Articles and Posts Tagged “teamwork”

Agile in the Age of Hyperspecialization

Starting the start of the industrial revolution in 18th century, there has been a trend of increasing specialization. Rather than workers being involved in all aspects of creating a product, workers began to produce smaller and smaller subsets of the product. By the time Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776, pin-making had become specialized to the point where it…

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Distributed Teams: Build Trust through Early Progress

Critical to creating a coherent team is building trust among team members. This is much more difficult on a distributed team. Unable to rely on repeated, frequent face-to-face communication, distributed teams need to take other measures to build trust. Traveling ambassadors, starting meetings with casual conversations, occasional in-person meetings of the full team, working…

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Removing Team Members

People often ask me whether teams should have the right to vote members off. To help answer that question, let me share a story with you. I was at a conference when I saw Derek walking toward me. I had first met him a year earlier when I taught a class at his company. I had been back a handful of times, and always enjoyed talking with him. We hadn’t talked in three months…

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Using a Task Board with One Remote Team Member

I want to address a question I was emailed yesterday but that I receive frequently. What should we do in the case when the team really likes having a task board, but when one team member is remote? My first answer is always: Try to get the one person to move to where the rest of the team is.

I don't expect to see any moving trucks roll out when I ask this, but I have to…

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Should a Team Swarm on to One Backlog Item at a Time?

This week I want to address the question of whether a team should work on one product backlog item at a time or whether it's OK to work on multiple items. In general, a team should feel comfortable working on multiple product backlog items at the same time during an iteration.

A typical seven person team will plan between five and ten items into an iteration. They'll…

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Should the Daily Standup Be Person-by-Person or Story-by-Story?

I want to address a question that I got recently and that comes up every month or two. I was recently emailed the following:

Most of our teams complete 10 or more user stories per sprint. When answering the 3 questions in the daily Scrum, it was clear what each person was working on, but it wasn't as clear how each story was doing or when a story was in trouble. For…

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Programmers and testers (and others) can work together on things smaller than user stories

A common misperception is that testers cannot do any work during an iteration until the programmers finish a user story or product backlog item. However, the unit of transfer between programmer and tester can be smaller than the user story.

Let’s see how this could work through an example: Suppose a tester and I are working on the story about auto-incrementing the next…

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