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4 Signs You're Doing Agile Development Wrong
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ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 10:00:57 AM
The Unhappiness Red Flag
This "unhappy developer" warning sign really resonates with IT execs I've spoken to recently. Developers are motivated by knowing they're building something that will be used and appreciated. If they get that feedback -- good or bad -- every few weeks or months, rather than after a 6 or 12 or 18 month dev cycle, they're more likely to be happy. 
DAVIDINIL
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DAVIDINIL,
User Rank: Strategist
4/7/2014 | 1:09:15 PM
Releases Every Few Weeks
The change control process takes 3-4 weeks at my company.  In order to release 3 weeks from today, I have to have proof of testing completed today.  Agile is just not possible in this kind of environment.  At large companies with ultra complex/ultra integrated app flows, executives are much too afraid to let very many rapidly developed apps to be released into the production environment for fear that they would bring down mission critical apps. 
Bob Schatz
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Bob Schatz,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/7/2014 | 1:21:20 PM
The 5th Sign....
Great article Erik! I would add just one more thing that I feel is important enough to be the 5th sign...Are Your Customers Happy?

None of this means anything if you can't solve your customers problems. Are you doing the right things, and doing them right. You certainly need to do 1 thru 4 ultimately leading to the biggest test...5.
2h74webere
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2h74webere,
User Rank: Strategist
4/7/2014 | 1:40:46 PM
Re: The 5th Sign....
Bob - I agree!  Hopefully doing 1-4 makes getting real feedback from actual customers a cheaper, easier, and more pleasant endevour.  Almost like we want customers to be able to tell us what they want in the product next!
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2014 | 1:54:33 PM
Agile or...
Friend of mine was at a large shop that was making the transition to agile. One day in a meeting, a frustrated PM said "Are we gonna be agile or are we gonna get this project done?"

I am not making this up!
holavana
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holavana,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/7/2014 | 3:55:13 PM
Re: Releases Every Few Weeks
@DavidNIL

I was in a similar environment where a regular Change Request process took minimum of 3-4 weeks. But we still had agile teams delivering in sprints of 2-4 weeks. The trick is to invest time and effort to plan ahead and anticipate the needs a few sprints down the road. This can be facilitated by the Scrum Master as part of removing road blocks.

ALso in our organization, we were able to adapt a modified Change Request Contorl policy so that some of the change requests ( with moderate impacts)  could be approved by a representative of the Change control Board working closely with the teams. but is not a formal member of Change Approval Group. The scope of such changes allowed were explicitly defined as part of a Master Change Request and had to be approved by the board. The validity of approval was provided for six months and renwable.

 
DAVIDINIL
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DAVIDINIL,
User Rank: Strategist
4/7/2014 | 4:07:49 PM
Re: Releases Every Few Weeks
@holavana.  Good info.  I am sure that my company could make it work if it wanted to.  A few years back we had a moderate push on to do "agile lite".  For whatever reason, we didn't see a big benefit in whatever flavor of agile we were using and we are doing much fewer projects with it now. 

IDK if we were unsuccessful due to the type of projects we used it on or if our approach to agile was not fully dedicated enough or some other reason.  But agile has not caught on in a big way with us. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 5:01:38 PM
Easier Claimed Than Done
A lot of the people I interview will throw something into the conversation about "and of course, we're usign agile methodologies" and I wonder how often that's really true.

The Oregon state government health information exchange was supposed to be following very agile processes and yet never got built. One of the reports on the failures of that project specifically mentioned the need to translate good intentions into real agile discipline.
DonM632
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DonM632,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/7/2014 | 5:40:08 PM
Agile Executive Pitch Template

Great article, Erik.

I think these four points make for a great agile executive pitch: 

Learn to be production ready + Release sooner + Listen to your customers = Happy customers + employees.

Don

jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2014 | 6:23:19 PM
Re: Agile Executive Pitch Template
That is a really easy value proposition to explain and defend.
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