The November/December 2016 issue of CrossTalk is up and the subject of the issue is “Beyond the Agile Manifesto”. CrossTalk is “The Journal of Defense Software Engineering” and as a U.S. Government publication is freely available.
Of the six major articles in the issue, five of them are focused on Agile in one way or another. And one specific article I recommend everyone read is “The Heart of Agile” by Alistair Cockburn.
CrossTalk often has very good articles in it, and this issue in particular seems worth reading.
This blog post from July 11, 2016 was trending upward on Hacker News a few weeks ago and I thought it would be worth sharing. The blog post is titled “Why I’m not a big fan of Scrum” and I am recommending it so that BA’s can get some insight into one engineers perspective on Scrum. He emphasizes that his comments are directed towards ‘standard Scrum as described in the official guide’ and says:
After two extensive workshops, more than five years, and a couple hundreds of sprints working in Scrum, I have some points of criticism about it. I think it’s not naturally conducive to good software, it requires too much planing effort on the part of the developers, and it inhibits real change and improvement. In the following, I will try to put these into more detail by organizing them around more concrete topics.
I am always against dogmatic thinking of any sort, and whether you are a fan of Agile in general or Scrum in particular, I think the author here makes some interesting and valid points. But if they are not valid from your perspective it is always a good idea to widen the horizons of your perspective. While you may not feel this way, some engineer you are working with might and it would be good to understand their perspective.
An article I was recently reading that was surfaced on Hacker News included a link to this November 2015 blog post by Joshua Kerievsky titled “Modern Agile“. In it he lays out the four disciplines he see’s that make up the core of ‘Modern Agile’ and then maps many agile practices to those disciplines. His four disciplines are probably the best concept I have seen for taking the concept ‘Agile’ away from its technology orientation, even if most of the specific agile practices he later discusses are almost all technology and software development specific.
It’s still a great blog post that I recommend any BA read.
A co-worker shared this video today and I thought it was so good I would share it here. It’s not just an excellent overview of the role of the Product Owner in Agile, it also provides a good ‘business-oriented’ overview of Agile itself.
It’s only 16 minutes long so it’s well worth your time. Or if are already familiar with the Product Owner’s role in Agile you still might want to view it to see if you want to share it prospective Product Owners on your projects that are using Agile processes.
Matthew Kern wrote an article on LinkedIn titled “Agile is Dead” that seems to be going somewhat viral among the project and development communities. As of the time I am posting this it has almost 150,000 view and is up over 20,000 views just since this morning.
In it he says (among other things):
“All these hyped trends have a lifespan. Management fads especially have a lifespan. In the modern environment these waves are closer together, and closer, and closer. The end of the curve can mean unpopularity, few sales, reduced margins i.e “death”.
“Who said Agile is dead? The founders of Agile and its practitioners said it, not me. Don’t go thinking I made this up. (I claim nothing myself regarding its current death, I just report the claims of many developers. It’s dead with or without me or my post. “
The article is full of links to supporting content and it’s definitely worth a read in my opinion. You may not agree with him, but the article and its many links may change your views a bit. Or not. 🙂