Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Agile and Project Management articles in 2013 from Cutter

I am happy to share that one of my articles   Agile Maturity Assessments: Boon or Bane? has been made it to the Top Agile articles list in 2013 on Cutter.


Here are the list of top 6 articles:

1. On Agile and Discipline

by Jens Coldewey

There is a conception in the public debate that Agile is a basically undisciplined approach. Book titles such as Balancing Agility and Disciplinefuel this perception. In a debate on Agile and CMMI we had earlier this year, Cutter Senior Consultant Hillel Glazer rightly pointed out that "it would be incongruous to ignore the plentiful examples of dreadfully undisciplined 'Agile' adoptions resulting in 'Agile in name only'" (see "'Agile vs. CMMI': The Debate Goes On").

2. A Three-Tier Model for Guiding Your Agile Implementation

by Israel Gat

The beauty of Agile software methods is that they enable us to focus with a singularity of purpose on the iteration management and project management aspects of the software delivery process. Numerous other aspects of software delivery, such as those shown in Figure 1, are, of course, of critical importance. Yet, it is the sustained and continuous focus on how we perform iteration management and project management that leads to eventual success with Agile.

3. The Five Keys to Organizational Agility: From Agile to Agility

by Rob Thomsett

This Executive Report outlines a major Australian bank's four-year journey from using Agile models for some software development projects to an enterprise-wide agility model in responding to and delivering change, all in an effort to completely commit to agility transformation across the organization. The report presents five key lessons relevant to all organizations and to which all businesspeople interested in leveraging and broadening the true power of the Agile revolution must pay attention. The report also examines various practical approaches to the issues each of these key lessons raise. These approaches have worked successfully at the bank, despite a major reorganization during the past year.

4. Agile Maturity Assessments: Boon or Bane?

by Venkatesh Krishnamurthy

In the last two decades, organizations have moved from applying waterfall toward embracing Agile methods. However, one thing that has not changed much during that time is measuring the maturity levels. ThisAdvisor offers some tips and techniques for improving the Agile maturity assessment process.

5. Agile and Outsourcing: A Disciplined Approach

by Scott Ambler

Your initial instincts for how to run an outsourced project are likely to hurt you more than help you. Outsourcing introduces a collection of risks that can be uniquely addressed with a disciplined agile strategy. Luckily, the Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) process decision framework provides a foundation from which you can tailor a viable strategy for disciplined agile outsourcing. In this recorded webinar, Senior Consultant Scott Ambler explores strategies for effectively initiating and governing an outsourced IT delivery project in an Agile manner.

6. Introducing the API Economy: A Dialogue

by Jim Plamondon

This Executive Report introduces the API Economy to CxO-level executives of industries outside IT. It follows a novel dialogue format, as if it were a transcription of an introductory consulting session with the CEO and CIO of a fictional company in the oil and gas industry. The report defines API and the API Economy, discusses some of the many API business models, argues that this economy extends a proven software architecture onto the Internet, presents that architecture as a tool for thinking about business models, and discusses the role of developer relations in making APIs successful. The report then applies these ideas to the task of solving one of the fictional company's billion-dollar business problems using an API-based approach.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

3 key things to know about performance testing

image How much does 1 second delay cost? I know the response could vary depending on the context. If it is a space walk or an emergency operation, it is life and death. However, in the context of a typical business, one second page loading delay could cost nearly $2.5 Million lost sales a year.

It is very critical to understand that people abandon websites and move on if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Inspite of having all these data, IT departments are still struggling to get some grips on application performance testing (PT).

In this article, I would share the 3 critical factors for building a successful PT strategy. In a typical waterfall project, the performance testing was done at the end of code freeze. However, Agile methods recommend performance testing during every sprint.  My experience has been that every conceivable problem in a software project starts at the beginning, mostly because of ignorance. This includes PT, as well.

Photo courtesy flickr

For a successful execution of PT, enough time and energy needs to be spent during Sprint 0. This energy should build a strong foundation of skills, automation and strategy as shown in the picture below.


Let us look at contribution of the above 3 areas during PT.

  1. Availability of good automation tools decides the fate of the PT.  Even though there are several commercial tools available in the market, open source ones are still closer to heart for Java/.Net programmers. It is a shame that not many free tools are available for legacy systems. Even though automation is highly recommended by everyone, one should take a cognizant, evidence driven, scientific approach and calculate the ROI.

continue reading the article here onimage

Monday, December 16, 2013

5 tips to become a better Agile coach

image In the past two months, I lost nearly eight kilos (roughly seventeen pounds) after I joined a fitness program assisted by a personal trainer (PT). This is a success story for me. And when I traced the steps back, I noticed a number of things that resonate with coaching teams.

Below are some of the steps my personal trainer took when he consulted with me, followed by my comments to bring the idea of coaching teams into perspective. You’ll find that there is a strong correlation between what I learned during my training endeavors and what constitutes good team coaching.

1. Understand requirements: The first question the trainer asked me upon signing up for the fitness program was about requirements. Do I need to lose or increase weight or build muscle?

Coaching lesson: It is important to understand the customers’ requirements before starting any coaching assignment. It is not safe to assume that everyone needs cheaper, better software. Ask as many questions as possible before delving into the next step.

2. Inquire about health: Once the trainer was happy with the requirements, he inquired about my current health. He did a quick blood check and a blood-pressure test, in addition to taking my height and weight measurements.

Coaching lesson: Don’t jump into coaching without understanding the current health of the system. Understand team morale, culture, leadership style, and relationships. Have one-on-one meetings with key players to understand their feelings, ideas, and thoughts.

3. Recommend the right equipment: Based on the above information, the PT recommended four pieces of equipments I should use, and demonstrated their use. This moderate regime recommendation was tracked through a daily register.

Read rest of the article on Techwell here..

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

PMFlashblog eBook - Final version available for download


Couple of months ago, more than 70 bloggers came together and shared their opinion about “What Project Management meant to them”.  It was a highly successful event with a seamless virtual collaboration.  As an outcome of the event, a fantastic book “PMFlashBlog” has been compiled and published.

I am happy to share this book here on my site and feel free to download it from here.   Don’t forget to read my contribution on Page 67 of the ebook :-)

Many thanks to Allen Ruddock for compiling the book and Shim Marom for conceiving the idea.