The Agile Calendar was built based on the Agile Manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html), and like the manifesto, contains 12 themes, or principals. Here I am going to go over some of the highlights. For a full view of the manifesto, and other questions you may have, I will be delivering a session called “What You Want to Know About Agile, But Are Afraid to Ask,” at our KTL User Conference 2016 in May at the Microsoft Center in Reston, Virginia.
Deliver valuable software early and continuously. If you think about it, it’s like Christmas in July, and May, and March – you see where this is going. We all channel that inner child when new releases of software come out. Make note, that we are not just adding a few lines of code, changing the color of the GUI and slapping 2.0 on the label. It needs to be valuable, contain value-added changes from the last release, and most important, be functional.
Convey information via face-to-face conversation. One of the worst ways to convey information in the IT world, happens to also be the most prevalent, email. I have often seen long email chains with significant amount of details logged as part of the development process. Agile supports an open development environment. It is highly collaborative in nature and it take a specific kind of person to make it work. By nature, developers are heads-down, headphones-on coding machines. This is effective on longer, sustained development. Here however, you need people that do peer code reviews, communicate often, and are willing to work in the team project environment.
Working software is the principal measure of progress. Not much more can be said about this. If it works, keep moving forward; if it doesn’t work, redesign, redo, remake.
Develop in a sustainable way; maintain a constant pace. Even though we use the term “Sprint” as part of our project implementation, this methodology is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash. Traditionally, developers wrote thousands of lines of code for an application. On the next release they added to it, changed it, and generally stayed in the same lane, developmentally speaking. In Agile, rapid releases lead to new ideas and functions. This allows for a much more dynamic environment, which contributes to keeping interest high.
Create self-organizing teams. One of the early things we learn in project management is team building. The project manager is relied upon heavily to make sure everyone performs at pace and is getting along. It assumes the leadership is responsible for the success of the team. Here, the opposite is true. Like-minded individuals have a tendency to gravitate towards each other and form strong bonds. This also benefits the product as great designs, plans and work product tend to come from teams formed this way.
Let your team retrospect and improve their techniques. Like all projects, Agile makes room for improvement. One of the benefits here is this improvement takes place regularly, and often. At the end of each sprint, there is a review. Prioritization takes place; reprioritization takes place. Items that at one time seemed insignificant become paramount to the project. Agile is so aptly named.
These are just a few of the principals that will be covered in the session. Please contact KTL for additional information on this session or all the events scheduled for our KTL User Conference 2016.
JEFF L. CHAMBERLAIN | Project Manager
Jeff comes to KTL Solutions with an extensive background in healthcare IT, technical consulting, and telecommunications. He has been a project manager for almost 20 years holding certifications from the Project Management Institute as a Project
Management Professional, from the Management and Strategy Institute as a Six Sigma Lean Professional, and he holds a Scrum Master Certification from the Scrum Alliance. He has managed both hardware and software implementations for both the government and private sectors, in industries such as healthcare, insurance, telecommunications, staff augmentation, supply chain and shipping.
Jeff has provided training for clients globally, working in Europe, Russia, North and South America on various topics from system optimization to wireless theory and design. He possesses a bachelor’s degree in technical writing from the University of Baltimore.