Switching to new agile development software and processes in the midst of a major release was a gamble for a developer of corporate performance management solutions. But the risk paid off with reductions in testing and packaging time as well as a nearly 30 percent increase in developer capacity.
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Two years ago, Borland knew it needed to strengthen operational oversight, reduce costs and improve efficiency and quality. Today, the number of software releases has doubled annually, costs are down, and development teams are happier and more productive. What made the difference? Borland got agile.
Some managers believe a bit of fear can be healthy, but Deming didn’t think so, and it can hurt projects in countless ways, from data manipulation to lack of innovation. On the other end of the spectrum, light agile approaches honor another Deming principle: focus on stakeholder value.
When it comes to managing projects, more organizations are testing the agile waters. Some are diving right in, while others are dipping their toes, wondering what dangers lurk beneath the surface. Some begin swimming quickly, never looking back; others don’t get much past doggy-paddling.
Agile methods have boomed in influence and practice, as organizations of all sizes and types acknowledge that linear thinking won’t cut it in a complex business world. But what does it actually mean to be agile? This three-part series explores the question, focusing on the most popular agile approach, Scrum.
When you’re operating in an Agile environment — or any other software development scenario, for that matter — three factors almost always make the difference between success and failure: domain knowledge, dialogue and deadline pressure. Here, Cutter Consortium consultant and researcher Michael Mah presents his anatomy of a failed project.
Command-and-control management often undermines teamwork. The principles of Scrum, which give teams autonomy to prioritize their work, help build a sense of shared commitment to project goals, which yields better results. Psychology, not hierarchy, is the key to high performing teams.
Beyond technical skills, success on Agile projects depends on productive self-organizing teams, according to Esther Derby, a respected consultant on teamwork, Scrum implementation and retrospective facilitation. Here, she shares some best practices for developing and supporting self-organizing teams.
In a drastic departure from a project management approach heavy on control and prediction, Salesforce.com rolled out an in-house Agile development methodology in just three months. From resistance to breakthroughs, here's a look at how they did it, with some lessons that other organizations can apply to their own transformation initiatives.
Products reflect the structure of the teams that build them, and so a critical decision on any development project is how to organize individuals into teams. In the first installment of a new series on team structure, Agile thought leader Mike Cohn makes the case for keeping teams small, detailing several advantages over larger ones.