• Issue 19 - July 3, 2015


    Agile Transformation and the Art of War

    The art of war at offers guidance on how to cope with situations that involve challenges or will require some form of negotiation. Does this sound like Agile transformation? The Five Measures is a tool from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.  Here’s how it can be applied in Agile adoption.



    Three Pillars of an Effective Product Strategy

    How do you devise an effective product strategy? What is the foundation of your product strategy? How do you balance business goals, your unique value proposition and key features? And how does market dynamics fit into this?  Roman Pichler describes how it all comes together.


    User Story Mapping in 4 Easy Steps

    Developing software in small batches is a very good practice. But doing small batch development naively can be dangerous. How does small batch principle apply to user story mapping? How do you identify goals, roles and activities, capabilities and glue it all together to craft effective user stories? Here’s how.



    How Does Scarcity Help Agile Teams?

    Instinctively, we devote a lot of our problem solving capacity to the resource which is in short supply. Timeboxed sprints mean time is in short supply. This helps us focus more, our productivity increases, some of our skills improve and overall our effectiveness increases. But it has its downside as well. Here’s an interesting perspective on how does scarcity and slack apply to Agile software development.



    Sprint Zero, Good or Bad?

    Now and then you come across teams and organisations which have sprint zero built-in their Agile way of working. What does this reveal? Is it a manifestation of the teams and organisations just not ready? Or just an excuse to hide waterfall-like approach under an Agile umbrella. Find out here.


    2nd Edition of Scrum and XP From the Trenches

    Scrum and XP from the Trenches is still going strong after eight years. The second edition is out, which is essentially an annotated version of the original version. Have a look.



    Why Bother With Pair Programming?

    Pair programming attracts a lot of debate. Does it really provide any meaningful benefits or is it just one of those things you need to do look like “doing  Agile”? Does it provide any benefits in terms of team productivity, improving quality and sharing knowledge? How about reducing technical debt? Find out here.



    4 Techniques to Enable You to Handle Surprises

    We can’t eliminate surprises, but we can equip ourselves so that we are better prepared to handle surprises. Is recovery more important or perfection? Should we value predictability over focussing on commitments? Wouldn’t change control matter less if we have solid safety-net in place? Here are some interesting thoughts.



    How to Quickly Understand Code and Get Going?

    How do you get started when you are new and want to get going asap? Do you need to find a mentor? Or you start writing tests? Or start fixing bugs? What about pair programming? Here are some good answers.