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Agile Is More Than Process

There is more to Agile than estimating stories, collaborating with customers, and showing working software.  Agile is also about technical excellence.  And this is where many Agile teams drop the ball.  All too often, teams focus too much on process and not enough on technical practices.  If the effort, complexity, and risk is too great for your team to extend and maintain their software, they will struggle to

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Scrum Methods: Planning for Value

Steve Jobs was obsessed with providing the best user experience to his customers.  Because, above all else, that is what they valued most.  He was the grand master at delivering value to his customers.  Not necessarily in terms of dollars, but in terms of what they wanted.  And while technology helped get him there, his focus was always on exceeding the expectations of the user.

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Hacking To Build Secure Apps

If recent headlines aren’t enough to convince you as to the importance of security, consider how much time and money your company will spend in response to a data breach, and the damage it will cause to your company’s brand and reputation.  Some larger companies have spent over a billion dollars recovering from a hack that only lasted a few minutes.  Chances are pretty good that your company does

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Recent Articles


Agility with OCP

Decreasing time to market is often why many teams adopt Agile. But realizing this value requires discipline in development processes, as well as in development techniques. In order to release small, incremental pieces of functionality often, your software must be easily extensible. Following the Open/Closed Principle (OCP) is one of the best ways to ensure that you can easily and quickly extend your software Read more »


Building Success with CI

Continuous Integration (CI) is one of the best methods for promoting increased productivity and higher software quality while effectively supporting Agile practices. Development teams that are good at CI have a high confidence level in their software that resides in source control. And through automated testing and associated metrics, they have a good understanding as to the quality of that code. Read more »


Managing Technical Debt

The manner in which technical debt is managed can give a company a competitive advantage when it’s most needed or destroy a very well conceived product. When incurred properly, technical debt can greatly decrease time to market, providing a short-term advantage over the competition. But if that debt is not paid off quickly, it will slowly, yet surely, erode the quality and the value of your software. Read more »


Quantifying Software Quality

As software development teams look for ways to improve their products and services, they often look at improving time to market, better prediction of release schedules, improving customer satisfaction, and raising overall software quality. Software “quality” can mean a lot of things to different people. But quality goes way beyond how well a product functions or how many bugs it contains. Read more »


The Absence of Commitment

Back in 2011, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the established authorities on Scrum standards, replaced the term commitment with forecast within the official Scrum Guide. While this may seem like a minor, irrelevant change, the implications are indeed significant. Read more »


Conducting the Technical Interview

With a shortage of technical talent, many of us are competing to find and hire the few technical rock stars out there.  And among those rock stars is a lot of mediocre talent trying to capitalize in a very good job market.  It’s hard to blame them for wanting a slice of the pie, but as leaders, we need to wade through the mediocrities to find those who can effectively support our development goals.
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Scrum Values: Predictability

As Scrum becomes ever-so-popular among software development teams, some people may actually wonder why. Certainly increased productivity and improved quality are on the list, but predictability is a huge benefit that is often over-looked. Whether your product development is driven by schedule, scope, or budget, being able to accurately and consistently predict when a set of features will be done is often critical to a successful product launch. And considering how often Waterfall projects miss their mark, it should be no surprise why Scrum has been so successful (when done correctly). Read more »


A Dozen Ways to Fail at Scrum

Scrum provides a process framework to help realize the benefits of Agile principles. The value of Scrum has been demonstrated many times, on numerous projects, throughout various industries. It is a fairly simple and straightforward set of practices and guidelines that will (usually) result in greater adaptability to change, improved productivity, high quality products, and happier customers (over waterfall methods). Read more »


What makes a good ScrumMaster?

The role of a Scrum Master requires skills in a variety of disciplines. But for starters, good soft skills are a must. A good Scrum Master must be able to communicate effectively and be able to relate well to all team members. He/She must be able to influence others and constantly sell the value Scrum to team members and other stakeholders. Everyone has an opinion on how Agile principles should be applied and Read more »


Scrum Values: Visibility

One value of Scrum that is often overlooked is visibility, which actually enables critical Scrum practices. Visibility is realized by communicating project status to all stakeholders, which includes the status of individual and team commitments, impediments, progress, along with other project metrics and indicators. Scrum is based on empirical process methods, which demands process transparency to enable inspection and adaption at all stages of development. Read more »