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Agile Project Management

Cutting-edge Agile methodologies, software development techniques and project management practices.

Nov 202013
 
Serious Games Need Agile

In my last post, I talked about the ways in which serious games can fill a significant hole in Agile practices. Let’s turn that around and see how Agile can help serious games. Before we can get into the meat of that topic, it’s important to be clear about which serious games we’re going to be discussing. There’s a wide variety of game-like activities used for reasons other than entertainment (education, ideation, market research, etc. etc.), and not all of them can benefit from serious games equally, or even in the same ways. For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on three types: Software-based serious games in general. This is a pretty broad category, encompassing everything …

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Within the world of Agile, architecture often seems misaligned or is a forgotten value-add to a project, especially in enterprise and large scale programs. However, an agile architecture can enable a business to deliver features faster and give them a competitive advantage. Coupled with SaaS and/or Cloud, it seems obvious that agile architectures are required. So what is the problem? Sometimes organizations struggle to define what exactly an agile architecture is, the value it can add to product delivery, and what artifacts are most useful and relevant. Is an agile architecture about supporting rapid scale-out, continuous delivery and deployment? Or is it an exercise in futility? How much value should an organization attribute to having …

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Agile’s success depends, to a great extent, on the seriousness with which the team performs the prescribed ceremonies. Thou shalt start a sprint with a real sprint planning meeting. Thou shalt always end a sprint with working code, which thine customers and stakeholders shall comment upon. If thine daily stand-up meeting goes longer than 15 minutes, then lo! Someone needs to put a cork in it. Agile keeps the list of ceremonies small, and the ceremonies themselves fairly lightweight. They serve the same purpose as any ritual, to encourage both right behavior and right thinking. Unfortunately, there are not enough of them. Agile ceremonies must reach beyond the team The founders of the Agile movement …

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Heightened connectivity among customers has changed the way they interact with your products. Furthermore, it has changed the amount of information you can collect about your customers. As a result, you have new opportunities — and obligations — to communicate with your customers and make changes to your products and marketing tactics based on this new knowledge. Let’s consider some strategies to listening — and thus connecting — to your customers in a more positive and useful manner. Be Thoughtful and Attentive Your company and your employees will have a hard time learning from customers if they are not interested in them. Teach your employees to be thoughtful about interacting with your customers, as if …

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The amount of data available to organizations to analyze and use in decision making is exploding. “Big Data” is all the rage and organizations of every size from every industry are struggling to make valuable use of the information available from their operational systems, business partners, and social networks. Organizations, seeking to respond quickly in an ever-changing marketplace, are hungry for current and useful information about their ecosystems. Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence (DW/BI) teams are working as fast and hard as they can to meet this ever-increasing demand with limited resources and time. Fortunately, DW/BI teams who embrace an “agile” approach are finding they can meet the top priority needs in short time frames …

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Oct 042013
 
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In a recent post I reflected on a ‘built-in’ benefit of my job, as follows: One of the pleasures of being practice director is that I get to know and be known to fascinating folks that I might not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet and build a relationship with. If another proof for my reflection was needed, this post welcoming Dr. Murray Cantor is as hard a proof as they come. Here is a researcher and author whose originality and rigor are second to none, and I have the privilege and pleasure of writing about his joining Cutter as a  Contributing Expert! I would hate to steal Murray’s thunder, but would allow myself to hint …

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Sociocultural Aspects of Software Projects

The desire to be agile has long impacted human behavior. Consider the elite athlete, the army general, the opera singer, the belly dancer, the professional golfer, the heavyweight boxer, the high seas sailor, the commercial pilot, the top-end banker, and even the federal politician — they all love agility, and so do we. Why? Put simply, agility provides the basis for adaptability and change which, in turn, are integral to our survival and growth. The same agility that enables a springbok to outrun a lion or an ant to carry a load more than 20 times its size allows a small start-up in Southern California to prevail against the might of a large, well-established brick-and-mortar …

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Sep 142013
 
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How appropriate it is that Lynn Winterboer is joining Cutter just about at the time that we publish the Cutter Benchmark Review on Achieving an Agile Organizational Mind. With Lynn on board, we have another heavy hitter who applies the values, methods and practices of ‘traditional’ Agile to data, data warehousing, and business intelligence. The importance of so doing in the era of big data can’t be overstated. Just about every Cutter client I meet is struggling to extract meaning from the data he/she possesses. Needless to say, extracting meaning in an Agile manner constitutes an important competitive capability. Between the ‘old hands’ in the practice and the recent additions of Professor Giancarlo Succi, Sue …

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  Let me start with full disclosure: A) I am a fellow of the Lean Systems Society; and, B) I will be attending the conference. Obviously, I am a little biased. This very natural bias notwithstanding, if you find my blog posts (click here and here) of interest, I am fairly certain you will have a ball in the conference. Moreover, I believe you will step out of the conference with a few actionable insights that might surprise you. The #1 problem most of my clients are struggling with these days is complexity; #2 is that they are expected to solve the complexity problem through best practices: #3 is that I tell them something like …

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It is my profound pleasure to welcome Sue McKinney and Tom Grant to the Cutter family and to the Agile practice. I am really excited about the expertise they bring to the practice and the opportunity to work with them in person. I first met Sue some five or six years ago in an APLN conference in which she presented her experience teaching the IBM elephant to dance to the rhythm of Agile. My overarching impression from the presentation was “Wow, this lady has fire in her belly!” This impression of mine grew stronger and stronger over the years as I became more familiar with her large scale transformative work at both IBM and Pitney …

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