If Scrum provides the project management framework used in a majority of Agile projects, eXtreme Programming (XP) is the main source of technical practices for Agile software development. This book written by Alan Shalloway, Scott Bain, Ken Pugh and Amir Kolsky is focused on these technical aspects. The first part deal with the coding and testing activities and the second part discusses how to handle the software design activity with an Agile perspective.
People and team member management for Agile project management and Scrum software development teams.
Scrum likes to rely the technical practices recommended by eEXtreme Programming to improve the software quality. Pair programming is one of these practices, even if surveys tell us that it is not used as much as other practices like test-driven development (TDD). In this article, Zee Spencer shares four common pitfalls of pair programming and tell us how to avoid them.
Most of us do the exercise of rating team members every year even if we know that software is built by teams, not individuals. Moreoever, each individual needs to actively collaborate to produce quality software. This means that everyone on the team needs to take collective ownership and help each other, because the motive is not to be a hero but to build an end product of the utmost quality and predictability.
Analyzing the bottleneck faced by a Scrum team, Mark Levison introduces in this blog post the concept of Skills Matrix. The Skill Matrix is a visual management tool that shows at a glance how much cross-training you have in your organization between different people and different tasks.
In this article, Elton Gao starts by giving us the definition of a good ScrumMaster: someone who knows Scrum well. He or she understands the do’s and don’ts and is familiar with related artifacts and tools. He or she knows how to run a daily Scrum, a planning/review/retrospective meeting and how to take advantages of related tools and so on. But is this enough?
Should you track individual performances in Scrum and how do you do it? Nanda Vivek says that there is only one answer and this is “No”. Measuring individual productivity is against the spirit of Scrum and the article discusses the importance of being helpful and collaborative in teams. The author however does not give guideline on how to deal in this case with the individual review that is a common practice in many large organizations.
You company is transitioning to Agile and you need to hire people that will bring this type of expertise to you teams. This article propose 10 questions that you could ask to assess the vision of Agile by the prospective employees. The questions are only the first step and the article also provides guidelines on how to interpret the answers. It asks for instance “Did your iterations overlap? For instance, were the testers still testing Iteration 6 while Iteration 5 was being designed/developed?” and then discussed the status of multidisciplinary teams. Even if the material is more geared towards large organizations, every agile manager will find valuable content in it.