Our Blogs

How to Get Your Business Learning and Agile Right Now

I love the expressions ‘willingness to learn’ and ‘ability to learn’. But, they are not the same: I’ve come across some wonderful people who are very willing but who, in their present situations, are actually unable to learn. I always wondered why they were unable,...

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Don’t Force Agile on All Projects

Should we do all our projects using Agile? Or rather, which projects do Agile approaches suit best, and which do traditional approaches suit best? Still, the question should really be, ‘What makes sense?’ This is despite the fact that some organisations will go the...

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Are You ‘Satisificing’ or Wasting?

‘We now know that our project is going to cost £1,245,873.55. Great work!’ ‘And if that means booking two hours for John in December 2016, then so be it. Remember, this project will only get it right if we know exactly how much time is needed, who needs the time, and...

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Your Organisation Has No Heart(beat)

The only way to get this project agreed upon is to book all the resources in advance to make sure they’re available. Only then should we move forward. If we don’t plan ahead, we have no guarantee that this project is going to work! So we will use our project...

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Batch it All Up!! Big Batches, er NO!!!

I once asked a business analyst, not knowing his role, what he did. From under his arm he produced a specification. Our conversation then went along these lines: ‘How long did it take?’ ‘Three months.’ ‘When was it completed?’ ‘Three months ago.’ ‘When will it be...

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Communication Sucks—but That’s Life, Right? No!

‘You didn’t deliver!’ ‘But you, the vendor, didn’t deliver!’ ‘We couldn’t deliver because your guys couldn’t give us what we needed in order to deliver our part!’ ‘Rubbish! Look here—here’s the document, signed off—here, look….’ ‘But it wasn’t enough.’ ‘Why wasn’t it...

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Why Bother with Acceptance Criteria?

Have you ever thought, ‘Now that's done, what is next?’ only to find out that it actually wasn’t quite done?  You had to go back and change things. If only you had known about those last-minute things ahead of time. Your work could have been so much more efficient and...

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The Power of Team Profiling

We all know that a team should be well-balanced, but what does this mean? How do we really find out? Just how balanced is your team and once you know its weaknesses, how do we need to act? On a more practical note, how do you know that your new recruit closes a gap in...

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Using Scrum & Kanban & SAFe & DSDM (& DAD)

… in combination in one company! What a radical thought, especially when we can still see the flames of the agile methodology wars! It all started with Scrum versus Scrum. Then Scrum versus Kanban. Then of course everybody against DSDM. And finally late last year...

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The Stoos Network

The Stoos Network was formed in January 2012, by 21 people from around the world that agreed that when we looked at the way organizations were being run, we were in a bit of a mess.  Ultimately, there has to be a better way. Since then over 3’500+ people have joined...

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Mapping Documents to DSDM Atern

Large corporate regulated environments such as banks and pharmaceuticals require documentation to fulfill a number of requirements. As Scrum provides no guidance on documentation we will map typical documents onto DSDM Atern Products. We’ll be looking at what is...

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Maximising Agile Alignment

Agile methodologies claim to deliver many benefits. To seasoned executives and project managers, the benefits that are frequently claimed by ‘agilists’ appear however, to be too good to be true. There are many “war stories” of companies apparently achieving the “holy...

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Senior Executive Board Structure

Agile projects are traditionally viewed with sceptiscm when it comes to Project Governance. Yet it is possible and is infact very simple to construct and is basically common sense. The Project Management governance approach that we have seen working at a Japanese...

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Scaling Agile Projects

Scaling. A problem that faces most Agile projects and one that is still talked about within the Scrum community and the proposed solution is the “Scrum-of-Scrums” concept. Before we go any further however, let’s step back and ask ourselves what exactly is the problem?...

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What if Your Client Insists on all “Musts”?

I once met a fellow professional who had 28% “Musts” on a project.  The client knew he should have 60% “Musts” and thought that he needed to “upgrade” some stories.  It took a while to make the client realize that he was actually in a brilliant position, one that most...

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The “Rosetta Stone” of Estimating

Estimating.  The glory.  The pain.  The never-ending challenge. Before you think to yourself, “we’ve heard this all before” and close your browser, this short article is absolutely not going to go into the depths of each technique, whether it be planning-poker,...

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Money for Nothing & Change for Free

Contract negotiations between supplier and client, whether Time and Materials or Fixed-Price, takes time. This time simply delays the start of the project.  Eventually pressure will be built and decisions made that perhaps one or both parties will regret. Essentially...

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DSDM Atern Project Structure – Overview

Atern differs from more common agile approaches as it encompasses the entire project lifecycle and not just software development (where Scrum prevails).  It incorporates project management disciplines and provides mechanisms to ensure that the project benefits are...

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DSDM Atern Principals – Overview

Many organisations guide general behaviour with high-level values and culture.  Well-understood principles are better guides than detailed process procedures. In Atern principles are used to provide guidance throughout the project. Atern has eight underlying...

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DSDM Atern Roles and Responsibilities – Overview

Atern defines the roles and responsibilities in such a way that it easy to imagine how existing roles and positions would fit into an Atern project. The following diagram, known affectionately as the “Alien Baby” is the standard DSDM Atern diagram illustrating the...

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DSDM Atern Products – Overview

Deliverables are associated with each phase of the lifecycle. These are referred to as products. Not all products are required for every project and the formality will vary according to the project and organisation. Influencing factors could be contractual...

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An Overview of DSDM Atern

DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method), the longest-established Agile method, launched in 1995, is the only Agile method to focus on the management of Agile projects. Arie van Bennekum represented DSDM at the launch of the Agile Alliance and their Agile Manifesto...

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Agile Project Management

Scrum does not address the very basic questions of “what, when and how much” that the business demands and needs nor does it cater for such items as risk management or requirements management.  It is such basic issues that make seasoned Project Managers and seasoned...

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Discipline

Undertaking any activity requires a certain amount of discipline, yet why do Agilists constantly point out the need for discipline in Agile projects? Surely it is needed in traditional waterfall projects as well? Yes of course it is needed in traditional projects! To...

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What is DSDM Atern?

DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method) is the longest-established Agile method, launched in 1995, and is the only Agile method to focus on the management of Agile projects. The method has evolved over the years and DSDM Atern is the latest version. DSDM has always...

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