Retrospectives become a waste of time if the changes and improvements agreed upon in the meeting are never accomplished. Esther Derby believes in the power of retrospectives. And she knows firsthand that it's easy to talk about a change, but not always easy to actually do something differently. Esther shares experiences that illustrate this point and offers advice on how to make changes stick.
Managing an agile project based on uncensored "Very High," "High," and "Low Priority" user stories or backlog items used to induce stress on Jeff Patton. So he learned to implement a combination of prioritization techniques to get these lists--and the job--under control. In this week's column, find out how Jeff utilizes MoSCoW and business goals to make sense of prioritization.
In this article, the authors discuss how software configuration fits into products and projects, beyond managing and controlling source code and other developer assets. They look at the differences between internal and external products and where project fit into the equation.
Everyone responds to change differently, whether managers know this or not. A good leader knows this, and doesn't hurt the morale of a team by expecting them to act a way that their incapable of, or that feels unnatural to them. Naomi Karten brings this all to light in this article.
In 1997 Eliyahu Goldratt published a business novel titled Critical Chain in which he introduced a new way of scheduling and executing projects similar to the more familiar Critical Path method. Goldratt's version removes many of the estimating games that go on between managers and their staff. This results in projects that typically deliver in about 75 percent of the normal time. In this column, Clarke Ching demonstrates some of the ideas from Critical Chain and will show how to use it easily within agile projects.
Some things in life, like death and taxes, are a given. Software development teams face their own givens: Project schedules will always change and certain teams will suffer because of these changes. If that's to be expected, then why haven't most managers done anything to save their teams from undue stress and abuse? In this column, Dion Johnson explains that we've got to take care of our teams, or else we'll never see the end of team abuse.
The economy, like the weather, is a complex system that cycles through good times and bad. Dark economic clouds are brewing on the horizon. Predictions of inflation, stagnant growth, crushing debt, tightening credit are in the forecast. Payson Hall tells us how to weather the storm.
Modern day reporters tend to write their articles using what is known as the "inverted pyramid" style. They start with the most important information in the first sentence, followed by the next most important, and so on. This format not only gives the reader the biggest bang for his buck as he reads it also gives both the reporters and their editors huge flexibility in their uncertain and fast-changing environments. Clarke Ching shows how modern software development techniques use the same idea to give customers the best bang for their buck—in equally uncertain environments.
Goals and requirements drive the work schedules of all projects. Some of these requests are necessary to the success of the current project, others are not so critical. Yet sometimes we lose sight of this and spend many work hours trying to complete more than what can be done within the timeframe of a project. In this column, Johanna Rothman reminds us to look critically at what we're working on to make sure we're satisfying the goals after the requirements have been satisfied.
Michele Sliger uses a simple exercise to exemplify the changes self-organized teams cause in any company, especially with the project manager. In this column, Michele explains how to conduct this exercise and how to review and use the results to improve work relationships and communication. Above all, this exercise should help your whole organization understand how everyone's knowledge of a project's initiatives and goals affects the project's success.