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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Homework for the Holidays

Brimming with holidays, vacations, and busy personal schedules, the last quarter of the year can be difficult, if not borderline impossible to plan for. At times, we feel like throwing our hands up and saying “forget it”, chalking the last couple months of the year up as a wash. We have all felt that frustration and anxiety of meeting year end deadlines with half the resources, money, and...

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Lessons from the Chicago Blackhawks: Pull the Goalie and Beat the Clock

Written by Consultants, for Consultants (and sports enthusiasts)  Coach Joel Quenneville made the decision to pull the goalie in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals. Chicago’s last ditch, all in, effort to extend a game that was on its way to a loss. Pulling the goalie is a coach’s ultimate decision that arguably provides the most intense and nerve-racking ninety seconds of any game.…

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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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