by Kevin Aguanno, PMP, MAPM, IPMA-B, Cert.APM, CSM, CSP
New ScrumMasters may understand the “what” and the “how” of their new practices, but they often don’t understand the “why”. Here we look at two common problems: project managers not creating the sprint burndown charts and teams not participating in the daily standup meetings.
We've already traced the genealogy of Kanban. It’s now time to start looking at the evolution of Kanban from its manufacturing roots in the automobile industry to its current widespread use in software development. This will ultimately allow us to see where practices and tools like Lean and Kanban go to the “beyond”.
As our look at agile development concludes, we will take a more in-depth look at Scrum, XP, Flexible Project Management, the Agile Leadership Model, Agile Project Management, Adaptive Project Framework and Scalable Delivery Model.
What is agile project management, and what are its origins? And don't agile methods address the challenges of 21st century systems, like high-risk, time-sensitive, R&D-oriented, new product and service development projects? One expert takes a look back at the history of this rapidly growing method.
Aren’t resolutions just mini-projects you want to accomplish? What better way to do that than by leveraging agile! The Scrum framework is best suited for this. Let’s look at how to hack Scrum for personal productivity…
You've probably read many articles on the difference between traditional project management and agile (specifically, Scrum). One practitioner has been surprised with how established agile practitioners don’t want to let project managers into their “club”. Why can’t project managers become agile?
Part 1 of this series discussed the background environment and philosophical divergences that caused agile to establish itself as an alternative to traditional project management. With that background established, it’s now time to start thinking about the where agile is headed and how it will get re-contextualized for the 21st century.
Being clear about what constitutes “done” ensures that the product or service developed at the end of an iteration is completed to the satisfaction of the customer, which is the whole purpose of doing agile in the first place. Got it? Just in case, read on...
Anytime you get a large number of people working on something, there are going to be differences in style and capability shown in that work. When that work is software development, then some of those differences are arguably better or worse for the maintainability of the software. So how do you achieve a better and more consistent outcome?
If you’ve ever been involved in a highly visible project in which major stakeholders are jockeying to position themselves to impose their own agenda, then you would have experienced project partisan politics. And If you are a ScrumMaster on an agile project, there isn't a more important impediment to get out of the way.
We've already looked at the opportunities agile methods offer for proactive risk management and examined the benefits of engaging the whole team in risk management through collaborative games. As our agile risk management series continues, we walk through those games and explains how to engage a team in the first three of the six risk management steps.
Code inspections are an implicit, often unspoken best practice among agile project management teams. This silence has caused some people to question the quality control of the agile PM paradigm. Surprisingly, agile teams have not forgotten to mind the Ps and Qs of quality engineering--and not only continue to perform code inspections, but perform them more often. This results in even greater quality than traditional project management teams.
How do these two roles stack up against one another? Can a project manager adapt to being a ScrumMaster? Given the opportunity and environment, people can be successful in a number of different roles--provided that there is some degree of connection.
While it is their own personal goal to maximize team productivity and minimize any stumbling blocks along the way, it is also sometimes necessary for a ScrumMaster to act as a guardian and help protect their team members. Just don't get too aggressive on the field...
How do we adapt in the face of consistency, or of anarchy or of brutal regimentation? As project managers, the only thing we really have control over is ourselves. Given this, how do we change our approach in a way that enables us to be effective in producing project results, rather than bashing our head repeatedly against an unfeeling and unchanging wall of bureaucracy? Here we take a look at adaptation in the face of organizational consistency.
A new agile procurement process--one that can operate in conjunction with and alongside an agile software development methodology--should significantly improve both the procurement of software vendor’s services and and successful delivery of software projects. This article will explore the underlying principles as well as map the reconciliation points required to harmonize agile development and procurement methods.
Some substantive updates to the definition of Scrum artifacts may seem like minor clarifications to terms and definitions, but they have quite profound implications. In this article, we discuss these changes and how they affect the ScrumMaster (or project manager) tasked with delivering a “done” increment.
In the highly competitive world, getting products to market quickly while being both flexible and adaptive to change is critical. The answer to this challenge is Scrum, an iterative, incremental methodology for project management often seen in agile software development. Here we look at recommendations for proper implementation of this unique and useful process.
There is no doubt that agile project management has hit the mainstream--with Scrum being the leader of the pack. Now that it has “crossed the chasm“, how successfully is it being implemented? Some experts argue that Scrum has become flaccid in many organizations due to its dysfunctional implementation. So how do you know if you have soft Scrum? Let’s look at some major areas of concern.
Much of the ScrumMaster's role has been focused on the individual effort of leading a single team through the successful completion of a Scrum project. At some point, a person who has successfully established themselves in an organization will be looked on to take on more responsibilities. What would these responsibilities be? What kind of career roadmap would be best suited for a person who is an established ScrumMaster?
The science behind Scrum is the notion of Empirical Process Control, which that is derived from (and firmly rooted in) industrial process control theory--and applicable to the complexity of human process management that often derails project schedules. This article is outlines the foundations of EPC and how it drives empirically based team management.
To achieve a Zen culture of Scrum will take time, resources and a radical paradigm shift. Is it worth it? Yes, because this practice places humans--not processes or techniques--at the center of an organization. Let's learn more about a valuable history.
Understanding philosophical foundations are required for success in managing projects in the “real world”. That will allow you to better pick and choose which methodology (essentially a philosophical framework) to adopt--not adopt or mix and match to achieve project success.
When a PM is first exposed to Scrum, it can seem as though there is very little if any structure--the team simply organizes themselves and gets work done in relatively uncontrolled sprints. That’s not the case, and the PM does have an important role to play. How do PMs adapt to a distinctly different role in Scrum?
These fundamental aspects of Scrum's functionality make it an easy match with software development projects. But the wonderful nature of Scrum and the agile methodology is that it is highly adaptable to many technologies and other types of efforts--and doesn’t have to stay locked into one project type.
"Once, during prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."