Why Shared Services “Teams” Don’t Work with Agility

One of my clients wants to use shared services “teams” as they start their agile transformation. Their developers work on a product for months and years at a time. However, the testers and UI people are part of pools of people. The organization calls these testers and UI people, “shared services.” Shared service-thinking denies the …

Multiple Short Feedback Loops Support Innovation

Several of my clients have intertwined problems. Everyone agrees they want innovation: Which products and services the organization offers. (The project portfolio) What features the product offers, or the problems the product solves. (The product roadmap) In the team, to solve the problems in a way that will attract users/buyers/customers. (The team’s backlog and how …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 7, Lifecycle Summary

What risks does your project have? Do you need feedback loops so you can: Cancel the project at any time (to manage schedule and cost risks. Assess technical risks so you can rework the architecture or design to manage feature set risks. Manage what you release to customers so you can manage defect, feature set, …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 5, Origins of Agile Approaches

The original signatories of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development wanted to solve these specific problems: How can we: Bring more adaptability to software development? Stop “plan the work and work the plan” thinking? Release something of value earlier? Especially since teams now had these levers, from the iterative and incremental approaches: Prototype something for …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 6, Create Your Agile Approach

I discussed the origins of the agile approaches in Part 5. In this post, I’ll discuss how you can create an agile approach that fits your context. Why should you create your own agile approach? Because your context is unique to you, your team, project, product, and culture. You deserve an agile approach that helps …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 4, Iterative and Incremental but Not Agile Lifecycles

Which levers does your team need to manage risk in your project? Do you need to cancel the project if you can’t finish a phase? You might not have the time. You might not have the ability to do this project. That’s the point of Serial lifecycles in Part 1. Maybe you need feedback from …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 3, Incremental Lifecycles

So far, we’ve discussed the lever of canceling a project at any time with the serial lifecycles in Part 1. That’s assuming you replan and/or cancel. We added another lever of looking for more feedback with iterating over the requirements in the iterative lifecycles in Part 2. Teams have another lever. They can release increments …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 2, Iterative Lifecycles

Back in Part 1, I wrote about how stage-gate approaches were as agile as we could use at the time. We had one delivery, so our agility was about canceling the project if we couldn’t finish it. However, some smart people also realized that we had another lever, aside from estimation, to replan the project. …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 1, Serial Lifecycles

Are you trying to make an agile framework or approach work? Maybe you have technical or schedule risk. Maybe you’ve received a mandate to “go agile.” Maybe you’d like to experiment with better ways of working. Or, maybe you’re trying to fit an agile framework into your current processes—and you’ve got a mess. You’re not …