Category Archives: managing agile

Question: The Basics of Agile Contracts

Melinda asks: “How can SCRUM/Agile Methods be effectively leveraged for responding to RFP/proposals for Fixed Price & Fixed Date contracts especially when the Scope (i.e., Product Backlog) is more adaptive to change? When would CRs be required, if at all? How can we help customers understand and be confident that they will receive greater value […]

What are impediments? Definition of Impediment

Definition of Impediment is anything that is slowing down the Team.  (The Scrum Team)  Anything! In PMP words, it is any kind of issue. And it may include risks as well, but typically only high probability risks that are likely to occur fairly soon. (I typically also recommend a simple risk log for each Certified […]

For Quick Decisions, Depend on Deadlines

In Saturday’s (8/2/2013) Wall Street Journal, Dan Ariely suggests that to reach a decision, and often just to make progress, you need deadlines.  Deadlines ‘force’ people to take action. This is what we have known with Scrum for years.  So, we have time-boxes all over the place (and I recommend using them more than just […]

Managing self-organizing teams

How do we suggest that managers …well… manage self-organizing teams? By self-organizing, I also mean self-managing.  Let’s assume that not all ‘self-organizing teams’ will self-organize or self-manage effectively. So, a few suggestions. 1. Get rid of almost all the old stuff. I really want you to think about getting rid of it all.  I cannot […]

Predictable project or innovative project?

Mike Cottmeyer spoke at Agile Carolinas last night. He said many good and useful things. One thing he talked about is this: What kind of project do you have?  At one extreme, do you have a project that is pure innovation?  Or, do you have a project that it completely ‘predictable’, and the main problem […]

6 Myths of Product Development

This is a very useful article in the HBR, by Stefan Thomke and Donald Reinertson.  Reinertson is well known in the lean-agile community.  It is excellent.  Go here to buy it for $6.  Well worth it. Here are the myths or fallacies they mention: 1. High utilization of resources will improve performance. By ‘resources’ they […]

Do only high benefit/cost work!

Tom DeMarco wrote an article a while ago: “Software Engineering: An idea whose time has come and gone?” (2009)  I guess I am just catching up on my reading. One topic is: are metrics useful? I think the real issue is: how useful is it that we ‘control’ projects? His comparison is: 1. If we […]

Agile Release Planning Booklet ver 1.08

Here is my latest Agile release planning booklet: “Joe’s Approach to Agile Release Planning.”  31 pages, including a table of contents.  Free now. PDF format. Some ideas or explanations are included, but mostly actionable steps. Feedback welcome.

Early Warning System

I was giving a course today, and we were discussing: should we do agile release planning at the beginning of the effort? (Reminder: release planning always also means release plan refactoring every sprint, to whatever degree it is needed.) My advice is: most teams I see need agile release planning for a day or two […]

Joe’s Agile Release Planning – New Version

While I was writing the book on Agile Release Planning I was posting free versions. The book is now available here:   But it is no longer free (except to class participants).  (Although I frequently have deals on LinkedIn or Twitter.) I hope you will leave comments or send me comments or questions.