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Ask Yourself This...: Consider Your Limits With Agile in 2018

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Ask Yourself This...: Consider Your Limits With Agile in 2018

If you're reading this post, congratulations! You've made it through the first month of 2018. Take a look at what we've covered so far this month.

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Ok, so, confession time: Agile has undoubtedly got to be my favorite Zone. And based on the submissions that we've gotten so far, I have no doubt that 2018's will bring some major changes to more than a few tech companies.  

In this post, we're shaking things up (true to the spirit of Agile) and asking ourselves the important questions. Is your company carrying out Agile values according to the manifesto, while still tailoring its principles to your company's needs? What can everyone, from the Product Owner and management to the Dev and Ops teams, be doing better to make your company, a lean, mean, Agile machine?

And is "Scrumble" a real term? (Whoever put that in their article, let me know in the comments. Google is failing me.)

And the Winners Are...

These are the five articles from the beginning of January until now with the most views from the DZone community. Take a look!

  1. How to Get Started with Marketing Automation by Nikola Brežnjak — Whether you're just starting out or part of a Fortune 500 company, marketing is made so much easier with just a touch of automation. Or a bunch.
  2. Programmers Over Time [Comic] by Daniel Stori —  Two words, ladies and gentlemen. Self. Care.
  3. How a Product Owner Can Drive the Feature Team Crazy by John Vester — Agile teams rely on solid Product Owners to drive the functionality of a team. So obviously a not-so-great Product Owner can cause not-so-great issues with a team's productivity.
  4. Your Brand Is What You Have. Always. by John Vester — This second article from John Vester discusses how perception and brand are everything. Nothing is harder to build or easier to break than reputation.
  5. Are You a Coder or a Developer? by Yegor Bugayenko —Which are you? Before you answer, you might want to take a look at the skills Yegor Bugayenko believes distinguishes one from the other.

That's What I Like: Editor's Picks

Because I'm a little selfish, here's a list of my favorite articles from the past 30 days. Following the theme of this article, each of these articles has two things in common: they've each taught me or challenged my thinking about something Agile, and they all have really dope titles.

The Agile Death March by Dave Nicolette

I'm going to be completely honest here (confession #2, if you're counting): I am not, nor have I ever been, a developer or in a development role. So I had no idea about the toxic "death march" concept or how ingrained it was in software dev culture. I said a quick prayer to the Dev gods for any of you who still work like this regularly, and hopefully they'll bless your team with some properly implemented Agile.

Minimum Viable Product is Not a Product, But a Mindset by Aidan Casey 

MVP is a taste test of sorts, a sampling of code or piece of product for a company to present to clientele to see what their reaction is, and to take notes for the metaphorical drawing board the organization's teams get back to. Here, Aiden Casey presents several companies that have grown into successful international organizations based on what were essentially outlines. MVPs, he argues, are not simply the end product, but the process of what happens after the MVP's results are in. In this case, the customer is always right.

If You're Not Experimenting in Production, You're Falling Behind by Erik Dietrich 

There was something that my manager told to me while I was going through the hiring process for DZone: "We actively encourage you to try new things and ideas because mistakes are rarely irreversible." That's not something you expect to hear in an age when entire companies can become laughingstocks (or nonexistent) because of a stray Tweet. However, not only is it okay to take risks, it's necessary for growth and competitive advancing. So go ahead: Slack your team with that new idea or process you've been mulling over for the past couple of weeks. And be quick about it; I was told we'd all be in flying cars by now.

Hate OKRs? Avoid These 7 Mistakes by Sarah Goff-Dupont

Wait, before you do anything else, do yourself a favor and go to the article to check out Sarah's profile picture.

Simply. Delightful.

She describes herself as having an "acronym allergy," which was an unfamiliar term to me, but certainly not an unfamiliar feeling. After a while, every new acronym seems like another corporate attempt presented by an annoyingly overzealous manager to make your job more difficult. However, comma, be not quick to judge, says Sarah. Although she initially hated OKRs, she learned to like them after gaining a thorough understanding of how to correctly implement them and how she could use them to benefit her process instead of exacerbating it. So next time you get wind of the next internal process revamp, get all your eye rolls and sighs out, grab the notebook you usually bring for just for appearances, and go in with an open mind.


Finally, here are four articles that have asked us to revise what we think of when we think "Agile."

Expert-Generalist in the Software Development Industry by Alexsandro Souza

The idiom "jack of all trades, master of none" actually ends as "though oftentimes better than master of one." That concept of a multifaceted individual in exactly the notion that Alexsandro is espousing in this article. Who says a dev team's knowledge can't extend beyond the languages they use?

Myth 7: The Scrum Master Must Resolve Every Problem by Barry Overeem

From the title alone, we know the expectation that is going to be confronted in this article: the Scrum Master as the decision-making problem-solving superhero of the team. Not only are we giving that expectation a much-needed wash, rinse, and repeat, Barry explains that operating from this mindset actually harms the team more than it helps.

Hybrid Test-Driven Development by Dave Nicolette

Hey, testers. Everything you've been taught is a lie.

Okay, maybe not quite everything, but Dave has apparently come across a number of thought patterns about TDD that aren't quite true to form. Here he provides us a little clarity about what developers are doing, what they should be doing, and the patterns that lead to the former while overshadowing the latter. Time to go back to school.

The Retail Product Information Matrix: What IS Real, Neo? by Sarang Pharate

Just like the vast majority of you reading this, I am a frequent online shopper, and as such, I make this declaration: If I can't get the product information I want, you won't get the money you want. The concept of product information is deceptively simple, it seems, as many companies don't take the appropriate effort to properly inform their customers and secure a sale. Less is more, except when it isn't.

And that's all folks! Did this article help you challenge your thinking, or is there a head-scratcher I missed? Let me know! Questions and comments are always welcome and usually appreciated.

[Latest Guide] Ship faster because you know more, not because you are rushing. Get actionable insights from 7 million commits and 85,000+ software engineers, to increase your team's velocity. Brought to you in partnership with GitPrime.

agile 2018 ,questions ,team development ,leadership development

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