Top 5 Traits of Great Agile Managers

I’ve worked with several great companies, and even more not-so-great. I see agile managers and agile implementations fail quite a bit. I’ve done some analysis and come up with the top 5 traits of great agile managers. There are others traits to consider as well. However, the great agile shops and managers all have these same characteristics. 1) Be on time …

Technology versus Services

What is a technology company?

I’ve worked with many different types of companies. They can be separated by market; healthcare, medical research, insurance, financial services, etc. However, it’s more important for me to determine if they are a technology company or a services company. I use a simple matrix to determine what type of company I’m working with. Services Companies A services company has a …

Project a mess? Send in the clean up crew!

We love patterns in software development. Codifying patterns is an attempt to acknowledge good principals for designing and delivering software. We have so many types, for example: Design Patterns Enterprise Architecture Patterns Database Design Patterns UI Patterns Development Process Patterns Development Process Patterns typically include the following: Continuous Integration Agile Test Driven Development And so on…. There are also so …

Don’t know your velocity? You’re not Agile. You’re Fragile!

Many organizations claim to be running Agile shops.  I get two responses when I ask about their Agile practice They (try to) run iterations. They hold daily standups. These are two of several practices which contribute to being Agile.  However, alone, they will never realize the true value of the practice. The normal follow up questions I have for these …

Introduction to Agile

I recently gave a coaching presentation to 20Mile Interactive on Agile Management. Here are the slides I used. For the first hour, we covered basics.  We spent the next few hours going through typical workflow scenarios teams usually encounter. Introduction to Agile from wbsimms

Developers and Technical Minefields

Technology changes quickly. Every week there are new tools, frameworks, and paradigms. Choosing the right technology for a new project in a constantly changing landscape can be daunting.  Popular developer websites (and blogs!) are filled with articles on “the next big thing” which every developer “must” know. In my experience, most of these technologies will be short lived. Some will prove …

The Cost of Meeting Lurkers

A simple way to improve team productivity is to stop inviting “lurkers” to meetings.  I was introduced to the term “lurker” in 2000 when I was active in IRC chat rooms. A lurkers is someone who doesn’t provide any value to the group chat.  Their participation is very minimal and usually not helpful.  In meetings, a lurker is someone who similarly doesn’t participate …

Ruthless Meetings

Ruthlessness has always had a bad rap.  There is a thought that being ruthless is uncaring or cold.  However, being ruthless is a virtue when it comes to staying on track to meet project deadlines.  A current client of mine often has one hour meetings in which, after 20 minutes and the pertinent topics having been resolved, everyone in the meeting …