Organizational transformation is difficult work. Many agile transformation efforts begin with lofty goals only to be sabotaged by unrealistic expectations about the depth and complexity of the changes required. Often, resistance to change is ingrained in an organization’s value system and difficult to overcome. Tamara Runyon presents an overview of a new Agile Transformation Competency Framework-a strategic tool for evaluating and guiding your transformation efforts. Evaluating the organization against the dimensions of the framework-collaboration, agile engineering, product management, environment, organizational culture, and distributed teams-results in a transformation plan that avoids setting unachievable expectations. To institutionalize agile values within an organization and lay the foundation for wide-scale adoption, a company must align with these six competency areas.
Many large software development organizations, which have discovered that they must become more agile to compete, frequently ask Dan Rawsthorne, "What does 'big' scrum look like?" Because no two organizations are alike, this simple question does not have a simple answer. There are, however, some common patterns that emerge in organizations that have implemented "big" scrum. Dan Rawsthorne presents the Product Owner Team pattern that allows the organization to handle agility up and down its hierarchy. Dan discusses cross-cutting teams that handle issues the formal hierarchy can’t properly address-for example, architecture and usability teams. He recommends creating an Integration and Evaluation (I&E) team to provide a natural home for test specialists to perform usability testing, pre-release validation, and performance testing.
When there is a defined task with a clear set of rules to follow, rewards are an excellent way to encourage desired behavior. In situations where creativity, innovation, and thinking “outside the box” are essential-as in software development-rewards are actually a terrible strategy to use. They narrow the person’s focus and restrict possibilities. When it comes to your creative work, wouldn’t you be happier and more motivated if you were given the freedom to choose how you work? Russell Pannone discusses the science behind motivation and reports on research showing that, when doing knowledge work, reward-based systems actually hinder our efforts. Learn better ways to motivate yourself and your team-ways that allow individuals and groups to control the direction of their work, fulfill their desire to excel, and do something that really matters.
For story estimating and tracking, Ken Pugh finds the same issues seem to crop up on many teams-whether a story is too big, too small, or just right; how best to track stories; the definition of “done” for a story; and what should be represented as stories, as tasks, or as issues. Using real-world examples, Ken shows you how to estimate story size and how to use acceptance tests to divide stories into right-sized chunks that benefit both customers and developers. He demonstrates approaches for tracking progress-internally for the team and externally for customers and management. Learn how to capture actual effort, and when and why you need to compare it to estimates. He also describes how to use acceptance tests to define the doneness of a story. Finally, learn how to estimate the return-on-investment for stories using a combination of business value and effort estimates.
For agile adoptions that fail, you may not be sure of what went wrong or exactly where but you know something is broken somewhere. And with success, you often do not know what went right. Rajeev Singh shares his experiences regarding emotional and behavioral problems on teams trying to embrace agile values and practices. Join with your peers and hear Rajeev's tales of timid managers, ineffective product owners, poor agile coaches, and self-organizing teams that attempt to "run the asylum." He offers case studies of times when agile adoption has put organizations’ strengths and will to the test. Rajeev will help you develop an acute awareness of your organization's pathologies and offer specific paths to resolve these issues. If your agile team or teams are having "people problems" and sometimes seem to be in chaos, this session is for you.
Nationwide Insurance, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, is the home of a next generation application development lifecycle fusing a lean software development framework with agile principles and techniques within a CMMI®-compliant methodology. Dustin Potts shares how Nationwide has leveraged the scalability of lean, the flexibility of agile, and the discipline of CMMI® to create a powerful enterprise solution for software development. He describes their Scrum and XP practices along with lean tools they employ such as kaizen, A3 thinking, and value stream mapping. Nationwide’s framework supports scalability, leading to problem solving and continuous improvement across dozens of teams. With its lean-agile practices, teams can confidently promise to deliver on-time every time, within budget, and with few defects.
Organizations use project governance to control a project’s activities-scope, cost, schedule, activities, personnel, quality, and authority. Most traditional governance processes assume we fix the scope of the project upfront, and it remains constant throughout the project. In contrast, agile methodologies focus on delivering the greatest value to the customer at the lowest cost, often resulting in scope changes as the project proceeds. This difference can cause friction between project managers and the agile team. To bridge this gap, Mario Moreira shows how to adapt project governance policies for more flexibility toward customer needs and changing market conditions. He outlines and discusses an agile framework-based on XP, sprint zero, agile release planning, end-of-sprint reviews, and quantified confidence levels-to provide project managers with a broad view of the work ahead.
Sadly, ten years into the evolution of agile practices, many teams fail to learn and implement the software development practices that are necessary for long-term code quality and agility. Software craftsmen believe that without these technical practices the quality of software goes downhill and teams can’t sustain high levels of productivity. Fadi Stephan introduces software craftsmanship, reviews its history, and explores the driving forces that led practitioners to create this movement. Fadi describes the software craftsman’s ethics, disciplines, principles, and practices as he explores the latest arguments between advocates and opponents of software craftsmanship. Learn about the value statements in the software craftsmanship manifesto and their relationship to the current state of software development. Discover new tools and forums available to developers for practicing and mastering their craft.
Have your Scrum development teams discovered that grooming some features only one sprint ahead is too late? Have your product owners ever asked you to implement a set of features within a month and continue to implement additional features on a periodic basis? As you manage a product and its releases, you must address these and other timing issues to reduce or eliminate rework, maintain a steady pace of delivery, and consistently produce business value. Sharing experiences managing a large and complex product within State Farm’s vast IT organization, Season Tanner describes the successes and issues they encountered using Scrum and Kanban together. Learn about the Kanban process they implemented and tuned to work while retaining some Scrum practices. Find out what ultimately worked best and how they execute that process today.
Unit testing is a core component of agile development methodologies. Teams that perform comprehensive unit testing are perceived to be more reliable, professional, and advanced. Yet, many developers find starting unit testing is difficult. They test the wrong things, often with fragile tests that must be rewritten. Many give up even before realizing the value that unit testing brings. It doesn’t have to be that way! Gil Zilberfeld explains important principles for better unit testing: choosing what to test first, selecting the most appropriate tools, determining what to include in unit tests and what to defer to integration tests, measuring progress, understanding the differences between designing unit tests for new projects vs. legacy code, and more. Learn how to overcome resistance and get the entire team on board. There’s no reason to make the same mistakes others have made. Don’t get stuck with bad tests or the wrong tool.