Archive for the ‘Agile Development’ Category

  • Where Agile shines

    on Mar 23, 10 • by Alen Zukich • with 4 Comments

    In my previous post I discussed where I thought Agile really falls flat.  The problem I have is working remotely.  Several times now I’ve misinterpreted what exactly we covered in remote meetings.  These have been mostly minor things but they do add up. But here is where there is just a massive difference between Waterfall versus Agile.  By far the biggest lesson for me and why I love Agile is all based on visibility.  Having a working product in one simple iteration means the world.  So even though I was ranting in my previous post,

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  • Where Agile sucks

    on Mar 16, 10 • by Alen Zukich • with 5 Comments

    Unlike Todd who is this blog’s main Agile expert, I’m pretty new to agile.  I’ve gone through the typical training (CSPO) and all the other good stuff,  so I’m drinking the Kool-aid.  But I thought I would provide my perspective,  now that I’ve been working in an Agile shop for a while and tell you what I think really sucks.  I’ve read lots of warnings why Agile can fail and I’ve tried to stay focused on overcoming the hurdles. Being a product manager, one of the things that is really ringing true to me is where

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  • Everything IS big in Texas

    on Mar 11, 10 • by Todd Landry • with 1 Comment

    Everything IS big in Texas

    As I write this, I’m sitting at the Dallas airport, suffering through a 3 hour delay on my flight to Washington D.C. to present at our 2nd Agile in Action Roadshow with our friends from Electric Cloud, Perforce, and VersionOne. As I have the time, I’ve been reflecting on my time here in Dallas, and the phrase “Everything is big in Texas” is bang on. Before I get to that though, I have to say that I do love Dallas…I’m not totally sure, but I truly believe I’m treated a little more special because of

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  • Limping through agile: Part 2

    on Mar 2, 10 • by Patti Murphy • with 1 Comment

    Limping through agile: Part 2

    At the risk of sounding like a co-dependent, in this post I discuss coping mechanisms that a “big picture” technical  writer (say, like my friend Beulah) can use to adjust to working in the granular conditions of an agile environment. Don’t give up the big picture     When you work on a bunch of stories or tasks, it’s trees, trees, trees everywhere  you look and not a forest to be found.  This means that a nice concise how-to could be a long way off while you document myriad  features. My advice is to finish

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  • Agile Adoption: An Update

    on Feb 18, 10 • by Todd Landry • with 1 Comment

    Agile Adoption: An Update

    So awhile back, I was begging for some good statistics on Agile adoption, since at that time, there really wasn’t anything substantial to sink your teeth into. Well, a new report from Forrester came across my desk, and it helped to strengthen what most people believe…that Agile processes have overtaken Waterfall as the development methodology of choice. In this report, which cites information gathered from a Q3 2009 survey of IT professionals, it states that 35% of respondents said that Agile most closely reflected their development process, while waterfall processes came in at 13%.

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  • Death by a thousand cuts

    on Feb 11, 10 • by Helen Abbott • with No Comments

    Death by a thousand cuts

    As a manager of a small tech writing team in an agile environment (are there any large tech writing teams left out there?), it’s easy to lose myself in how-the-heck-can-we-keep-up-with-myriad-coders-frantically-coding thinking. So when my manager scheduled a meeting to ask what innovations my team has planned for the next release or two, I thought of a few choice responses, such as “Um… how about documenting the new features in time for release? Is that innovative enough for ya?” and “Innovate THIS.” Eventually I calmed down, since he’s the boss, and I have a mortgage.

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  • Going Agile Part 5 – Going Retro

    on Feb 9, 10 • by Todd Landry • with 2 Comments

    Going Agile Part 5 – Going Retro

    The last entry in my Going Agile series will look at the retrospective meeting. The retrospective meeting is held at the end of every sprint/iteration, and it is the time to discuss what went well, and what could be improved in the next sprints. Some people will say the Product Owner should be in attendance, and some believe the PO should not. IMHO, the PO is a part of the team, and should be there…and in our case, I was. We weren’t sure how to solicit input from the team, so we decided that everyone

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  • Limping through agile

    on Jan 21, 10 • by Patti Murphy • with 2 Comments

    Limping through agile

    I’m a technical writer who’s a big picture kind of person and that means agile development is sheer torture for me. Going into my second agile project, I thought I would be able to go with the “flow” a bit more. I was wrong. But, it’s important to point out that our documentation team hit all of our deadlines for new features, while substantially rewriting our help set and moving it to a wiki. I’m pleased with the outcome, but the trip was not pleasant. This will be my first post in a series about

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  • Going Agile Part 4 – Iteration 1: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

    on Jan 19, 10 • by Todd Landry • with 1 Comment

    Going Agile Part 4 – Iteration 1: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

    I just couldn’t resist using the classic spaghetti Western as the title for this installment of my Going Agile series because it a) it was an awesome movie, and b) it truly sums up that 1st iteration of ours. My last post was all about the 1st iteration planning meeting, and how it was such an exciting and productive time for our team. We came out of that meeting a little weary, but extremely motivated to get to work. We were also just a tad naive. The next 2 weeks were a roller coaster as

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  • Going Agile Part 3 – The 1st Iteration Planning Meeting

    on Jan 14, 10 • by Todd Landry • with No Comments

    Going Agile Part 3 – The 1st Iteration Planning Meeting

    Now that the New Year is upon us, I thought it would be a good time to add another chapter to my Going Agile series. My last entry left off at the point where we had prepared our backlog, created team rules and defined “Done”. Now we were ready for our first Iteration Planning meeting. In our “team room” we had all the essentials in place for this meeting: stacks of color-coded cards (for capturing the various to do’s, or tasks), pens and highlighters, our Scrum board (with pins) to stick our tasks onto, and

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