AGILE IN ACTION

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Specialists should become more

Posted by Simon Baker
In my ideal team anyone can do anything. Sadly it's just not realistic. Some skills are just too specialized. That said, if you need the specialized skills get a specialist in the team and avoid sharing some centralized service. Don't worry if the specialist is not utilized 100%. That's a good thing! If he has the right attitude he will muck in, contribute in other areas you did not anticipate, and he should use the opportunity to acquire complementary and even new skills by working with and learning from the rest of the team. And of course, it goes without saying that he should be helping others acquire a level of competence in his specialized skill set to build resilience into the team.
Comments: 3

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Curse of the specialist

Posted by Simon Baker
If you're a specialist then you probably have some expertise that enables you to objectively state a case for doing something or doing something in a certain way. And you should be able to persuade others that it is the right thing to do. Being the expert doesn't give you the right to make unilateral decisions in a team. Give your knowledge freely. You have an obligation to help people learn from you. Be approachable and share.
Read more... Comments: 1

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Intrinsic motivation

Posted by Simon Baker
Money is important in this day and age. But money doesn't motivate people to do their best. Watch the video. Even better read some Deming.
Read more... Comments: 1

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Budgeting bunkum

Posted by Simon Baker
Despite the UK Government issuing it's new budget today - oh utter joy, btw - this post was motivated by IT budgeting experiences.
Read more... Comments: 2

Monday, December 7, 2009

Being cost effective

Posted by Simon Baker
Forget about economies of scale. Reduce complexity. Find flow.

Friday, November 27, 2009

New blog url

Posted by Simon Baker
If you follow this blog we'd prefer you to use the new address - http://blog.energizedwork.com. However, we'll continue to support http://www.agileinaction.com (and http://www.think-box.co.uk/blog) until further notice.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pirate Rob on Grails Selenium RC

Posted by Simon Baker
Pirate Rob talks about testing Grails applications with the Selenium RC plugin at London Groovy & Grails User Group.
Read more... Comments: 2

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Backstage at Boffoonery

Posted by Simon Baker
Finally Boffoonery happened last night and it was absolutely spiffing fun. I'm so glad we sponsored it. It was a triumph and a wonderful tribute to Bletchley Park and to those who worked there. Congratulations to the cast, especially Johnny Ball for his performance during the quiz and for reminding me of the fun I had as a child watching his TV shows. Jason, you can be proud of what you've done here and you thoroughly deserve that big cigar!
Read more...

Monday, November 2, 2009

How we use stories

Posted by Simon Baker
All our work items, both user-focused and technical, are stories framed in the context of a user interacting with the product. Each story represents a distinct, visible and testable piece of work that can be delivered independently to realize some value. Stories exist at many levels of specificity and never convey solutions. For example, at a point in time it's sufficient to use an ambiguous story to describe an interaction as simply an activity a user engages in using the product. At some time later, typically when detail starts to matter, smaller stories are written to describe that activity in terms of more specific tasks the user performs with the product.
Read more... Comments: 2

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Timeouts and retrospectives

Posted by Simon Baker
We use timeouts and a couple of different retrospectives to drive improvement. Stop-the-line events like Pomodoro timeouts and Pomodoro retrospectives happen spontaneously within the team to solve problems immediately and produce small continual improvements. We also use a monthly retrospective for the product stream to reflect on how it's working and conceive bigger, more strategic improvements.
Read more... Comments: 2