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Troubleshooting Agile

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Troubleshooting Agile is a problem-solving session for agile teams. Jeffrey and Squirrel look at common problems agile teams face and provide practical, immediately useful advice for getting back on track.

Troubleshooting Agile is a problem-solving session for agile teams. Jeffrey and Squirrel look at common problems agile teams face and provide practical, immediately useful advice for getting back on track.
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Troubleshooting Agile is a problem-solving session for agile teams. Jeffrey and Squirrel look at common problems agile teams face and provide practical, immediately useful advice for getting back on track.




Finding the Motivation to Learn - & Stay Agile

In this week's podcast we move on to the final Agile Principle, number 12: "At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly." The hard truth is that learning is horrible. It means coming face to face with your own inadequacies, and challenging them. Consequently, mustering up the motivation to learn is too easily and too often avoided. Squirrel and Jeffrey discuss their own experiences with the importance of reflection...


The Squirrel Test

This week we take a short break from the Agile Principles to discuss The Squirrel Test - 12 questions to help founders improve their scale-up company's performance. We also find out if Squirrel, in creating the test, has practiced what he's preached regarding the agile principles. Has he produced working software? Sought early feedback? Kept it simple? Made the most of face-to-face communication? Retained a constant pace? Created a supportive environment for his team? Find out in this...


Inspire a Mutiny and Become a Self-Organizing Agile Team

In this week's Podcast we're on to the penultimate Agile Principle, number 13: 'The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.' Amongst much more, we discuss: -How what should actually constitute a team is the sharing of a problem, not a manager. -The importance of employing a dynamic team approach, rather than a static one, to solving problems. -How the unique specificity of this principle is designed to get us away from the old 'phase' approach and...


The Art of Agile Simplicity

We're on to Agile Principle 10 this week: "Simplicity - the art of maximizing the amount of work not done - is essential." In comparison to the dark old days when the Agile Manifesto was written, the way projects are simplified and broken down seems a huge improvement. But simplicity plays an essential role in achieving the all-important first Agile Principle of "satisfying the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software," so Squirrel and Jeffrey discuss why this...


Enhancing Agility Through Technical Excellence and Good Design

This week on the Troubleshooting Agile podcast it's Agile Principle 9: "Continued attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility." The dark old days of big up-front design may send shivers down the spine, but the Lean Startup 'move fast and break things' approach of scrapping design altogether goes too far. Jeffrey and Squirrel ask how principle #9 can be used to find balance between the two. They also discuss how a shared body of knowledge is the key to making quicker...


Indefinite Sustainable Pace Vs Crunch Time Cramming

In this week's episode of Troubleshooting Agile we are on to Agile Principle 8: "Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely." Drawing on sport psychology, Al Pacino movies and their years of consulting experience, Squirrel and Jeffrey discuss and troubleshoot a number of fascinating issues surrounding this principle: -How many people find this the easiest Agile Principle to argue with, and, in...


Working Software is the Primary Measure of Progress

It's Episode 9 of the Troubleshooting Agile podcast! This week we're discussing Agile Principle 7: "Working software is the primary measure of progress." Some of the topics we cover are: -The importance of "moving past the 'phase model' or the 'percent-of-budget model'" in measuring progress. -How Burn-Up/Down Charts simplify and optimise the process of measuring progress by assigning value only to that which provides value to the customer. -And how they also build trust between the...


Efficiency & Effectiveness Through Face-to-Face Conversation

In Episode 8 of Troubleshooting Agile it's Agile Principle 6: "The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation." A few of the things we discuss: -The pros and cons of different communication channels. -Looking at Alistair Cockburn's book "Agile Software Development", why micro-gestures and physical interaction make face-to-face communication so much richer. -Why we need to remember that "a Story Card is a...


Motivating Individuals and Trusting Your Agile Team

This week, in Episode 7 of Troubleshooting Agile, we discuss Agile Principle Number 5: "Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done." Talking points this week include: -Why perceptions of this principal differ immensely depending on whether your ideas of management belong to Theory X or Theory Y. -Directed Opportunism - and who used it better, General Clausewitz in 1870 or Darth Sidious a long, long time...


Agile Principle 4: Business & Developers Working Together Daily

In Episode 6 of Troubleshooting agile we talk about the Fourth Agile Principle: 'Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.' Some of the topics discussed are: -Why this is the only principle containing the word MUST. -How to easily overcome a principle which at first sight can appear impractical to implement. -What business people can do that developers can't. -The importance of customer proxies in bridging the communication gap between departments....


Delivering Working Software Frequently & Continuously

In episode 5 of Troubleshooting Agile we discuss the Third Agile Principle: 'Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.' Evolution in our thinking, since the Agile Manifesto was written back in 2001, makes what was once considered 'shorter timescales' seem laughable now, but, when retrospecting, 'working software frequently' remains one of the core agile disciplines. But, as Squirrel and Jeffrey highlight...


Embracing Change & Maximising Validated Learning

In this episode Squirrel and Jeffrey discuss the Second Agile Principle: ‘Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.’ We hear how the principle is closely related to Lean Startup and Minimal Viable Product, and how, at its core, it is about understanding and learning from one’s environment as quickly and as often as possible. This reminds Squirrel of the OODA loop, the decision cycle developed by...


The First Agile Principle: Delivering Fully

In this third episode of Troubleshooting Agile, Squirrel and Jeffrey take a look at the first of the 12 Agile Principles: "Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” As Jeffrey point out, this principle contains so much that it "could have been an agile manifesto in itself.” Squirrel and Jeffrey both tell stories about previous consulting experiences to highlight where clients have failed to fully deliver on this vital...


The Importance of the Agile Principles

In episode 2 of Troubleshooting Agile, Squirrel and Jeffrey look at what to do when you've adopted good agile practices but are not seeing good business outcomes; how the most beautiful kanban board on earth doesn't necessarily mean results; and why the 12 agile principles work as a form of feedback and a great guide. Shownotes: - Jeffrey's 2008 blog post – - The 12 agile principles –...


The Blameless Postmortem Approach

In this week's podcast Jeffrey tells us a story about the dangers of blaming human error in the workplace, and we discuss root cause analysis, the blameless postmortem approach and how these are essential components in building productive systems and a great agile team. Normal Accidents –


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