Using Scrum to Adopt Agile

Since the publishing of the Agile Manifesto in the early 2000s, organizations have experienced tremendous benefits from adopting agile, including transparency, predictable delivery, and better quality. Agile has generated such a positive impression that it has increasingly been used for non-development-related projects, for everything from managing marketing projects to transforming an entire practice.

For organizations excited to make the transition to agile, the promise is sweet but the reality can be bitter. Organizations unfamiliar with agile processes can face significant challenges, and when projects stall or fail due to lack of understanding or poor implementation, agile gets the blame. To make the transition to agile more smoothly, some organizations have found success with a tactic I like to call “using Scrum to adopt agile.” This concept can be applied with a variety of methodologies (Lean, Kanban, etc.), but as Scrum is well-known and highly regarded, I will use it to illustrate how this is done.

Top QA Strategies for Mitigating the Impact of Delays in Web/Mobile Agile Development Projects

In an ideal agile web or mobile software development project, a sprint ends on time, QA’s work is recognized and appreciated as a normal part of the process, and life goes on. But in my experience, 60 to 75 percent of sprints incur some sort of delay. When delays occur, the burden to “catch up” often falls on those in the last stage, which in development means QA. In order to do our jobs well and be ready for the next sprint, we in QA will accommodate whatever twists and turns come with the project, but it can be stressful to be the last one to get the baton in a relay race, especially if you are already behind and have a specific time to beat in order for the whole team to win.

Finding Strong Scrum Resources in a Less than Standardized World

More and more companies are turning to Agile to improve their project success rates and scrum is the most popular methodology. The problem is that as you transition your company to a scrum environment it is a challenge to find candidates with a legitimate scrum background. Due to the flexibility of scrum and the eagerness of many to obtain scrum experience, a lot of the resources are not actually qualified to work within a scrum team, especially in transitioning environments.

That may sound a bit negative, but I’ve seen a lot of scrum team candidates in my time. After interviewing a scrum business analyst candidate claiming five years of experience who couldn’t tell me what a “story” was, I’ve become skeptical. So how do you find the right people who are going to move your company forward?

Finding Strong Scrum Resources in a Less than Standardized World on Scrum Alliance

More and more companies are turning to Agile to improve their project success rates, and Scrum is the most popular method. The problem is that as you transition your company to a Scrum environment, it is a challenge to find candidates with a legitimate Scrum background. Due to the flexibility of Scrum and the eagerness of many to obtain Scrum experience, many people are not actually qualified to work within a Scrum team, especially in transitioning environments.

Finding Strong Scrum Resources in a Less than Standardized World on Scrum Alliance

More and more companies are turning to Agile to improve their project success rates, and Scrum is the most popular method. The problem is that as you transition your company to a Scrum environment, it is a challenge to find candidates with a legitimate Scrum background. Due to the flexibility of Scrum and the eagerness of many to obtain Scrum experience, many people are not actually qualified to work within a Scrum team, especially in transitioning environments.

Kickstarting Your Agile Metrics Program

Imagine this scenario: Your organization is eight months into a large-scale agile transformation. You have multiple transition teams at work moving your organization along the transformation path as well as pilot teams working to perfect the processes and adapt them to your organization. This is a large, complicated effort and your monthly spend reflects this, being in excess of $200,000. You sit down to review the program, budgets and progress with your CFO, who notices the monthly burn rate of your transformation program and asks you directly if the organization is starting to see any benefits from the effort.

What do you say? How do you know if your agile transformation is producing any benefits?

The truth is that many organizations do not track the success of agile itself. If you are one of these organizations, you should definitely consider the benefits of doing so. Agile transformations are lengthy and costly initiatives, so it behooves an organization to understand the costs involved and to be able to communicate to leadership and key stakeholders what type of return they are realizing for the money and time invested in the effort. Progress can be demonstrated through transformational metrics aligned to organizational objectives, but before we discuss these metrics and how to kickoff such a program, let us review why organizations transform to agile to begin with.

12 Best Practices for Distributed Development Teams Using Agile and Scrum Methodologies

Distributed Development, a project delivery model in which work is done across multiple worksites, is rapidly becoming a common approach. Within a distributed development model, team members physically located in different places—buildings, cities, countries, or continents—work collaboratively to complete project deliverables. With the right approach, a distributed development team can avoid or overcome common challenges and become a high performing team that enjoys working together to deliver business value.

ITSM: Change Management on the ServiceNow Platform Optimized for an IT Org with a Lean Agile Environment

Case Study: IT Infrastructure, Cloud, and ITSM SITUATION A leading provider of stock images and other media needed to modernize and improve upon its existing change management capabilities.  The traditional change management process in place regularly resulted in approvals and

Microsoft Outlook Web App Options and Settings on One Extensible Framework with a Modern UI

Case Study: Application Development SITUATION Microsoft Outlook Web App (OWA) is the Web version of Outlook that comes with Microsoft Exchange Server and Exchange Online for Office 365 customers. OWA includes three core components: Mail, Calendar, and People. Across each of these

Taking Vision to Reality: Using Agile to Drive Product Delivery on Agile Connection

[EXCERPT] Tight deadlines and limited resources can place a lot of pressure on companies to evolve faster, innovate more quickly, and deliver on demand…Using agile techniques—where the focus shifts from the product to the user—will ensure the best possible user experience with the product.

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