Process Improvement doesn’t happen by Magic

Background Agile and Scrum has many upsides over waterfall.  Focus on the backlog, customer involvement, ability to change, and team synergy are among the list of improvements that Agile brings to the table.  Unfortunately, Agile does have a few dark sides.  I mentioned the potential testing issues in a previous article, but there is another. […]

Do Your Teams Thrive on Chaos?

Politics and power struggles are unfortunately a way of life in large organizations.  Anything that threatens the existing power structure can become a focal point for this energy.   Agile and lean development represent those threatening changes for many people. While there are hundreds of potential reasons that someone may resist Agile development, I think the most common […]

Rangers, Lead the Way!

I am often struck by the challenges that our current generation of knowledge workers view as insurmountable.  Admittedly, the stress of business goals can be intense.  But to help put this in perspective, I’d like to take a page from the greatest generation.  Those that survived the great depression and fought successfully for our liberty in World […]

Evaluating Agile Software Engineers

Agile development and the Scrum team environment places different priority on what have traditionally been labelled “soft skills”.   Waterfall methodology valued heads-down analysis and development over collaboration.  It also valued longer decision making under the guise of thoroughness. This is a short list of some of the capabilities that should be incorporated into Agile […]

Personal Boundaries in a Development Team

Many factors influence the composition and effectiveness of a team.  Traditional managers create teams based on the skills needed and amount of work.  They feel that their skills at directing the team will ensure a successful outcome. This article looks at the composition from the perspective of the team member.  Team members often have a […]

Control vs. Responsibility

The idea for this article came to me while observing senior staff members in a large technology company.  These individuals had been working at the company for a long time, in some cases 15 to 20 years or more.  These people were recognized as individual contributors, but for some reason have either avoided management roles […]