It’s a busy week. Many of us are returning ugly sweaters from Great-Aunt Lenora, re-gifting fruit cakes, and putting away holiday decorations (DON’T be that house with a reindeer globe on the lawn in February). Just be glad you’re not working the customer service counter at WalWorld today!
Take a little break from the hustle… complements of another group who has been very busy this year: the VersionOne Agile Coaches. They’ve managed to write 98 blog posts on a variety of agile management topics to help people kick ass at what they do.
I thought I’d ring in the New Year by highlighting the 10 most popular ones:
1. Re-Imagining the Agile Manifesto by Brian Watson.
In this post Brian suggests that we re-imagine the Agile Manifesto as a set of guiding principles vs. some iron-clad document.
2. 12 Awesome Interactive Facilitation Techniques for Agile Teams by Matt Badgley.
If you work with a team (possibly as the ScrumMaster, Lead or Product Owner, or just a Team Member trying to guide a conversation), then these interactive facilitation techniques are for you.
3. The Agile Coach on ‘Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools’ by Mike McLaughlin
With agile software management tools becoming more and more prevalent in organizations, are we getting away from the importance on ‘individuals and interactions’? Interesting topic, coming from a company that builds and sells agile project management software!
4. Words Mean Things: Waterfall Project Management by Matt Badgley.
In the world in which we all live today, it’s very likely that we’ll have a mix of projects using a more of an agile approach and one using more of a waterfall project management (or Sequential approach, as Matt calls it). Sometimes we’ll have to join forces and combine the output of these approaches into one.
5. Agile “Engineering” Practices: A Cheat Sheet by Steve Ropa
Every once in a while, somebody posts an article about “The Agile Engineering Practices,” usually why we shouldn’t do them, or why they are considered “harmful.” Someone often follows up either rebutting or commenting that the original author clearly didn’t understand Engineering Practices in the first place. So Steve has create a little cheat sheet as to what he believes these practices mean.
6. Making Release Retrospectives Strategic and Effective by Satish Thatte
Here you’ll learn in detail how to: (a) define strategic objectives and associated strategic metrics; (b) conduct periodic measurements to collect data to support the strategic metric; (c) use release retrospectives to analyze the strategic metric data – and likely causes for the issues revealed by the metric; and (d) develop and implement an action plan.
7. 5 Simple Guidelines to Agile Metrics Bliss by Matt Badgley.
Matt explored some of the “don’ts” — and more importantly, explains his top 5 “do’s” of agile metrics and reporting.
8. Reject the Tyranny of Metrics by Steve Ropa.
Are agile metrics truly necessary? If so, what agile metrics are helpful rather than dangerous?
9. Where Art Thou, Product Owner? by Brian Watson
Regardless of which ‘Church of Agile’ you worship, there is one constant that cannot be overlooked: the value of the product owner. Collectively, Brian says we need to ensure that a lack of strong product ownership does not sink the agile ship.
10. Scalable Agile Estimation and Normalization of Story Points: 5-Part Series, by Satish Thatte.
A detailed review of the key assumptions that must be satisfied for traditional, velocity-based planning to work properly. Satish presents 3 specific challenges associated with traditional velocity-based planning, and what happens to those challenges as agile projects need to scale up. He then critiques 2 existing scalable agile estimation methods and presents a scalable method called Calibrated Normalization Method (CNM). Finally, Satish explains how CNM performs the top-down estimation (from portfolios to programs down to teams).