswordsolutions.com 

Amy McDonough Amy.McDonough@spr.com 

Sandeep Koorse Sandeep@koorse.com 

Christopher Hurney    Christopherhurney@gmail.com

And myself! tcagley@tomcagley.com 

We kept the session short but full of practical advice! (more…)

Effective teams exhibit a number of common characteristics.  In an earlier article, we identified four critical attributes.  

  1. Members actively support each other so the team succeeds as a whole.
  2. Teams actively interact and communicate.
  3. The team has a common goal.
  4. How work is performed.

(more…)

Teams are more than names on paper!

Teams are to agile as the atom is to classic physics. In our article, “Simple Checklist: Are They A Team?”, we began exploring what makes a bunch of people into a team by establishing seven basic questions that need to be asked about behavior and organization. Once we have established that a group of people are a team, it is important to establish what predicts whether a team will be a good team. In order to avoid my cognitive biases, I asked 10 Scrum Masters, managers of Scrum Masters, successful entrepreneurs and Released Train Engineers; that is, people that are highly skilled at working with teams.  Four categories of attributes that emerged (in descending order) are: (more…)

Teams like cooking is about people.

We use Scrum or any of the team-based agile methods for many reasons. Working as a team with an agile mindset:

  • Provides an understanding of how what we are doing fits into the bigger picture.
  • Furnishes the transparency needed to keep track of work with less overhead.
  • Focuses work on deliverables.
  • Avoids the peril of being interrupt-driven (and its nefarious sibling, multitasking).

(more…)

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The SPaMCAST 589 features our essay on using clean language to refine requirements. Clean Language’s pedigree is from psychotherapy and has found a home in coaching. It is also a valuable tool for discovering information about work products. As product managers, product owners, and stakeholders interact with the world and then describe a set of wants and needs they use metaphors. Clean language helps us unpack those metaphors.

We also have a visit from Susan Parente who brings her Not A Scrumdamentalist Column to the podcast. Susan delivers thoughts and ideas about virtual agile.  Reach out to Susan at parente@s3-tec.com.  (more…)

Team Charters aren’t nuts!

By Jeremy Berriault

A couple of weeks ago, during a conversation, the topic of Team Charters came up. The person I was speaking with was starting to move their development shop to agile delivery and was getting some advice from me. (more…)

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