New Benjamin Zander Video – “How Fascinating!”

There’s a new Benjamin Zander video over at the Pop!Tech conference website. There’s some overlap with the video from TED I posted back in June—most of the content in each video expands on the ideas in The Art of Possibility. Nonetheless, this video is well worth watching even if you’ve seen the few

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UI Sketches for Distributed Teams

In the same way that user stories help focus a software team’s work around business value, starting construction of a user story with the UI keeps focus on the core user experience through which that business value is received. Early in my career I’d make the most beautiful Photoshop UI mockups I could. I thought

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Short Answers #1: When Stories Are Larger Than Planned

I’m experimenting with video for what is likely become a new series here. In these “Short Answers” posts, I’ll answer an agile question in about a minute. Use the comments to suggest questions you’d like to see in future Short Answers.

In this post, I answer the question, “What should I do when I

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Are the Product Owner and ScrumMaster’s Interests Opposed?

The Chief Engineer role in the Toyota Product Development System combines parts of the Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and senior technical team member roles from Scrum. In addition to leading the technical design of a new product and facilitating the work of the other engineers, the CE must deeply understand and care about what the customer

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Motivated Individuals

As agile approaches the mainstream, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the core principles, especially this one:

Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they need,
and trust them to get the job done.

If agile is to apply broadly, we can’t reserve it just for

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A Common, but Bad, Idea

Please don’t do this:

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If you’re an IT executive, which is less risky? Investing a little bit in an effective agile adoption, something that’s been proven at other companies to improve cash flow, increase productivity, and grow revenues…or…hunkering down and cutting costs, knowing that at this time when your business needs you the most you’ll be less productive than

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Agile Architecture – Neither BDUF nor Chaos

I’m often asked how architecture works on agile software projects. It’s a big question, but the core answer, I think, is this: Neither a big, detailed architecture up front nor no architecture at all is a good approach. The former leads to waste. The up-front architecture tends to support features that turn out never to

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