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Agile Executives Blogs

By Robert May on 1/28/2011 4:35 PM
A very common task in Agile Environments is prioritization.  Teams that are functioning well will prioritize new features, old features, the backlog, and any other source of stories for the team, and they’ll do it regularly.

Not all teams are good at prioritizing according to the real return on investment that building stories will yield to the company.  This is unfortunate.  Too often, teams end up building features that are less valuable, and everyone seems to know it except perhaps the product owner!  Most features built into software are never even used.  Clearly, not much return for features that go unused.

So how does a company avoid building features that add little value to the company?  This is a tough question to answer, but usually, this prioritization starts at the top with the executives of the company.  After all, they’re responsible for the overall vision of the company.

Here’s...
By Robert May on 1/24/2011 8:17 PM
Your Team Needs You The introduction of Agile into a corporation has many impacts on the team, and many impacts to the executives leading those teams.  In my experience, many Agile projects fail, not because the team did their best, but because the executives that should have been supporting the team failed to do so.  This lack of support can be manifested in many ways.  I’ve seen executives fail by doing the following:

Failure to help with the prioritization process Failure to pay attention to the teams Failure to treat the team as a team Fixing Time, Cost, and Features And many, many more.  I’ll address each one of these in turn, detailing why the practice is wrong and how to better approach them.

Failure to Help with the Prioritization Process This is a classic mistake.  The executive fails to set clear priorities for the development teams and product management teams.  With agile, the team really can deliver quickly and at low cost, but if priorities are constantly changing,...
By Jonathan on 1/24/2011 3:19 PM
Hey everyone!  I'm so excited to see this community re-energized.  Hopefully with this great online gathering place (thanks Veracity!) we can have more frequent and meaningful interaction with each other.  Hopefully our monthly gatherings will be acquaint of the rich, online conversations that we're already having.  I look forward to renewing old acquaintances and making new ones!  See you all Thursday!
By Dennis on 1/24/2011 1:45 PM
Agile in Management (AIM) has been a valuable group to me. Over three years ago, I was invited to join this group and get involved in the discussion on how to nurture and support the agile practices as a manager.  That seemed like a great goal.  I was new to the movement, truly enjoyed the success our company was having in adopting agile practices, but struggling with the process of keeping the company moving forward.

My good friend, Mark Singleton, invited me and stated that this group of executives faced similar challenges.  He sold me on this support group of agile executives.  It didn’t hurt that he dropped the name of Alistair Cockburn.  I had seen Alistair from a distance and any opportunity to hear more from him was appealing. 

I didn’t want to attend a group that discussed the nuts and bolts of software development in the context of agile but rather discussed hard core topics of encouraging and motivating others (clients, team leaders, managers, etc.) to move forward with agile.  I wanted...
By Robert May on 1/24/2011 11:34 AM
We're excited to announce Agile Executives. Much of the content on the internet is geared to developers and other team members, but not much is geared to the executives that manage the teams.

That's where agile executives comes in.

Our goal is to be the place where you can find content and help for understanding and managing agile teams more effectively.

As more content becomes available, we'll post it here.
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