Safe to fail: naughty or just a mistake?

I am an agile guy now so I believe in things like psychological safety, “safe to fail” and trusting people. Just like all agile coaches, I am a nice guy and I believe everyone else is too. So I let people try new things, they make mistakes and we are pretty happy about it all since we know mistake…
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Mistake proofing your process

You can apply mistake proofing to a user story in an agile project or to anything you want, but the approach described here comes from old-school process modelling:1. Start with something to analyse – such as a value stream map or process model. 2. Assess who is involved in the process – who doe…
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Five steps toward increased organisational agility

At a recent Project Management Institute New Zealand Chapter (PMINZ) event, author, trainer, and SoftEd director, Iain Fraser spoke about the need for increased organisational agility. Fraser's talk, Five Steps Toward Increased Organisational Agility explored why organisations of the future need to…
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Want to build high-performing teams? Prioritise psychological safety

A high-performing team is your most powerful weapon against poor quality products and a negative work environment. But the team is only as strong as the leaders that build and support them. So, what is the secret to building a high-performing team?In 2012, Google researchers embarked on a quest to…
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Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation Explained

The Agile Manifesto refers to working software over comprehensive documentation (Agile_Manifesto, 2001). The key to all aspects of the Agile Manifesto, however, is the last statement. That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. One of the greatest…
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Getting Acceptance Criteria Right

This article is in split into two parts. The first part discusses acceptance criteria. The second part discusses how to get the “right” acceptance criteria. The paper argues that the terms “acceptance criterion” and “requirement” do not have the same meaning, but are closely related.  Some people…
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Why is psychological safety being ignored?

 In one of the most extensive business research projects ever conducted, Project Aristotle, Google found, to their surprise, that the number one driver of team performance is psychological safety. This is a gift on a plate to organisations. Want to radically improve your performance? Then simply…
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What do testers do on Agile projects?

I was just talking to someone who is on the journey towards the good life in Agile. But in their early projects, they have hit a snag. It seems that the testers want to record lots of bugs in their log so they can show them to their friends. They also want to talk to the developers about all those…
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"Investment number one in 2019 should be training" says management consultant Tom Peters

Well-known and respected management consultant and author, Tom Peters, spoke to Auckland University’s Graduate School of Management last week about training and investing in talent, saying that the top investment for organisations in 2019 should be training. “Training should be a capital expense…
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How use cases can help to elicit user stories

Identifying Use Cases is an important technique for business analysts and developers to master because they ensure they and their clients have a good understanding of what a product is for and how it will be used by future users. The Use Case technique was popularised as a way to elicit a system’…
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Agile is the Common Sense We’ve Forgotten. Part 1: Minimising multi-tasking and limiting work-in-progress

I get many people asking me the question: “what is agile?”Over time, I have distilled all of my thoughts and considerations into a single simple answer: “Agile is common sense that we have forgotten or are too busy to entertain. ” In fact, the work that I, and many other agile coaches, do are about…
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How to write a strong business case

So here I am: a senior manager in an organisation and some work has been proposed. The work could be to acquire a new “bright shiny thing” or the work could be to improve some product that we already have.   The product could be but doesn’t have to be a software one. My managerial style i…
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