Posts on collaboration

Are Your Software Development Practices Jumping the Shark?

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman In September 1977, the TV sitcom Happy Days had über-hip Fonzie, clad in leather jacket and swimshorts, water ski over a shark to prove his mettle—and at that moment even diehard fans knew that the show was past its prime. They were right. After that episode, ratings plummeted, and the…

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Agile Product Needs book: Sneak Peek

Mary Gorman and I are in the midst of writing a book.  The title is still a WIP (work in process). A couple of contenders are “Agile Product Needs: <subtitle1:> ” and “The Agile Product Partnership: <subtitle2>”.  We’ll be looking for your help on settling on a compelling title – stay tuned, we can use…

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What Inquiring Minds Want to Know: 120 Brains, 30 Minutes, 13 Themes

What Tough Agile Analysis Questions Do Business Analysts Need Answered? This is the question I posed to the participants in a facilitated workshop at the Building Business Capability Conference (BBC) 2010 this past fall. The BBC conference, held in the Washington, D.C. area, was the first official IIBA ® conference. It offered tracks for business…

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Analysis Debt, Redux

Mary Gorman and I wrote an article on analysis debt Better Software. In it, we said that, like technical debt, teams can incur analysis debt by either ignoring analysis (a potential pitfall of agile teams) or overinvesting in analysis (a potential pitfall of traditional teams). In a private exchange, one article reader took me to…

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Agile Requirements by Collaboration

By Guest Blogger Rob Elbourn, Scrum Team Lead working at a major financial concern in UK. Visit Rob’s Agile78 Blog

I recently attended the “Agile Requirements by Collaboration” presentation at Skills Matter lead by Ellen Gottesdiener from EBG Consulting. Here are some of the main points I got from it.

Ellen described how collaboration needs to happen on several different levels of granularity along the way requirements are viewed on agile projects– the product (which establishes the product or portfolio roadmap), the release and the iteration (or work-in-progress).

Exploring these views can occur in several different facilitated workshops, from the roadmap workshop, to the release workshop to iteration workshops. The corresponding requirements that are clarified or driven out from these workshops also appear on different levels – boulder, rock and pebble.

The idea is that the pebbles form your user stories and are driven out at the level of the iteration workshop. Projects can encounter rock sized requirements at the iteration level and suffer a time delay as new pebble requirements are chipped off from them. This brings to question the level of “doneness” for a user story.

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Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals

“Oh drat”, you think. “I’ve got to do a presentation!” Nevertheless, you smile and ask, “Oh, sure—what’s the date?” Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals to the rescue! Out comes Naomi’s Karten’s splendid book. You open it, eager for your sit-down with your personal presentation skills coach.  You are easily captivated by Naomi’s clever style and…

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Being Agile when Designing and Playing Agile Games

By Mary Gorman

In my Stickyminds.com column “Playing at Work: Agile Games Deliver Value” I share game ideas and experiences – the benefits games can provide, selecting an appropriate game, facilitating a game, and designing a winning game.

Designing and Facilitating Agile Games

When writing the column I got to thinking how agile principles could provide a basis for good game design and facilitation. I reflected on a recent experience I had at Deep Agile 2010: Empowering Teams with Agile Games. Working in a small group we created a new game, tested it, and retrospected both the game and our design process in less than half a day. We consciously (and some times unconsciously!) were being agile! (To see and learn more about our game, read Michael Sahota’s summary at The Backlog Is in the Eye of the Beholder.)

Games and The Agile Manifesto

To clearly communicate the agile-ness of our work and what we learned I did a quick mapping to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

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The 4L’s: A Retrospective Technique

by Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener We liked it when a good thing took on a life of its own. We learned that it really resonated with many folks. We lacked sharing the full understanding of the technique. We longed for more sharing. Liked — Learned — Lacked — Longed For At the recent Deep…

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