Karen Greaves gives an excellent overview of Kanban.
Karen Greaves gives an excellent overview of Kanban.
Nancy Duarte has released a free multimedia version of her book "Resonate."
If you have to give even one presentation in 2014, pick up this book and don't put it down until you understand how to use story to delight your audience.
I'm coaching teams on Test-Driven development and give them multiple reasons why they'd want to practice TDD.
In his blog, James Grenning explains how TDD helps reduce the time a team spends in integration testing.
When you practice TDD, the only bugs you should find in Integration testing are related to integration. And when a developer fixes a bug, the thousands of automated unit tests act as a safety net, allowing the developer to modify code with confidence. Confidence that his fix will not cascade one new bug after another.
Steve Denning describes why companies must change and allow teams to decide what to do and how to do it.
Over twenty years ago, business schools were teaching org theory. Guess what?
In the information era, companies are best served by a flat, organic model. Although, managers who made it held fast to their perks -- corner office, command-and-control... Who would want to give these up.
The Internet and more importantly, Agile techniques will force companies to become flat, or flat out disappear from the competitive landscape.
I took a writing class from Screenwriters University in November. Why do I take writing class when I work in business?
These classes teach you to avoid chiches, how to be entertaining. Adding value for your customer, consists of artistically treating your work and adding an entertainment dimension to the product you deliver.
The only way you'll learn to artistically treat you work is if you study art.
Completing a business course often means you receive a certificate. So I got a kick out of the fact that Screenwriters U also sent me a certificate. Great writing class!
I use innovation games for Agile development and product management. The game Speed Boat can be used for development retrospectives and product feedback.
Now I see many companies are using Speed Boat for process improvement. People often make connections and say things they normally wouldn't because the game evokes a creative response and sense of playfulness.
Love this description of an anchor (what slows the boat down).
"Yeah, I’ll tell you what I mean. This company is just like every other company. You think that all developers like Diet Coke. Well, not all of us like Diet Coke. I like Pepsi, and the lack of Pepsi is slowing me down. You want me to work faster and happier? Get me Pepsi!"
You'll have to read the article for the full story.
Joe Justice uses a Venn diagram to show the state of the art in Agile.
I may have added self-organizing teams to the Scrum circle. To become good at Agile, you will need to become proficient in all three areas: Scrum, XP Practices, and Object-Oriented Architecture.
Good object-oriented software leads to flexible software. And flexibility equals speed.
Agile Pain Relief explains the benefits of small user stories.
One of the things I like about small stories... They help the team get into a rhythm, a flow. And once a team gets into a flow state, they become more productive and creative.
When companies convert to Agile I still see teams using the waterfall way of creating large cumbersome test plans. If these teams moved back to waterfall they wouldn't have to change a thing about their testing process.
And I've also seen team perform testing that added no value. Like executing a query to see if the selection in a menu was recorded in the database.
Let's take a look at two of her questions.
Product Owners will usually be more interested in testing scenarios or ways the customer uses the software instead of looking at some isolated backend component.
Too often I've seen teams mindlessly go through a test plan, when they'd get better results with Exploratory testing.
While coaching a Scrum team to work on and complete the highest priority backlog item, I've gained this insight.
In Pair Programming the pairing workstation becomes a one-piece flow machine:
And that's why pairing stations are one-piece flow machines.
Business people often use stock phrases to share ideas. Ever hear this trite phrase? What will we do if Fred gets hit by a bus.
To keep your brand fresh, learn how to artistically treat your work, your writing. Screenwriting is one way to learn about cliches, and how to replace them with fresh images.
When writers stay away from character troupes, they have a better chance to invent intriguing characters.
Take a look at this conflict character generator. A person who learns about art through writing will also develop the skills needed to create thrilling customer experiences.
In 2000 I talked to a Northwestern University Computer Science professor who was performing research in the area of Real Options. His conclusion?
Business had become so volatile that companies needed to build options into their products from the ground up so they could respond to change in a timely fashion.
If that conclusion was true in 2000 it's triple true in 2013. The rate of change will continue to accelerate with each year.
Jim Highsmith describes The Four Dimensions of Adaptability. In addition to people, process, and product, he includes flexible architecture as a key to agility.
Bruce Kasanoff tells us what to focus on in the first 60 seconds of your presentation. And the first 60 seconds has nothing to do with your contact information -- A picture of your office, your products, or your office phone number. Those slides are about as exciting as watching glue dry.
Instead Bruce offers five suggestions. My favorite suggestion?
Be immediately interesting. Even if you have housekeeping notes or details to go over with the audience, don't start with these! First, build rapport and demonstrate that you are both in control and worth their attention. Audiences are happy to support a speaker, once the recognize his or her talents.
The author makes a final point, that should inspire you to practice these techniques.
-- Presenting is the closest you will ever get to show business.
The authors provide concrete examples for each concept. I found telling stories to be fascinating because even poorly told stories help students remember key teaching points.
FutureWorks provides this continuum for team performance. Under "Self-Orgaining Agile Team", I like the fact that each team member should have multiple skills.
So it's not just that the team is cross-functional, each team member should have several skills that help him collaborate. A developer may have testing, and UI design skills that help the team enter a flow state.
Openview Labs identifies four qualities of a great ScrumMaster.
A relentless approach to the pursuit of continuous improvement.
The ScrumMaster scans for ways to improve the team. This could range from better user stories to Test Driven Development. He will also use his facilitation skills -- including Innovation Games -- to help the team surface areas of improvement.
I've seen some ScrumMasters focus on introducing more process to help the team get better. This approach usually has the opposite effect. Instead, focus on an engineering technique that will destroy the problem.