Methods

Three Large Banks, Three Different Approaches to Agile Adoption

by Kevin Aguanno, PMP, MAPM, IPMA-B, Cert.APM, CSM, CSP

As the use of agile methods spreads into larger organizations, senior managers struggle to decide their agile adoption strategy. Here are three stories from three large Canadian banks who each took a different adoption approach.

Taking the Long View in Software Development

by George Dinwiddie

Organizations that over-emphasize expediency can set themselves up for long-term losses. This article addresses strategies for taking a balanced approach--specifically, maintaining development capacity, maintaining code asset value and flexible tool selection.

Principles

Topic Teasers Vol. 30: Changing Agile Attitudes

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: My agile team does okay with the new structure of how we do things, but it seems like we’ve just replaced one set of rules with another. How can I get them to change the way they think about things, not just follow the new processes? I understand that is the underlying key to agile success?
A. Management does not care what team members believe as long as they turn around work more quickly than they did in the past. Leave people to think what they will.
B. In addition to the team rules and the agile methodology process rules, tell people each day what they are to think about the work they do and how they should view others.
C. You can’t mandate change. You can only find a fun way to demonstrate and remind people on the team about the premises of agile philosophy.
D. If your team won’t quickly adjust to knowing and following the agile philosophies, this approach to doing projects will fail. Return to traditional project management practices.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

From Turkeys to Agile Eagles

by Michael Aucoin

While there is almost unanimous agreement on the importance of teams, the vast majority of people don’t like to belong to them. This raises a loud warning for you and your agile team, one you must address proactively, because an agile project succeeds or fails on the health of the team. Maybe the GCCR Plan can give your team members wings that fly.

Practices

Hiring for Cross-Functional Teams

by Esther Derby

Many hiring managers have practice in assessing broad technical skills. But strong, creative and capable teams result only when those T-shaped people can work interdependently, self-manage, solve group problems and learn together. That implies another set of skills to look for when hiring for a cross-functional team--interpersonal and collaboration skills.

Topic Teasers Vol. 28: Advanced Velocity Usage

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: We are running our agile projects well and have a good idea of our team velocity. However, we have some issues from management, who thinks that a velocity number is a way to taunt other teams to higher performance. How can we convince them that this is a number unique to each team and to each project?
A. Management usually has a different set of driving motivators, and therefore unless you educate them they will not understand that measuring by velocity already allows teams to speed up and produce better quality to its maximum ability.
B. Velocity is figured per person, as some individuals are better educated and more talented than others. Management should understand that a team without your team’s stars can’t work as fast.
C. When teams figure velocity, they are just guessing. Pressure to meet the standards set by other teams will increase productivity and give the organization more value for their money.
D. Ignore management and other customer leaders who want to know details about your progress. Tell them a finish date and make sure you deliver everything as planned.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

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