Kent J. McDonald is an author, speaker, and coach. His more than fifteen years of experience includes work in business analysis, strategic planning, project management, and product development in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, human services, nonprofit, and automotive. He is coauthor of Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility.
There are varying reactions to using frameworks to scale agile. One concern surrounding the rise of SAFe and DAD is the creation of new methods that are compared with or pitted against existing sets of techniques, fragmenting the agile community. Do you really need a framework to scale agile?
"Don't work on projects, work on products!" is a cry often heard in the agile community. But if you have a team pulled together to support an ongoing product, it doesn't make sense to use typical project management techniques. Maybe projects aren't the problem—their organizational structures are.
A frequent question when organizations are moving to agile is "What metrics should we use to measure our agile adoption?" What people really should be asking is "Should we measure our agile adoption?" The trick is to figure out what an appropriate measurement is. Kent McDonald examines some methods.
Working with vendors can pose challenges to an agile team, especially when it comes to contracting practices. How do you deal with contract relationships when trying to follow a philosophy that values collaboration over negotiation? Kent McDonald gives some suggestions for creating agile contracts.
Agile approaches have changed the conversation about measuring project success, from comparing against cost, time, and scope projections to looking at how much value the project is going to deliver. The problem that remains, however, is determining what value really is and how to measure it.
Author and software consultant Gojko Adzic recently gathered together a group of professionals to discuss software delivery and business outcomes, and to identify the core ideas that could be shared with delivery teams to help them focus on building the right things.
User stories, one of the most common agile techniques, are used by delivery teams to support their iterative planning efforts and are typically used to represent items in a backlog. Until recently there has been a general agreement about the form that user stories should take.