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What is Agile? No, Really, What is it?

  Now, I consider myself somewhat of an agile practitioner. So I was rather despondent when somebody (from outside of the “project world”) recently asked me “What is Agile” and I found myself unable to give a satisfactory explanation! Sure, I could recite (most of) the 12 agile principles, and evangelise about self-organising teams, but…

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You’re Not Gonna Start Chanting?

  Have you ever tried martial arts? Perhaps a bit of surfing? Or maybe you consider yourself somewhat of a spiritualist? Well, all of these are disciplines that centre ultimately on self-discovery. In the same way, Agile principles are more than just a work ethic – they are a way of life. Indeed, as Nicholas St.…

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Status Reports are Evil

  I am not a big fan of status reports. As far as I’m concerned, they should all come with a health warning: “this is a political tool – all statuses allowed as long as they are green”. Surely common sense tells us that the only indicator of how well we are doing is the…

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Projects: a Big List of Stuff

  Whatever agile methodologies may say about “plug and play” teams, in an increasingly complex working world it is no longer feasible for one person to have the skills necessary to undertake all of their colleagues’ activities. While an engineer in Henry Ford’s day could rise through the ranks to become a project manager able…

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Pirates Ahoy!

  The Agile Project Management people provide an analogy whereby traditional project management methodologies are likened to a railroad track between two known points and Agile to a boat taking a faster, uncharted seaborne route. The idea is that a skilled boat captain should be able to make rapid and calculated course alterations in order to…

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Is Agile So Different?

  Project managers tend to get very all-or-nothing about their favourite methodologies. A suggestion of anything less than 100% requirements coverage is invariably met with folded arms and cries of “cowboy approach” while huge requirements documents elicit calls of “useless” and “won’t be read”. Maybe the biggest reason for these emotive responses is a lack…

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“Upvote” your PM

  In his book, “Daemon”, Daniel Suarez envisages a future where people use wearable technology to explore an alternative internet called the “Darknet”. This tool makes it possible to layer virtual information onto the real world, for example superimposing people’s finances in order to make judgments about their credit-worthiness (now there’s a use for Google…

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Watch Out, Goblins!

  Here in Fairy Project Land, perfect requirements lead to perfect planning and the delivery of a perfect product (every time), a product that satisfies the customers’ every desire. OK, the pixies working on our projects have to use a lot of paper to write absolutely everything down (which upsets the dryads who live in…

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Plan Bad, People Good

  Is your working week mapped out in advance with a detailed to-do list and discrete meeting appointments in your calendar? Probably, but how about longer term? A task list for the next twelve months is likely to be much more of an overview including summarised entries such as learning a programming language or taking…

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Sony: Agile in Action

  The Agile Manifesto Principle # 1: “Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools.” A visual case study of the Agile ethos in action, from a previous client.   HOME