In case you missed it, here is a curated list of the best posts from the past week of The Agile Zone. This week: Why managers ask for estimates (and why it's not about #NoEstimates), some common objections to Agile, changing the tires in your agile team (a metaphor), managing distributed agile teams, and some more ways to visualize your project portfolio.
It’s not about #noestimates. It’s about which estimates your managers need. Managers have a fiduciary responsibility to the organization. You have the responsibility to release often, at least internally. The more often you release, the fewer time/cost estimates your managers need. Your managers need estimates. And, they need to change the estimates they request. It’s all about your organization’s transition to agile.
Last time (“Waterfall works when…”) I promised to discuss some of those common objections to “Agile.” (Actually, reading back this this post I’m struck by how like my “12 Myths of Agile Development” which was originally a blog post 2 years ago called “11 Agile Myths of 2 Truths”.)
At some point, you have to either repair or replace the leaky tire. In software terms, you must pay off that debt after shipping. If you don't, you'll see your ability to take advantage of those market opportunities erode very quickly. The practices, such as Test-Driven Development, Simple Design, Refactoring and Pair Programming that help minimize debt will also allow you to deliver faster from the start. If you use that approach, you may never need to change the tires again.
Pursuing agile can be difficult enough for businesses that have a contained development team simply due to the number of considerations that need to be made in supporting these processes. However, the challenges become more significant for organizations that have distributed, interdependent teams. Even if they are separated geographically, they must still be able to work effectively together, which puts all new pressures on managing these agile teams. Here are a few tips that will help you better oversee your distributed, interdependent agile groups:
Every time I work with a client or teach a workshop, people want more ways to visualize their project portfolios. Here are some ideas: