What do you do when the team has tight deadlines, but is not meeting those schedule dates, and the boss reacts by asking for even more schedule detail as a way to "get things back on track"? (And by the way, the boss is also changing scope and priorities weekly.) This case relays how one CEO and team were able to take a step back, understand and acknowledge the real problems, and mutually commit to a new, more agile, but also less ad hoc development approach.
The CEO was highly frustrated. The team was missing multiple schedule commitments. In some cases it was fielding the next alpha feature on the promised date. In other cases it was having an impressive demo for a trade show or for presentation to current and potential investors. Company credibility was at stake: with users, with potential investors, with potential customers at an upcoming trade show, and even with the CEO of the "mother company" who controlled the flow of money in the near term. The delays were also damaging the small firm CEO's confidence in his development team. Read the case »
Agile Testing: No Mini-Waterfalls!
Part 2 of a series by Alan Koch
"In the first week of each Sprint, we testers don't have much to do. Then we are going crazy the last few days."
"It's not unusual for the team to have nothing that is deliverable at the end of the Sprint. Everything's been coded, but the testing isn't done."
I hear these sorts of complaints often, and they clue me into the fact that these Agile teams have fallen into a common trap: Their Sprints are mini-waterfalls! This malady is common in organizations that are just becoming comfortable with an agile approach. The cause is predictable: Development teams have used a waterfall approach for so long that they can't imagine working in any other way. Find out how to stop the mini-waterfalls »
The PMLight™ FastRAMP series focuses on practical, just-enough project management, and how you can achieve it on your projects. You'll learn how to best use valuable PM approaches on different sizes and types of projects, without feeling like a micromanager. You get new tools and techniques you can use immediately, and you'll really understand the critical management and leadership role the execs want you to fill. Plus, 12 Category A PDUs! And all without a single day out of the office. Reserve your space today!
Book Review: The World Class Project Manager
Meaty but easy-to-reference coverage of different types and levels of project manager role, the detailed competencies needed to be world-class, and how to assess yourself and chart your path forward. It's not a new book but it's one of the ones I keep handy on my bookshelf. Read Cinda's full review »
How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family (article recommendation)
Sanity Check: How long has it been since you talked to your project's Sponsor?
The Power of Our Thoughts for Creating Personal Power in Tough Situations
Mini-Course: Getting Team Member Status
Your project has been 80% done for the last 12 weeks. How can you get them to tell you really going on, and not what they think Management wants to hear? This mini-course explains how to implement and use quick status reporting your team members will actually want to do, because it lets them tell it like it is so they can get their work done.
Special Template: Agile Technique Guideline: Scrum – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until February 5, 2015
If you're curious about Agile, Scrum is a good place to start. It's the most commonly used methodology, and focuses on developing products or managing work in an iterative and incremental manner. This methodology brief provides a high-level overview.
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