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
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.
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
More Companies See Agile as a Valid Business Solution - State of Scrum Report
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
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)
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
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)
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
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
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)