Category

Agile Project Management

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

 
Agility, Adaptability, and Alignment

It often starts as a seemingly plain training request. Having decided to go the agile route, a client would like Cutter to train a certain number of employees in one agile method or another. We collect data on the demographics of the target population: architects, UI designers, product managers, project managers, developers, testers, and so on. We then move on to discuss the way these folks are geographically dispersed and what the team structure for the launched agile teams will be. Once these parameters have been nailed down, it largely becomes a matter of figuring out the logistics for training and coaching. A fairly straightforward process for rolling out the agile process, one might say. …

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Big, Lean and BSM: Late Night Thoughts on the January 30 "Big Agile" Webinar

Since we announced the forthcoming “Big Agile” webinar (click here for details), I have been exposed to numerous questions and comments about “Big” vis-a-vis “Lean” in the Agile context.  The intensity of some of these discourses was so high that I decided to comment on the subject in advance of the webinar. A lively debate during the webinar is, of course, goodness. In contrast, starting the webinar with a potentially gross misunderstanding as to where we are coming from and where we are heading is not too desirable. In general, “big”, to me, can be “lean”. As a matter of fact, big should be lean as otherwise scale will quite possibly pose a problem. Specifically, …

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It would seem that the devops discussion is mostly driven by development’s incentives, and appropriately so, given developers’ focus on building functionality for the business user. So it’s no surprise that development is the originator of the whole devops lifecycle, but are there any dangers lurking in a one-sided focus on devops issues? A hefty majority of devops articles come from writers of the development persuasion who are motivated by the legitimate frustrations of the application deployment process. The movement to agile development has been a key contributor in the increase of handicaps encountered as a result of more frequent transitions from development to operations IT groups. Online and verbal discussions identify the primary challenge …

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Recession on the Horizon; Invest in Agile

Given the current interest rate situation and demand for US currency, the US will see much more business expansion through 2013. Once the world realizes we are not really any better off than Greece (in terms of debt/GDP), we’ll see inflation, business retraction and possible recession. Companies interested in surviving the 2013 – 2018 recession would be wise to invest in going Agile as soon as possible and holding the cash they save in the process to buy out those companies that weren’t so smart. [Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …“ series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]

 
Get up close & personal with our Agile team

Immerse yourself in Agile on day three of Cutter Consortium’s Summit: Executive Education+, 2-4 April 2012. You’ll find out how Agile, the software method that was conceived as a way to cope with change, is changing, how these changes can benefit your organization — and what you need to do to make that happen. Agile practice director Israel Gat has assembled an impressive team of Cutter consultants to present, including: Patrick Debois: What Leaders Need to Know About Devops Jim Sutton: Reclaiming Business Glory through the Lean Worldview Hubert Smits: Want to be Radical? Here’s How and Israel himself: Agile 2.0: Change is Changing! Limited-time Registration Savings Like 2011, our best offers for Summit 2012 …

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An Ever-Growing Focus on Value, Quality and Innovation

Last year I predicted that 2011 was to be the beginning of a shift from a focus on quality, schedule, and budget to value, quality, and innovation. Presentations at diverse conferences around the world show that there is an increasing interest in value and quality, and to some extent, innovation, too. The interest in value and quality was boosted in part by Jim Highsmith’s Agile Triangle (see Jim’s webinar Measuring Agile Performance: Beyond Scope, Schedule and Cost Webinar and his book Agile Project Management, 2nd Edition). A few months after Jim’s book came out in 2010, I published the first version of the Lean–Agile Prism in the Agile Journal, where I added design as a …

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Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Last year, my colleagues and I predicted various changes: an increase in this, a let-up in that. I finally understand why I have been struggling to come up with my 2012 prediction: I am just not seeing any changes. Let me elaborate on this for my specialty — Agile/Lean software development. I predict that many organizations worldwide will continue to adopt Agile. Most of them will do so with no expert guidance, with ho-hum results, and with little understanding of why they got those results. People will continue to get their Agile skills certified while others rail against the value and implication of those certificates. Companies will still rely on head hunters to hire Agile …

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A Healthy Skepticism of "Named" Approaches

I see the demand for actual performance results over declarative symbolic victories (e.g., certifications) taking a significant bend upwards. I’ve already begun to see the more forward-thinking companies maturing in their thinking about how they use “named” business, technology, and management concepts, e.g., Scrum, Lean, Kanban, CMMI, ISO 9000, ITIL, COBIT, Devops, etc. There’s growing skepticism in the efficacy of popularized approaches. Executives are less likely to rush into using new ideas just because they’ve heard “the name”. Whether they’re skeptical for the right reasons or not, their cautious approach offers a better have a chance of implementing these “named” initiatives effectively, keeping them off their list of failures – a list that contributes to …

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Nov 252011
 
Code Does Not Hype

It is the story of my adult life. A VC dispatches me to some city to perform due diligence on a company he/she contemplates investing in. Upon arrival I meet the “reception committee.” It usually includes the CEO, the CTO and the CMO. Nine times out of ten the folks on the committee are intelligent, knowledgeable and accomplished. Moreover, they do their very best to charm me. I still remember the reception committee from the due diligence on Tideway I did for Apax Partners some seven years ago. The folks were awesome. I am fairly certain they could convince birds to fly off the tree if they chose to apply their very many talents toward …

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Over the past twelve months, many diverse organizations worldwide have benefited from Cutter Consortium’s considerable expertise in conducting technical debt assessments. According to our experts Israel Gat and Chris Sterling, many of the findings and recommendations made during these engagements are broadly applicable in concept. The new Executive Update “Delving into Technical Debt” explores the considerations that most organizations go through while devising a technical debt reduction strategy. (You can register and download a complimentary copy of this 11-page report using promotion code DELVING.) From typical opportunities that arise during a technical debt assessment to common areas that need improvement, and from creating a technical debt mitigation strategy to leveraging the open source software quality …

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