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  Agile Articles    

Adopting an Agile Method
This article is also published on Methods and Tools.
Topic: Agile, Process   •   Date Published: Spring 2006

The argument has been made: "We should be using an Agile software development method." And the command has rung out: "Make it so!" Adopting an Agile method is no different from any other change we might make to the methods and tools we use. We must determine why we are embarking on this course, choose the method that will satisfy the need most closely, then map out the path from where we are today to where we need to be. Then we can "make it so".

The Agile Customer:
Making Your Supplier a Bit More Agile

This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile, Management   •   Date Published: 31 Mar 2010

"We are adopting an Agile method for our internal development projects. But on my project, some of the development work is being done by an outside contractor who is decidedly non-Agile! How can we be Agile when they are not?" Agility is relatively easy when you control all of the parts of the project. But when others are involved, barriers to Agility can begin to spring up. The best way to overcome those barriers depends upon your situation. So let's explore options for injecting some Agility in spite of the Waterfall raining down on you from your supplier.

"Agile" Means Disciplined SCM (Software Configuration Management)
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Agile, ConfigMgmt   •   Date Published: 13 Jul 2008

For many people, Agile software development congers up the thought of "undisciplined" software development. The reality is that using an Agile approach to its greatest benefit requires discipline in a variety of ways. And none is more critical than the discipline of Software Configuration Management.

Agility and Quality
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Agile, Quality   •   Date Published: 12 Apr 2006

What constitutes high quality on this project? Don't ask me! Ask your customer! There are many competing definitions, mainly because the one that makes the most sense, "Quality is in the eye of the beholder," is hard to make workable in a real business situation. Some would say it is impossible to use. But the Agile methods beg to differ.

Build Quality In: The Agile Methods are right!
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Agile, Quality   •   Date Published: 25 Nov 2007
For decades, independent testing has been the accepted "best practice" in quality. Unfortunately, this supposed best practice has not proven to be effective in achieving better quality. What differentiates those organizations who achieve high quality from those who can't? It is the developers themselves! The old adage is proven true: "You can't test quality into the product; it must be built in." And it is the Agile methods that have declared this adage to be "best practice".

CMM®-Compliant XP
Topic: Agile, Process   •   Date Published: 2003
"Should we do XP? Or CMM?" Although XP and CMM appear to be incompatible, they need not be. CMM recognizes that different projects may require different processes. Interestingly, the types of projects for which XP was designed, are precisely the ones with which organizations engaged in CMM-based process improvement programs have the most trouble. So, could XP be one of the available options in your CMM toolkit? No, and Yes.

Employee Recognition in an Agile Team
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile, Management   •   Date Published: 3 Sep 2009

Fred sent me this question: "I've read that recognition (in whatever form is most valued to the individual) is an important motivator. In the context of Agile team dynamics, I'm guessing that individual recognition could be counterproductive to everyone working well together, but recognition would be a better motivator if it were directed toward the entire team rather than just to a few individuals on the team that stood out. What do you think?"

The Agile methods are designed to make the work environment itself a motivator for the team members. But well-placed recognition can be a powerful addition – if it is done in an Agile way!

PM Network: Feedback: Agile Experience
This article was published in PM Network Magazine.
Topic: Agile   •   Date Published: Feb 2008

While this may have been intended as a humorous piece, it belies (and supports) In complaining about Carol Hildebrand's article "Full Speed Ahead" (October 2007) in the December Feedback, Stephen Wilson, PMP, claimed his view was based on his experience using agile techniques. Clearly, if he has experience with techniques claiming to be "agile", they bear no resemblance to agility as it is intended.

Welcoming Change
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Agile, ConfigMgmt   •   Date Published: 18 May 2009

Change is a fact that we must live with. To avoid change is to avoid reality. The Agile methods go beyond merely acknowledging this reality. They teach us how to capitalize on the changes that will inevitably come along to produce a better result than the one we planned for in the first place. We don't just accept change, and we don't control it. Instead, we learn how to welcome change!

Why Agile? Learning to develop software successes
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile   •   Date Published: 4 Dec 2007

New software development approaches have been introduced regularly and with great fanfare. Each of them has promised to solve our software project problems; to make our software projects predictable and successful. We can't remember the names of most of these approaches because for most of us, the reality was disappointing; the pain remains. And now along comes "Agile". Why should we pay any attention? Why should we expect this is anything more than the latest brand of snake oil?

The Essence of Agility Series

Part 1: Learning & Adaptation, and Collaboration
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile   •   Date Published: 21 Feb 2008

The Agile approach is often panned as an excuse for lack of discipline. This shows that many people don't understand what Agility is all about. True Agility is based on a few distinct principles that are underpinned by a unique value system. The application of these values and principles results in some indispensable behaviors that can be seen and judged objectively by any interested stakeholder of a project. It is those behaviors that we refer to as the Essence of Agility.

Part 2: Customer Focus
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile, Requirements   •   Date Published: 1 May 2008

Is the team 'Agile,' as they claim? This time, we will focus on how the team relates to their customer. It is all about our customer. All! In order to ensure that they deliver what the customer really needs (and needs today), the team includes the customer in team activities as often as possible. The customer's input is important in each phase of the Agile lifecycle.

Part 3: Small Self-Directed Teams
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile   •   Date Published: 18 Sep 2008

The Essence of Agility consists of those sets of behaviors that distinguish a truly Agile team from a bunch of hackers who are claiming to be Agile. They are the markers that any concerned stakeholder can use to answer an important question, "Are they being Agile? Or just lazy?" In this article, I will address the next key characteristic: Small, self-directed teams.

Part 4: Embracing Lean Principles
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile   •   Date Published: 24 Nov 2008

The Essence of Agility consists of those sets of behaviors that distinguish a truly Agile team from a bunch of hackers claiming to be Agile. They are the markers that any concerned stakeholder can use to answer an important question: "Are they being Agile, or just lazy?" In this article, I will address the next key characteristic: Embracing Lean principles.

Part 5: Progressive Requirements Elaboration
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile, Requirements   •   Date Published: 5 Feb 2009
They say that they are "Agile", but it just looks like hacking to you. How can you tell? The Essence of Agility consists of those sets of behaviors that distinguish a truly Agile team from a bunch of hackers claiming to be Agile. In this article, I will address the next key characteristic: Progressive Requirements Elaboration.

Part 6: Incremental Delivery
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile   •   Date Published: 16 Apr 2009

When developers claim that they are "Agile," how can you know that they're not just hacking? Their methods are unorthodox, even weird! Is there a way to see if they know what they are doing? The Essence of Agility consists of those sets of observable behaviors that distinguish a truly Agile team from a bunch of hackers claiming to be Agile. In this article, I will address the next key characteristic: Incremental Delivery.

Part 7: Iterative Planning
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile, Planning   •   Date Published: 25 Jun 2009

Is it Agile? Or is it lack of discipline? How can we know for sure? The Essence of Agility consists of those sets of observable behaviors that distinguish a truly Agile team from a bunch of undisciplined programmers. In this last article of the series, I will address the final key characteristic: Iterative Planning.

Why Agile? What's so great about Agility?
This article is also published on Global Knowledge.
Topic: Agile   •   Date Published: 23 Sep 2008

Why are people talking about Agility so much? Is this just the latest "new thing"? Or is there some real value to it? "Agile", as a set of software development methods, was defined seven years ago, so the "flash in the pan" would have burned itself out long ago. The fact is that more and more organizations (from small shops to large corporations) are finding real value in agility.

XP – An Overview
Topic: Agile   •   Date Published: 2003
Many people are talking about Extreme Programming (XP) and the other "Agile Methods", and asking lots of questions. This article is designed for the uninitiated, to provide a minimal understanding of XP. It provides the basic understanding of XP you may need to understand the other articles on this web site that discuss XP.

 

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