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The Best of the Week (Mar. 15-22): Agile Zone

· Agile Zone

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In case you missed them, here are the top posts from the Agile Zone this week--as chosen by yours truly.

1. What Is An Agile Team and How Do You Form Them?

Until you start forming teams that align business capabilities with technical architecture and organizational architecture, and begin the hard work of breaking dependencies… all you can do is go through the motions of Scrum. You will never get the value you are working towards. The reason you’re doing agile and not feeling very agile is because you don’t have these kinds of teams and you have way too many dependencies.

2. Bend the Spoon

Bending the spoon isn’t about imposing your will on the organization… it’s about believing that change is possible. That somehow, someway… all the crap that is getting in the way of really adopting agile can be changed. If you don’t believe you can change your organization and decide to change agile to accommodate dysfunction… you are going to fail.

3. How Much Does Your Manager Need to Know?

If you are managing a software development team I do not see how you can have the requisite experience and context if you have not programmed yourself. Managing does not exist in a context of its own, all management is rooted in the thing being managed.

4. The New Agile: Decisions, Decisions

In the new knowledge economy, the winners are the ones who learn quickly. But learning means nothing, if it cannot be applied to the business. So the winners are the ones who learn, and use that knowledge by deciding where to go, and what to do next. Making the right decisions can build or break businesses. Shouldn’t we explore better ways to do that?

5. The 100% Utilization Myth

Teams represent a communications network, with the people being the nodes in the network. When the team reaches 100% utilization, the individual processors (the brains of the people!) begin to slow as the ability to process information diminishes and anxiety increases. This has the effect of slowing the team's ability to communicate and operate effectively. When one or multiple people reach the point of shutting down, the network collapses.

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