What I Learned About Agile Project Management from Running a Household

What I Learned About Agile Project Management from Running a Household

Last year, I decided to try an experiment at home. The experiment focused on applying agile project management techniques to running our household; I wanted to learn if these techniques, like scrum boards, acceptance criteria, the definition of done, retrospectives and stand-ups, could help us manage our housework as efficiently and effectively as my client projects. …

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Designing an Effective Organization: The Levers Available to Leaders Looking to Implement Lasting Change (Part 2 of 2)

Designing an Effective Organization: The Levers Available to Leaders Looking to Implement Lasting Change (Part 2 of 2)

A major change has occurred in your business and your peers have suggested it is time to alter the company’s organizational structure. Before you grab the whiteboard marker and start drawing new org charts, it is imperative to slow down, fully understand the types of change your company will make, and how that change will be executed.…

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Five Reasons Rapid Prototyping Rocks

Anyone involved in a new product or offering understands how requirements and design can quickly become out of control. Developers begin making assumptions through the build and integration of the solution. Project managers promise more than what is capable of the entire team. New voices get involved and user acceptance testing quickly spirals out of control, headed straight for failure.…

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Repeatable Project Configuration – Best Practices for Team Software Development

Given that a series of highly unusual winter weather conditions have resulted in Chicago having colder same-day temperatures than the South Pole (seriously), many people in the city opted to work from home on the most inclement days. That includes myself, and working disconnected from my normal environment caused me to consider how important it is to make your solutions repeatable.…

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Agile for Documentation

According to the Agile Manifesto – the benefit of working software and individual interactions are more essential than comprehensive documentation and processes and tools. Following these principles, teams should rely on highly effective face to face white boarding sessions rather than a single person producing a huge technical document. The end goal must be to communicate with the team and...

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Agile – A Voyage of Discovery

Agile might just be the greatest innovation in software development methodology – ever. The benefits of being able to implement changes rapidly, with user involvement, with no design surprises. What’s not to like? Well, in highly complex, highly integrated and regulated environments, Agile presents some additional risk and can, when used in isolation, be responsible for furthering...

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Refining the Daily Standup: The 4th Question

In a previous post, I spoke about dysfunctions in a daily standup that can derail its value to an Agile team, sometimes silently. But there’s another dysfunction I didn’t mention, one that may never show up unless you explicitly address it. My own war story in this area caused me to craft an addition to the standard three-question standup format that I use with every team: the 4th...

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Standup Pitfalls: How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Daily Scrum

Agile is like the game of golf: easy to understand, but difficult to master. For classically trained project managers, leading an Agile team can be confusing, intimidating, and contains pitfalls that a PM may never see. But those pitfalls can stifle an otherwise promising Agile team and jeopardize the product. Typically, the first Agile ceremony adopted by teams “doing Agile” is the daily...

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