Agile Development Practices East 2010


Adopting Agile: Baby Steps and Pervasive Feeback

You want to begin adopting agile practices in your team and organization. Where to start? Agile is full of strange terms, new principles, and unfamiliar practices that are not even described consistently from person-to-person and book-to-book. Customer or Product Owner? Sprint or Iteration? Then there are all those new gatherings-sprint planning, stand-ups, retrospectives, reviews, and more. As hard as you try to do things "by the book," it's hard to tell which practices really help and when to implement each.

George Dinwiddie, iDIA Computing, LLC

Agile Development Practices East 2010: Making a Long Story Short: Splitting User Stories

When a single user story that mixes both high-value and low-value functionality is left intact, the flow of value slows. Stories that are too large increase project risk and force a longer development path even when the team would be better off with more frequent feedback. Join Bill Wake as he examines bundling, unbundling, splitting, and merging user stories. He explains and demonstrates concrete techniques for story splitting, along with high-level, user-experience, non-functional, and story-complexity lines.

Bill Wake, Industrial Logic
Agile Development Practices East 2010: Resistance as a Resource

As a developer or tester, you are a creative, intelligent, and insightful member of your team. Whether you know it or not, you also are a change agent. When you have an apparently good idea about how to improve, you may sometimes hear "We tried that before, and it didn't work" or "We've never done it that way here" or "No real user would ever do something like that!" What you're meeting is resistance. So, what do you do?

Dale Emery, DHE

Agile Development Practices East 2010: The Agile PMO: From Process Police to Adaptive Governance

Although success stories from individual agile teams abound, agile adoptions often run into significant challenges when companies attempt to scale beyond one or a few teams on a single project or multiple projects. The role of middle management in agile, especially the Project Management Office (PMO), remains poorly defined. PMO managers often are seen as focusing more on process compliance than on business results. However, in the long run, agile cannot succeed without middle management's support and leadership.

Sanjiv Augustine, LitheSpeed, LLC

Agile Program Management: Architecture, Risks, and Constraints

Once you move to large agile development programs with multiple projects and sub-projects, how do you make progress and keep an architecturally coherent product? How do you create a product backlog and then manage working off the backlog among several or many project teams? How do you address the risks of having multiple project teams? How do you create an architecture that works for the product without retreating to a waterfall approach?

Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.

Applying Lean Software Development Principles Throughout the Organization

While first generation agile methods have a solid track record at the team level, many agile transformations get stuck trying to expand throughout the organization. With a set of principles that can help improve software development quality and productivity, lean thinking provides a method for escaping the trap of local optimization. While agile teams can use lean principles to improve their practices, the larger organization can embrace lean to solve problems that commonly plague company-wide agile endeavors.

Alan Shalloway, Net Objectives
Are We There Yet? Challenges for the Next Decade

Some people find agile to be a bit boring these days-they think that after a decade, there’s not much left to discover. However, if you look around, there are a host of software development problems just waiting for a solution. Mary Poppendieck describes some of these big issues and challenges agile practitioners for answers. For example, consider testing.

Mary Poppendieck, Poppendieck LLC

Avoiding Speed Bumps on the Road to Agile Adoption

Some companies take the low road to adopting agile: renaming team leads to Scrum Masters, declaring business architects to be product owners, and holding a daily meeting where everyone has to stand up. Others get excited and march bravely down the road to agile proclaiming "We're all going to be agile, all agile, all the time!" embracing both agile values and principles. If you're starting your agile journey, join Don Gray and learn how to keep your organization focused on the benefits while avoiding some bumps along the way.

Don Gray, Independent Consultant
Better, Strategically - Aligned Decisions, Every Day

Organizations generally use some type of formal decision-making process, such as cost/benefit analysis, to prioritize and approve projects and initiatives. However, once the project is approved, people make numerous and diverse implementation decisions in a less formal, more ad hoc way. Imagine the benefits that would result if we defined and used a strategically-aligned decision-making framework to help make these decisions. Niel Nickolaisen describes such a framework and helps you learn to adapt the framework for your projects.

Niel Nickolaisen, Energy Solutions
Between BDUF and Anarchy: Finding Modeling's Sweet Spot

"Big Design Up Front" isn't usually the best way to develop systems. Neither is anarchy, where developers code first and ask questions later. Somewhere between these two extremes lies the "sweet spot," a place where just enough up-front design is followed by incremental design to support individual iterations. Modeling, the representation of a business problem or its solution at different levels of abstraction, is a powerful tool in finding the sweet spot.

Tom Nedwek, Avanade


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