The Agile Executive

Making Agile Work

Delivering Valuable Software, guest Jim Highsmith – Agile Executive #5

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In this episode, Israel and I talk with Jim Highsmith. We center the discusion around the new edition of Jim’s book, Agile Project Management, but this pulls in all sorts of general discussion about Agile:

  • How did Jim get into Agile? Going from traditional software development to Agile.
  • How does Rapid Development compare to Agile? Tools in RAD vs. tools in Agile.
  • Pivoting on a mention of Jim being in China, I ask him about cultural differences of applying Agile, for instance, based on geo-cultural differences.
  • What’s new in the new edition that leads into larger applications of Agile? Release planning, “scaling” self-organizing teams, governance issues, and measuring.
  • How does Agile work in a systems, or hardware plus software situation.
  • Israel asks Jim for some advice on synching up software developed in an Agile fashion with hardware folks. There’s primarily more coordination and dependency management between teams and features.
  • Release planning – most Agile teams focus on iteration planning, without peaking up to concerns at the release level, e.g., budgeting, timing, and marketing concerns.
  • How can “the business” get involved with the process to make sure focus is kept on the release?
  • What’s this “scaling” business? Scaling a team up in size, or scaling a team out in a distributed process.
  • Israel and Jim then dig into distributed scaling, adding in off-premise teams and collaboration.
  • Tracking and measuring things from a (business) strategic orientation. This hits on keeping track of value (will this software make us money?), quality and other “metrics” over time. Who is that determines this “value” ongoing? Getting people to figure out “value points.”
  • Israel then asks Jim for a retrospective on where we’ve been and are after the Agile Manifesto.

Also, see Jim’s sum-up of the new content in the book.

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Written by cote

July 28, 2009 at 10:27 am

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