Agile Development Practices 2009


Iteration Management: Unclogging Your Development Process

Within the agile development lifecycle, the role of "iteration manager" is crucial for maintaining the rhythm and flow of the project. From leading the stand-ups, reviewing plans and estimates, communicating the status of the iteration to the customer, and escalating roadblocks to executive management, the iteration manager focuses on and supports the team's daily efforts.

Tiffany Lentz, ThoughtWorks
Kanban: A True Integration of Lean and Agile

If XP and Scrum are the first generation of agile methods, Kanban software development is the next generation. Kanban integrates lean and agile principles to create better software faster and at less cost. Kanban does this by defining explicit methods to manage work flow, paying particular attention to the number of things being worked on simultaneously, and how the available resources are allocated. Alan Shalloway reviews the basic Lean Principles of “fast, flexible, and flow” along with the systemic nature of errors Kanban addresses.

Alan Shalloway, Net Objectives
Navigating Conflict on Agile Teams: Why "Resolving" Conflict Won't Work

On many agile development teams, conflict lurks under the surface and can erupt as a volcano of destruction and suffering. On many agile teams, conflict is viewed mostly as a distraction that keeps the team from getting the job done. However, on great agile teams, conflict is constant and welcomed by all as a catapult to higher performance. In all these situations, conflict is not a mechanistic system one can simply take apart, fix, and put back together.

Lyssa Adkins, Cricketwing Consulting
Organizational Values: A Key to Agile Success

Agile adoptions can only be successful if corporate values match the key values outlined in the Agile Manifesto and in agile frameworks such as XP and Scrum. Michele Sliger explains the agile values that play a key role in driving individual and team behavior. Learn the real meaning behind the often heard phrase "agile is value-driven, not plan-driven". Discover how to determine your company's values and how to compare and contrast them to agile values-and what to do if they are different.

Michele Sliger, Sliger Consulting, Inc.
Peer Code Review: An Agile Process

Peer code review is one of the most effective ways to find defects-but is it agile? Because agile teams loathe heavy process, code review practices can easily fail. However, lightweight peer code review aligns well with the central tenets of agile-keeping feedback close to the point of creation, increasing team velocity by finding defects faster, and improving collective code ownership through frequent collaboration.

Gregg Sporar, Smart Bear Software
Pragmatic Personas: Putting the User in User Stories

When making choices about a system's functionality, the easiest thing is to ask yourself, "What would I like the software to do?" Unfortunately, when a team uses this approach, the result is usually constant argument, uncomfortable compromises, and that never-popular "designed-by-committee" feel. A persona is a simple model that describes an example user of a system. It's easy and fun for a team to create pragmatic personas that describe what we know about our users so we can talk about the product from their perspective.

Jeff Patton, Independent Consultant

Realistic Test-Driven Development: Paying and Preventing Technical Debt

Are you considering implementing Test-Driven Development (TDD), or have you tried it and failed? If so, this class is for you. Rob Myers describes the basic mechanics and components of TDD. In addition, he explains the real long-term benefits to the individual, team, and organization of using this technique. Teams find that their defect rate is considerably lower (compared to no unit testing, or unit testing after coding). Even greater rewards are gained in future enhancements and releases.

Rob Myers, Agile Institute

Sixteen Essential Patterns of Mature Agile Teams

Many teams have a relatively easy time adopting the tactical aspects of the agile methodologies. Usually a few classes, some tool introduction, and a bit of practice can lead you toward a somewhat efficient and effective adoption. However, such teams quite often are simply going through the motions-neither maximizing their agile performance nor delivering as much value as they could.

Robert Galen, Software Testing Consultant
Small is Beautiful: Business Agility Through Adaptive Governance

In this economic downturn, is your company looking beyond knee-jerk cost cutting to focus on creative ways to solve business problems? When businesses tap the innovative capabilities that agile development teams possess and scale up through adaptive governance, they can produce game-changing solutions.

Sanjiv Augustine, LitheSpeed

Source Code Analysis in the Agile World

Agile practitioners know that achieving high velocity in iterations requires a pinpoint focus on code quality. The death of many projects can be traced to an out-of-control defect queue being pushed uphill from one iteration into the next. Source Code Analysis has emerged as an effective technology that plays an integral role in achieving defect-free code within a contained cost and effort. However, the actual benefits achieved are dependent on when and how the technology is applied, and how broadly it is used by team members.

Gwyn Fisher, Klocwork, Inc


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