Articles

Roadblock You’re Ready for DevOps—but Is Your Workplace?

In order to adopt DevOps, organizations need to be able to embrace the openness it requires, encourage experimentation and innovation, and work across departmental silos. You may be ready to encourage collaboration and communication to reap the benefits, but what if your company culture isn't? Here's how you can influence your organizational dynamics to lay the groundwork for DevOps.

Matt Hilbert's picture Matt Hilbert
Encouraging growth Agile Managers: Trust Your Team and Encourage Innovation

In order to fully embrace agile and create an environment where individuals want to work together as a team, managers have to move from a role of dictation to one of direction and mentorship. Instead of making all the decisions, managers need to trust their team members and empower them to solve problems on their own, innovate, and fail—or succeed.

Lisa Rich's picture Lisa Rich Mic Riley
leader in front of team Discovering Your Leadership Drive

Some people are born with the traits most suited to becoming an effective leader. Others may find that they have to work a lot harder to achieve success in a leadership role. But each of us has some innate potential to step up and take charge. If your team needs direction, don't be afraid to discover whether you could be the one to provide it.

Leslie  Sachs's picture Leslie Sachs
Leadership influence Personality and the Influence of Positional Power

The power that comes from our positions and roles matters most in terms of our own influence and ability to achieve desired results. You may have limited ability to change your position within a structure, but you have limitless potential to understand and make the most of positional power.

Leslie  Sachs's picture Leslie Sachs

Better Software Magazine Articles

Scrum Basics Scrum: Back to Basics

So you think you know Scrum? Using the whimsical notion of farm animals and light-hearted visuals, take a refreshing review of the entire Scrum lifecycle as an intuitive set of roles, responsibilities, and handoffs. Particular attention is placed on what the ScrumMaster and product owner are expected to do at each handoff.

Brian M.  Rabon's picture Brian M. Rabon
Scaling Agile Thinking through Empowered Teams Scaling Agile Thinking through Empowered Teams

Just because a software team adopts agility doesn’t mean they’ll see results. Being flexible has its benefits, but ensuring that the team is given total responsibility to make decisions may be more important.

Bob Costello's picture Bob Costello
success Achieving Success through Servant Leadership

Regardless of whether you are working with a stellar team or one that struggles, your style of management can influence the success of the project. Josh Dawson wants you to consider adopting servant leadership.

Josh Dawson's picture Josh Dawson
Hire the Right Developer

Wondering why—with all the jobs you've applied for—you aren't getting noticed? Take it from Xojo CEO Geoff Perlman; it isn't just your programming or testing skills that will land you a job. Far from it. Geoff knows from experience that hiring the right individual is a careful blend of skill, fit, and passion.

Geoff Perlman's picture Geoff Perlman

Interviews

Bob Galen Strategic Leadership in Agile: An Interview with Bob Galen
Video

In this interview, Bob Galen, principal agile coach at Vaco Agile, talks about the importance of getting rid of silos by breaking down the barriers of “them and us” and becoming “we.” He also discusses the need for agile managers to steer away from a tactical management view toward a more strategic leadership view. That means leading their teams by setting expectations and guidelines and being available to help if needed, but ultimately just trusting their teams to get the job done.

Owen Gotimer's picture Owen Gotimer
Selena Delesie Leadership Lessons to Bolster Your Software Team: An Interview with Selena Delesie
Video

In this interview, visionary speaker Selena Delesie explains how successful teams embrace specific principles, including listening deeply, believing people truly matter, having an addiction to learning, serving others, flowing through change, moving through fear, and following joy.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
The Keys to a Successful Software Team: An Interview with Andy Kaufman
Podcast

In this interview, Andy Kaufman, the founder of the Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development, explains why team chemistry is often an afterthought, how enthusiasm can often trump skill, and how to deal with conflict.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Dan Skelsey discusses change management The Effective Change Manager's Handbook: An Interview with Dan Skelsey
Podcast

In this interview, Dan Skelsey, one of the editors for The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook, talks about all things change management, why it's important to focus on what is not changing, and where a good place to start is for your inevitable changes.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West Minimum Viable Product: Deliver with Vision, Simplicity and Focus
Slideshow

To build good software, teams (and businesses) need to have a laser focus on all three of these items. It is virtually impossible to keep the effort focused on building to the needs of the customer if you don't start with a solid vision from the product owner/sponsor. When the focus isn't on just what is needed by the customer, that leads scope creep and feature bloat tends to set in and impact the products ROI. Whether you are focusing on a minimum viable product, minimum viable prototype, or a minimally viable package of code; leveraging the few simple principles allows teams to keep things simple, meet the vision and needs of the customer, while building in smaller batch sizes. In this presentation, we will review case studies, hands-on exercises, and real-life examples to cover some simple techniques to lock in a vision, focus on customer needs and drive to a simple, minimal viable product.

Brian Watson
Agile DevOps West Leading in an Era of Constant Change
Slideshow

Change is a good thing. Being a leader in an era of constant change can be frustrating. Putting a company through a significant transformation is a serious process that takes a lot of people, time, and money. However, if your organization doesn't innovate and change by market-driven needs and demands, it will fail—it's just that simple. So, how do you do it? This interactive workshop will introduce five key factors to successful change management. You will experience techniques to get everybody actively involved in transformation, from top-level executives and stakeholders to the team level, clients, and partners. You'll be able to go back to your organization with tools and techniques to manage change and truly lead a successful agile transformation. Come learn how change can be invigorating instead of exhausting.

Kim Brainard
Agile DevOps West ScrumMasters: The Struggle Is Real
Slideshow

Are you a new ScrumMaster who is trying to figure out what the heck to do each day? Or have you been a ScrumMaster for a little while now but still find it difficult to set aside time to continue to grow your team’s knowledge of agile best practices? Do you struggle to improve the team dynamic or the relationship with your product owner because you are too busy removing roadblocks all day? These situations have become all too familiar. Courtney Wilkinson knows because she has successfully overcome many herself. As a former ScrumMaster and current agile coach, Courtney can tell you the struggle is real. Regardless of what you have been told, you don’t have to solve every roadblock alone. Join Courtney as she shares some tactical techniques, including a list of four specific questions you can teach your team, to combat these roadblocks in your day-to-day work.

Courtney Wilkinson
Agile DevOps West Brainwriting: The Team Hack to Generating Better Ideas
Slideshow

Brainstorming has long been held as the best way to get ideas from teams. The purpose is to solicit large amounts of ideas in a short timeframe. By putting a collective of creative people in the same room, better concepts should be the outcome. Sounds very agile, right? However, science has shown several times that brainstorming is not the best way to generate ideas. It’s cumbersome due to all of the interdependent activities happening, and you often spend more time thinking about others' ideas than your own. Maybe it's time we try something new. Brainwriting is similar to brainstorming, but each participant writes down their idea and passes it to the next person, who then uses it to spur their own ideas. Incorporating this technique into your team events can produce more diverse ideas and provide a friendlier environment for collaboration. In this session, we will workshop the brainwriting process.

Chris Murman

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