Agile

5 Agile Rules To Follow Now

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Whether you have just started using Agile or have been doing it for years, there are no guarantees that your process is flawless. With a methodology as vaguely described as Agile many teams find themselves repeating mistakes of the past and still lagging in their process or wasting efforts. However, just like with everything else in life, we are here to learn from those mistakes and thus give you 5 rules to ensure you stay on the right path.

1.       Do not design, do.

While most teams simply cannot do without an initial idea and a sketch of what the final result will look like, many forget that with Agile that is all they have to do. Instead of focusing time and efforts on the perfect design, the team should simply start working on the product and perfect it along the way. The Agile process is created exactly for that and will allow to find the best design not only for the team, but for the customers and other involved parties.

2.       Do not micromanage, lead.

After switching to Agile, the change has to be made not only within the organizational process, but also within the mindset. While the team adopts to changes sooner or later, most companies face problems with the managers. They are usually used to being responsible and somewhat controlling of the team results and in order to keep that feeling in Agile, turn to micromanagement. This, however, obstructs the Agile process, prevents the team from finding the right rhythm and should be avoided at all costs.

3.       Do not wait for feedback, ask for it.

Daily scrums, reviews and retrospectives help keep Agile teams on the right track. However, most teams go into these meetings simply looking for approval that their result is okay and not asking any questions on how it could be made better. By doing so, they miss out on crucial information on what the customer actually wants and in the end deliver a mediocre result. To get the result both you and the client is looking for, use these meetings to ask important questions and to define what sort of product your customer wants, instead of simply getting the OK.

4.       Do not discuss, show.

Another big issue when discussing the final product with your client is in fact the discussion itself. Teams tend to waste quite a bit of time discussing what the product is now and what it should be, instead of simply showing the completed result. When you have a chance, always show the result you have thus far, this will give the client an opportunity to see and understand it a lot better. Not even the best description can surpass having the real thing in front of you and this way you will save quite a lot of time and effort you would have spent explaining things.

5.       Always provide a working prototype.

Talking about showing the product, there is one more thing you should know about prototypes. While you might be tempted to create a fake, better looking version of your final product to show to the client, in most cases that is not a great idea. You should always show the real product in the state that it is that day. This way the stakeholders will be able to try it out, evaluate the UX and give feedback for corrections, something they would not be able to do with a fake. So to get the full and honest review, make sure they can press that button and see what happens.

Have any other rules Agile teams should follow? Share in the comments below!

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The Ultimate Agile Guide

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As Eylean Board counts its fifth year this summer, we felt the need to not only celebrate, but to also share the experiences and knowledge we gathered over the years. And since we are all about the Agile methods and practices, an Agile guidebook seemed like the logical way to go.

Now we are sure you have read many guides explaining what Agile is and how it works, so instead we focused this guide on our personal experiences and tips about the methodologies and how to apply them. We took our own, our clients and third party experiences into account and came up with tips and observations to help in various Agile transition processes.

We hope you enjoy the tips and have a smooth Agile adoption!

Download The Ultimate Agile Guide

 

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The Inevitable Search Of A New Agile Mindset

mindsetFor most of us the concept of Agile is nothing new – it has been around for quite some time and we have a good amount of experience with it under our belt. However, Agile is only now reaching its maturity and that means the practices and its methodologies are still changing. There are new methods, innovations and adaptations coming up constantly and the only thing that has remained the same over the years is the Agile Mindset.

The Mindset has been defined by the Agile Manifesto in 2001 and has been barely touched since. Though what has worked effectively for small development teams in the beginning is a far cry from the answer nowadays. As of now there is yet to be an updated version of the Manifesto or anything that could put its values closer to what we need today. However, due to the changed ways we practice Agile, we believe soon there will be.

Don’t think so? Here are our top 5 reasons why the Mindset will in fact be updated and soon.

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5 Tips For A Smooth Agile Transition

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Whether you are taking Agile on for the very first time, coming back to it after a previous attempt or simply going from one Agile method to another, there are some key things to remember if you want to keep the transition smooth. Check out our 5 key tips on a smooth Agile transition to end up on the right side of change.

  • Understand what is ahead

As with any change in life, first and foremost, you have to take some time and understand what is ahead. We are sure you have not chosen your new method impulsively and put in time and thought making sure it was the right fit. So do not cheat yourself and take some time aside to really understand how this change is going to affect your processes, your team and your company. It may seem silly but having a clear future vision in your head will help you better understand and guide the transition once it takes place.

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Scale Agile with DAD

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Keeping up with our previous coverage of scaled Agile approaches, this time we want to bring Disciplined Agile Delivery otherwise known as DAD to your attention. Like other similar frameworks it focuses on bringing the small scale practices into the big leagues and on shaping them to fit the new rules. Compared to previously discussed SoS, LeSS and SAFe, DAD is less descriptive and requires more Agile knowledge, however it allows for far greater flexibility within the team. So will you be scaling with DAD?

The framework known as DAD was first mentioned by Scott Ambler and Mark Lines in their book by the same name – Disciplined Agile Delivery. It was designed as a way to move past Scrum while the wholesome view and approach allowed teams to grow from small independent groups into large organizations.

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SoS vs LeSS vs SAFe – Which One Is Right For You?

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As the need for scaling Agile practices grows, there is also a growing confusion about which of them are the best and which will actually fit your needs. At the first glance, most of the scaled approaches may look the same but in reality picking the right one is key for successful application. To help you choose your framework, we decided to take a look at Scrum of Scrums (SoS), Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and to write down the key differences as well as similarities between them to help you see how they stack up.

Interested? Let’s dive in!

  • Agile Methodologies In Usemethod

Both SoS and LeSS rely solely on Scrum, applying its practices and roles at a larger scale. This makes these approaches ideal for teams that are already using Scrum and want to scale up without having to go through a large reorganization for it.

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All About the Scrum of Scrums

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It is becoming more and more evident that the future of Agile lies in large companies and scaled approaches. It may be hard to believe at first, but the data of Agile usage in 2015 proves this is where the methodology is going next. One of the most popular ways to scale Agile today is Scrum of Scrums. And while many companies have adopted this practice already, we thought it might be interesting for others to know just how exactly it works.

Scrum of Scrums has been originally defined by Jeff Sutherland and is designed to deliver working software of all teams to the Definition of Done at the end of the Sprint. To make sure this happens, the Scrum of Scrums Master is held accountable and has to be able to ensure that all the processes works. But before getting into the details, let us step back to the beginning.

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The Future of Agile

Agile-2016-teaserThe recently released State of Agile Report has not only brought great statistics, but also raised a few questions about just where Agile might be heading next. How will it look like in a couple of years, which interest groups will shape it and how much of what we today call Agile will actually change?

 

To get a better grip on these and other questions, we took another hard look at the stats and came up with what we think the answers will be. Check out the info-graphic below to find our predictions for the future of Agile.

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Form The Right Agile Team

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As any project manager would tell you, having a great team is one of the key factors in project success. They will help you face the challenges, look for solutions and deliver a result that you are looking for. Agile teams are no exception and can either help you to achieve goals or be a destructive force for the whole project. So how do you form an Agile team that will bring the success you are looking for?

The most important thing you have to understand is that the traditional teams and Agile teams are two quite different things. Simply slapping new titles on the old team does not an Agile team make. The key difference between a traditional and an Agile team is that the latter has to be completely self-sufficient. In other words, it has to be diverse and independent enough to produce a working, tested increment of a product. To make sure your new Agile team can do that, there are a few things you should be aware of.

1. Diversity

While for the traditional teams it might be perfectly fine to have five designers and no developers, this will be nowhere near okay for Agile. By definition itself, Agile teams have to be diverse enough to produce a working part of the product. This means that an Agile team has to be made of just the people that are needed to do that.

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Best Agile Comic Strips

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When starting to adopt agile, most of us have some misconceptions about the practice. Some think the amount of work will go down greatly, others throw out all the documentation and even suffer through the first stand-up meetings. Eventually this passes, but we thought it would be fun to remember those first days with a few of our favorite Agile comic strips. 

 

  • Is anything actually changing?

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  • Why are we standing again?

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