“Being Agile” – Ontological perspectives on Coaching for performance.

I recently attended a very interesting meetup called – “Being Agile” – Ontological perspectives on Coaching for performance. One of the points that stood out about this meetup was that sometimes in our workplaces we forget that we are human. And just the simple things, such as asking someone in your team how they are, can often get overlooked. I think this is something we can all consider; and what is our state of being and the state of those around us. For the more we understand such things the better the work place can be.

Meetup Summary:

Over the years Agile Software Development has become “the way” to deliver value to the clients. While many are reaping the benefits being agile some are struggling to make the transition. This session is designed to help the coaches, change agents and all the participants in the agile journey to explore the “being” part of the agile journey from an ontological perspective.

Ontology is a branch of philosophy focusing on study and nature of ‘being’, now this term is also widely used in social science, computer science, artificial intelligence and in many other fields.

The term is derived from Greek words, “Onto” for existence and “logia” for study, science. In general, ontology focuses on the nature being for everything for example take an apple. The existence of apple can be seen, felt and can be tasted. In the context of managing Agile teams, the session will be focusing on “way of being for people.”

This meetup was presented by Raghav Mithare and the meetup group is Agile Leadership Community

Leaving Time for Testing – How to Spread Work Evenly Across the Sprint

A handy video from Mike Cohn regarding one of the common problems for early stage scrum teams. This is not leaving enough time for testing and how to resolve this issue.

This is summarised in three suggestions:

  1. Have smaller handoffs from devs to testers.
  2. Make the problem more visible (charts on walls etc..)
  3. Swarming and learning new ways to collaborate.

Scaled Agile frame work (SAFe)

Scaled Agile frame work:

The Wikipedia definition: Scaled Agile Framework (or SAFe) is an Agile software development framework designed by Scaled Agile, Inc. It consists of a knowledge base of integrated patterns intended for enterprise-scale Lean-Agile development. Its proponents consider SAFe to be scalable and modular, allowing an organization to apply it in a way that suits its need.

Or it can also be looked at if you are developing a product or products with more then one development team.

NINE PRINCIPLES OF SAFe:

  • Take an economic view.
  • Apply systems thinking.
  • Assume variability; preserve options.
  • Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles.
  • Base milestones on objective evaluation of working systems.
  • Visualise and limit WIP, reduce batch sizes and manage queue lengths.
  • Apply cadence, synchronise with cross-domain planning.
  • Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers.
  • Decentralise decision-making.

With SAFe (Scaled Agile frame work) pay close attention to the dependencies and inter-dependencies between the teams.

With SAFe remember to frequently integrate and deliver continuously. 🙂

5 Minute intro to SAFe.

The video below goes into more detail regarding SAFe and is presented by Dean Leffingwell, the creator of SAFe.

ScrumDesk

A while back I found this excellent scrum management tool. I have used it and I do highly recommend it. There is also a free sign up option with no time limit, but with limited users, projects allowed etc.. (In case you wondered I don’t work or haven’t been asked by scrumdesk to put this recommendation on line! 🙂

www.scrumdesk.com

 

scrumdesk.PNG

Software Development Life Cycle – Summary

Here is a link to a useful and interesting overview of the Software Development Life Cycle “SDLC.”

sdlc_stagesAn interesting read for anyone new or just getting into software development. It does appear to outline a some what Waterfall approach in the body of the article – which these days is a method no longer used, or being used less and less. However, at the bottom it does out line different models for software development including that of Agile and Waterfall.

I would also add that it’s really important to test as you proceed the build and not to start testing once the build is completed!

Stage 5: Testing the Product

This stage is usually a subset of all the stages as in the modern SDLC models, the testing activities are mostly involved in all the stages of SDLC. However this stage refers to the testing only stage of the product where products defects are reported, tracked, fixed and retested, until the product reaches the quality standards defined in the SRS.

 

 

LEGO Flow Game

I recently attended another workshop that was very insightful and also entertaining. This was the LEGO Flow Game. The rules are outlined in the link below if you want to read about how the game works.

It was extremely interesting to see how the different methodologies used (Waterfall, Scrum, Kanban) affected the process and outputs of the work that was being done. I have to say that Waterfall seemed the least affective, but the tasks were very ‘product line creation’ driven so perhaps its not best suited to begin with.

However the presenter, Julian Daddy, who works at the Discovery channel did state that he has done the game numerous times and with every team there is a different result, no matter what the methodology. So the team, the people and the communication is just as important as the process that is used.

The rules are outlined in the page below, but if you run this game yourself feel free to adapt them; as there is not a set in stone way of doing them.

LEGO_Flow_Game 

Scrum: The Structure of Scrum

This is an excellent short video with Jeff Sutherland. He gives a high level break down of where some of the processes of Scrum came from and how it was developed. For such a short video I found it a really interesting watch and would recommend it even if you don’t work in an agile environment.