3 Reasons Why Your Team Needs Rituals

by on July 10, 2014 · 1 comment

It’s the same every morning: you get up and grab your morning coffee. No matter whether you brew it at home or fetch it on the road, your morning coffee is a ritual you never want to miss.

A ritual is a practice everyone knows how to do. It’s conducted regularly or on well defined occasions. Rituals help to create an identity for a group of people: nations, sports clubs or teams. How can rituals help form a high performing team?
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Why you need to customize your agile methods

by on September 19, 2013 · 0 comments

You’re starting off with a new laptop. The OS is installed, but using it feels awkward. Nothing looks like it used to on your previous one. You’re really frustrated how slow you move around just because you’re missing your beloved customizations.

A few days later you feel the flow again. You’ve tweaked your OS and apps to best fit your workflow.

Your agile process also needs to fit your workflow

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Leadership In the Online Age: A Reflection On Team-Building

by on July 18, 2013 · 0 comments

In the last decade of my career, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have worked with some of the best people I’ve ever known. A big contributing factor to this is the tech-savvy, expatriate culture that exists here in Munich as well as the type of people you typically find abroad who have left their home countries to pursue their dreams. It’s a dynamic that provides an immediate and powerful bond: we have to learn an a lot of things in a short timeframe and sometimes we’re terribly homesick, but we’re not alone. When we combine our strengths and help each other, we achieve something great.

For as many teams as I’ve had the privilege of leading, I’ve often been asked how I did it? How did I take six or seven individuals from different countries and turn them into a team? The question always catches me a bit off-guard because I don’t consciously do this – and I think that’s key. You can’t force anyone to work together as a real team and the harder you try the faster you’ll push them apart. Plus, it’s currently a developers’ market. They can work wherever they want to and they know it! How do you walk this tight-rope and successfully lead a team of rockstar developers?
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Why Teaching Developers To Test Is A Good Investment

by on July 11, 2013 · 1 comment

Test a developer’s software and you’ll find bugs.
Teach a developer to test and they can release their software.

A bit of a twist on the old fish and eating maxim, but the same idea: teaching a skill enables self-reliance and self-confidence. And, while it’s harder than quickly doing someone a big favor, teaching is scaleable in a way that quickly refutes another old adage: we have so many bugs because we don’t have enough testers!
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Stop Scaring Your Customers and Speed Up Releases

by on May 16, 2013 · 0 comments

“But our customers don’t want 10 new versions a year. The last release alone had over 600 bugs!” retorts the hotline manager.
“How about a small update with just a handful of bugs?”

Your big-bang release is scary. It’s full of issues and weird, new features that nobody understands. It requires documentation and training and who the hell has time for all that?

Monthly, bite-size updates will have fewer features requiring less support (pro-tip: less code == less bugs). Speeding up your release cycle also allows quicker response to customers’ feedback. You’ll finally feel your company moving in the right direction again.

Of course, it’s easy to say. But how can you actually achieve this positive flow? Follow these key points and you’ll be well on your way.
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Where Agile Starts

by on October 2, 2012 · 5 comments

In most enterprises, employees are referred to as resources. Heck, it’s even worse. There’s a whole department dealing with human resources. This, my friend, is bad. It’s bad because it kills the most basic ingredient for agile success: Respect. Respect for your employees. Let’s have a look and see how respect builds the foundation for your success with agile.
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Code Inventory and Tracking Releases

by on August 30, 2012 · 0 comments

You know by now that Code Inventory is something of an obsession with me. Like it or not, most of us, whether developers or sysadmins, work in a service industry. It’s fast and furious, and we don’t have time to build features that nobody wants. With sufficient test coverage, there’s no code that can’t be released within a day of pushing to the repository.

A couple of years ago, I showed you how to Visualize Small Batch Sizes with Git by plotting day-to-day the amount of changed source code lines that hadn’t yet been released to production. While this graph gave immediate feedback about the “drift” of development from operations (live), it’s not something easily digested by upper management. What do these guys really care about? It’s all about the releases silly!
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Forget Trains. Take off on a Release Plane!

by on August 23, 2012 · 0 comments

This is a guest post by Kevin Parker, VP and Evangelist, Serena Software

For those that have to deal with release management, release train is a well-understood term. It refers to a software development schedule where multiple products are released as a part of a single ‘train’ on a regular, pre-planned schedule.

But just as a train can be late thanks to leaves on the line, a fatality or engineering trouble, so release trains can be delayed by both internal and external problems. In order to solve this, it’s time to get off the train and look upward for inspiration.
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Why Agile Fails

by on August 16, 2012 · 3 comments

In the past decade we’ve seen thousands of companies introducing agile methodologies. A lot of teams started introducing scrum, re-structuring the way they work, and … getting stuck after a couple of months. Why do most agile introductions come to a screeching halt? Why do so many teams either fall back into old habits or decide that “This scrum thing doesn’t work for us!”? Let’s take a look at what makes agile fail.
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