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Make Your Agile Resolutions Stick

new year

We are all guilty of failing to keep up with our New Year resolutions as soon as the first few weeks pass by. Whether it’s taking up a sport, quitting smoking or anything else, we often find we have too little will to keep on with the changes. Our business transformations are just the same in a lot of ways and after starting with a new and exciting Agile method we need true commitment to actually make it stick for good.

Sounds hard? Well, change is never easy, but it can be made easier if you know how to make sure you and your team accept it.

Proactively form new habits

Starting something new is always fun. The first day of not smoking you feel motivated and eager to prove yourself, however, as the time goes by the excitement fades. And here is where most of us start failing in our new goals. Taking up Agile feels just the same and soon the team will forget the shiny new toy and revert to the old ways if new habits are not reinforced. So instead of starting Agile and letting it go, make sure to proactively form new rituals within your teams for at least a few months or even longer to actually make them stick.

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Season’s Greetings from Eylean

Eylean Christmas (small)Thanks to You it has been a great year and we hope the next one will be even better. We hope your holiday season is full of joy and that you greet 2017 with new ideas and replenished energy!

Eylean Team

 

 

Eylean Christmas

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The SAFe Way To Scale Agile

SAF'e

There is no more surprise that large companies are adopting Agile practices. They have to be more flexible, need to adapt to the changing market and simply want to benefit from the various positive sides of Agile. However, this method is created for small teams of a few people and thus scaling up can prove to be difficult. Especially when wanting to stay true to the practices of Agile. One way to achieve this successfully within a large organization is SAFe.

SAFe stands for Scaled Agile Framework and has been around for some time as a way to scale up the small team Agile practices. SAFe 4.0 reforms the traditional organizational thinking based on managerial levels and instead divides the company into 4 levels of self-organizing teams – Team, Program, Value Stream and Portfolio.

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Top 5 Agile Plugins for TFS

TFS-agile2

A little while back, we covered our top 5 project management plugins for TFS. Since TFS is not just about project management, but also about Agile, this week, we thought of taking a look at the best 5 Agile plugins for the Team Foundation Server. Before you are our picks for the most beneficial plugins.

The Monitor

In the fast moving office life, we crave for some information to be as concise and precise as possible, unfortunately, TFS lacks such overview. Here is where Sprint Monitor from Pedro Pombeiro comes in. designed to be displayed on a LCD screen in an areas where teams meet up to discuss process of the project, it provides key information such as latest build status, remaining workload, average time spent on a backlog item and more. It will help you quickly oversee the project status without getting stuck on the small details.

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Eylean case study: Beyond time tracking

timeTime tracking is a common curse word in the office. Once mentioned it often creates panic and confusion not only between the employees but between the managers as well. However, despite its bad reputation, the concept has proven time and time again to bring great benefits beneath those of simply keeping time. This week we decided to share a story about one of our clients that benefitted greatly from simply starting to track time.

The client is a Lithuanian accounting firm that offers business consultancy and other services on the side. The company has been growing and expanding for years, all the while, little attention has been paid to not only growing the business but also to implementing the right processes. It all changed a little over a year ago, when the management decided to fix the messy processes in order to bring efficiency and clarity into the day to day operations. That is when they found us.

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Eyean Board v1.6. is here!

Eylean v1.6.

 

It has been a long and interesting year here at Eylean and we decided to end it by giving you a present – a brand new version of Eylean Board. We have not only tinkered and improved the existing features, but also added two completely new ones for your convenience. Let us introduce Schedule and Workflow!

 

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What do project management tool user statistics reveal?

As the year nears its end most of us are looking back and evaluating our progress. To get some better insight, we decided not only to look back on ourselves, but to also look back on how did our customers use Eylean during the year. We have found some things that we expected and others that did surprise and made us think. Read on to find out our discoveries.

marketsCountry of origin. Just like in the previous year, we saw a growing interest in the project management (PM) software worldwide. The growth of Eylean users amounted to 81% over the year, almost doubling form last year and the biggest market for project management remained to be the United States, with 47% of the overall customers. Second place was taken by Lithuanian users, but here we might be a little bias, as Eylean itself comes from Lithuania.  The first two places were closely followed by markets from India, Germany, United Kingdom and other countries all proving the exponential growth of interest in PM tools all over the world.

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The 5 pitfalls of project management

Pitfall22Project management is a phrase that rarely goes without a reaction. The methodologists are usually happy to bring their theories to light, however, most of us do not feel the same. The reasons why people feel some sort of negativity towards the concept are various and often from their personal experience – bad project manager, seemingly endless process, no defined goals, etc. However, the root cause of any problem seems to always linger around the same pitfalls.

1.       Defining the goals

First and foremost when working on a project, we want to know what we are trying to achieve. Clearly knowing our end goal, makes us feel like a part of it and motivates us to do everything in our power to get there. However, what happens with most teams is that the goals are not communicated and instead the day-to-day tasks are focused on. While it is important to know the short term tasks, it is even more important to communicate the end goal to the team. Only that will keep them focused, motivated and steer them into the right direction for the project.

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Why do most time tracking attempts fail within the first few months?

stopwatchTime tracking is a valuable concept for many projects. It allows managers and team members to organize their work more efficiently, plan ahead, complete projects on time and within budget. However, in reality most of the time tracking attempts fail within the first few months of being implemented and while the teams and projects where time tracking is implemented are quite different, the reasons why time tracking does not work are more or less the same.

Time tracking has evolved a great deal from the initial time sheets that were used to calculate the payroll of the employees. While it is still being used in that manner, a lot of additional uses such as project time estimation, project cost and employee productivity have been found. However, despite all the benefits that time tracking may bring to the team, there are still problems that managers are facing when trying to implement it and the first one they usually come upon is the human factor.

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Top 5 collaboration problems and 5 solutions to them

collaborationBusiness world is all about collaboration these days, teams are constructed from different organizations and locations in order to gain maximum profit and benefit for all sides. However, with more and more collaboration, more problems tend to arise as well and solutions have to be found for them.

In order to help your team solve the problems that have risen or to help you avoid them altogether, we decided to take a look at the top 5 collaboration problems and provide you with possible solutions. You should keep in mind that the solutions provided here are the most universal ones and could be adopted to various teams in trouble. Therefore you should look at these solutions more as guidelines instead of the absolute truths.

One of the biggest problems team face is the management of tasks. Deciding who is doing what and when they are doing it is vital for the project to move forward. However this process often causes a lot of confusion and frustration simply because there are no clear rules how it is done. Some team members send updates by e-mail, others by phone and there are no records of what has been done and what is coming next. To keep this from happening, you should start thinking how you will manage your tasks early in the process. One possibility is appointing a person to be in charge (usually the project manager), however it takes a lot of their time. Therefore a better solution would be adopting a task management software that would allow all the team members to access and update the information in one place.

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