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Alignment vs Autonomy and The Purpose Alignment Model By Chris Lukassen When scaling agile / Scrum, we invariable run into the alignment vs autonomy problem. In short: you cannot have autonomous self directing teams if they have no clue in what direction they should go, or even shorter: Alignment breeds autonomy. But how do we create alignment? and what tools can we use to quickly evaluate if what we want to do is part of the mission or better left out? Niel Nickolaisen created the Purpose Alignment model and I use it with innovation labs in large enterprises to decide what should be part of our innovation and what should be left to others. Why So if you struggle with aligning your development approaches with the market strategy on how their product is going to be successful in the marketplace, grab a whiteboard. To be successful, a product must do solves a particu... (more)

JDJ Cover Story — Agile Java Development with Spring, Hibernate, & Eclipse

After getting a head of gray hairs and a quickly receding hairline, I have learned that the simplest solutions are often the best. Having worked with Java since 1995 and various software development lifecycle methodologies over the years, I have seen things grow complex in these areas. Thanks to some new lighter-weight Java tools and agile methods, I can provide a fresh perspective on developing Java applications in an agile manner. This article is different from typical Java articles for two reasons. First, instead of providing in-depth details on some API or cool tool, it provides a roadmap for building enterprise-class Java applications using agile methods and plain old Java objects (POJOs). Second, it covers a lot of ground, from conceptualization through deployment, so for the sake of brevity, there are minimal code excerpts; however, there's a completely functi... (more)

Cloud Computing Turns Virtual Teams Into a Competitive Advantage

Collaboration in the cloud is the future of business. Web 2.0 and cloud computing make it possible to solve the final challenge of coordination and management. If you're inside a larger enterprise, you can use collaboration in the cloud to compete with lean, nimble startups, or to better coordinate across different groups, offices, and divisions. We've heard all the buzzwords before. Virtual companies. Offshoring. Free agent nation. But this time, it's for real. The future of business is no longer enormous, vertically integrated titans (anyone check Ford's stock price recently?), but rather small, nimble, federations. Historically, the cost of coordination has outweighed the benefits of agility, which is why the virtual corporation had a hard time breaking through. But today's cloud technologies, with their ability to bridge the gaps between firms, and between busine... (more)

The Seven Deadly Sins of Software Test Automation

For the past 15-plus years, organisations have turned to test automation as a way to improve efficiency in the Software Development Life Cycle. Yet despite heavy investment, software testing is still often the bottleneck in the delivery cycle. In a recent survey of CIOs, Original Software found that only 6% were totally happy with their automation. The scary thing is that this is tolerated - It’s the norm! “Only in a world this shitty could you even try to say these were innocent people and keep a straight face. But that's the point. We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home, and we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it's common, it's trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I'm setting the example.” John Doe (Kevin Spacey) in Se7en Undoubtedly Test Automation has failed to achieve for the masses. But why is this the cas... (more)

Agile Development != Chaos

The most agile project teams I have seen are those that do not claim to be agile or lean. They have a solid well-documented architecture in place as well as designs of the modules being built. They have separated the responsibilities amongst the team members according to the team member's skill set. They don't try to pretend everyone has the experience levels that would allow them to contribute to all aspects of the development process. Requirements, Architecture, Analysis and design, and Proof of Concepts take up 80% of the projects resources of time and money, and coding takes up 20%. As the team's process becomes repeatable and reuse starts to be capitalized on, the project's time to production is shortened, estimates are actually accurate, and budgets are met. In my career I have come across approximately 20 teams claiming to be agile, one actually was. The rest... (more)

The Agile PMO

Tom Jenkins, the newly appointed PMO manager convened his team. Xavier, Paula and Xing were eager to start work. Tom explained that the PMO rollout is a change process. He gave his team assignments around stakeholder analysis, mapping of communication requirements, and creation of the PMO newsletter. While the team was somewhat puzzled with these activities they moved to fulfill them. Working with the stakeholders, the team captured many complaints pertaining to the current way of work and gathered numerous requests for improvements. Eagerly awaiting their next meeting, which was held virtually through a videoconference, they prepared a list of proposed improvements. Xavier proposed to commence work on the work breakdown structure and the software development lifecycle. Paula suggested to update the risk register template and to implement a new tool for project sc... (more)

Survey: More Companies See Agile as a Valid Business Solution | @DevOpsSummit #Agile #DevOps

More Companies See Agile as a Valid Business Solution - State of Scrum Report Released Scrum Alliance has announced the release of its 2015 State of Scrum Report. Almost 5,000 individuals and companies worldwide participated in this year's survey.  Most organizations in the market today are still leading and managing under an Industrial Age model.  Not only is the speed of change growing exponentially, Agile and Scrum frameworks are showing companies how to draw on the full talents and capabilities of those doing the work in order to continue innovating for success. "Survey findings show where Scrum is today and where it is likely headed," said Scrum Alliance CEO Manny Gonzalez. "It's very exciting for us at Scrum Alliance to see these results. They indicate to us that we're on the right path to Transforming the World of Work® as an organization and that Agile and... (more)

Exigen Services Discusses the Practical Application of Agile Development

MOSCOW -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 03/29/07 -- Exigen Services, one of the largest application outsourcing firms in Central and Eastern Europe, today announced its participation in CMP's inaugural Software Development Best Practices Moscow 2007 event, April 3-4, as a Silver Sponsor. Two of Exigen Services' Certified Scrum Masters will draw on their Agile development expertise during participation in an education-based panel on advanced methodologies. A recognized leader in applying Agile development methodologies to distributed development environments, Exigen Services has delivered more than 100 projects worldwide. The company has accrued 300-plus man-years of experience with methodologies like Extreme Programming and Scrum, working with a range of Fortune 500 and mid-size growth companies including CSC, Fellowes, Sesame Communications, and a groundbreaking Scrum project wi... (more)

Scrum Alliance Membership Survey Shows Growing Scrum Adoption and Project Success

LAFAYETTE, Colo., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Scrum Alliance, Inc., a not-for-profit organization focused on the worldwide successful adoption of Scrum, announces the results of a member survey conducted in July 2007. Scrum Alliance members were asked about their companies' satisfaction with the Scrum process. Seventy-five percent of those who responded report that Scrum is meeting or exceeding their organizations' needs. Forty-five percent of respondents report their organizations are either very pleased with Scrum or believe it exceeds their organizations' expectations. Nearly 90 percent (87%) of respondents report personal satisfaction with Scrum. Within organizations that employ Certified ScrumMasters (CSMs), 53 percent report that 50-100 percent of their total development work is accomplished using the Scrum process. Seventy-eight percent of those su... (more)

The 4 Core Principles of Agile Programming

One of the things I really enjoy at the moment is the recognition and adoption of agile programming as a fully fledged powerful way to deliver quality software projects. As its figurehead is a group of very talented individuals who have created the agile manifesto http://agilemanifesto.org/. At its core are four simple principles that, when followed and applied to software projects, generally will ensure a great flexibility and hence higher agility. Leaving aside how great agile projects are, what worries me at the moment is that more and more people seem to be buying into this idea that agile programming is a noun rather than a verb, and that to do it correctly you have to follow a certain process to the letter. Point 1: the manifesto for agile developemt states that it puts "Individuals and interactions" over process and tools. In other words, you adapt the proc... (more)

Why Is Scrum So Widely Adopted and So Very Dangerously Deceptive

I was sitting in a meeting sometime ago with a company that was embracing Scrum like a ten year old being offered a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies. They were grabbing at it as fast as they're little hands could reach out and grab the goodies. Watching this made me wonder what is was about Scrum that made them embrace it so emphatically. They had claimed to be an Agile shop for years, but were still failing to deliver quality software on time with in budget. Over the past years they refused every single proposed process improvement recommendation made by dozens of consultants. They literally went from zero process (using the name Agile to execute no process at all) to zealot Scrumbots overnight. After spending some time pondering this and interviewing a few people I found the answers I was looking for. Scrum was allowing them to preform the magic trick of perce... (more)