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Adjusting to Scrum   (peer-reviewed)

Scrum, the new development methodology in the Agile development family, is fast gaining acceptance in software development. But how can writers, who have little or no experience in any of the incremental development models, adjust to this methodology? And, how does the Documentation Development Life Cycle (DDLC) change in Scrum?

Bidkar, Prasanna. tekom (2011). Articles>Project Management>Agile>Documentation


Adopting User-Centered Design Within An Agile Process: A Conversation   (PDF)

eXtreme Programming and other agile processes provide a middle ground between chaos and over-elaborate processes sometimes referred to as 'death by documentation'. A particular attrtactive aspect of the agile approach for many teams is its willingness to accomodate change no matter how advanced development might be. However, this very flexibility can cause user interface design issues and ensuing usability problems. Adopting a user-centered approach to user interface design can address these issues, as the following simulated conversation between a user-centered design consultant and an XP team leader will explain.

Hudson, William. UIaccess (2002). Articles>User Centered Design>Agile>Project Management


Agile Development Checklist

The purpose of this article is to define a set of ideal practices for an agile software development project.

McLennan, Liam. Code Project, The (2006). Articles>Project Management>Agile


Agile Development Projects and Usability

Agile methods aim to overcome usability barriers in traditional development, but pose new threats to user experience quality. By modifying Agile approaches, however, many companies have realized the benefits without the pain.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Project Management>Usability>Agile


Agile for Information Development

Software development methods seem to change more often than the seasons, and just when information development professionals are familiar with one approach a new one comes along. One method that has received wide acceptance and seems to have some staying power, however, is the Agile software development method. As described by the Agile Manifesto (2001), Agile software development is: a group of software development methodologies; based on iterative and incremental development; solutions evolve through collaboration of cross-functional teams.

Clymer, Laura. Indus (2013). Articles>Project Management>Workflow>Agile


Agile Technical Writing Basics

Unfortunately, nobody wrote instructions for Agile technical writers, so peculiarities of profession need to be studied out.

Mizinova, Ksenya. Dr. Explain. Articles>Project Management>Agile>Technical Writing


Agile User Experience Projects

Agile projects aren't yet fully user-driven, but new research shows that developers are actually more bullish on key user experience issues than UX people themselves.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2009). Articles>Project Management>User Experience>Agile


A CIO's Playbook for Adopting the Scrum Method of Achieving Software Agility   (members only)

Scrum is a proven, Agile software management method that has been widely adopted by organizations seeking to reliably deliver higher quality software. Scrum is a simple process: it has a small set of interrelated practices and rules, is not overly prescriptive, can be learned quickly and produces productivity gains almost immediately.

Schwaber, Ken, Dean Leffingwell and Hubert Smits. Rally Software Development (2007). Articles>Project Management>Agile>Scrum


A CIO's Playbook for Adopting the Scrum Method of Achieving Software Agility   (PDF)   (members only)

Provides a brief overview of the Scrum method as well as 'playbook' of guidelines and tactics for enterprise-wide adoption of Scrum.

Schwaber, Ken, Dean Leffingwell and Hubert Smits. Rally Software Development (2006). Articles>Project Management>Agile>Scrum


Easing Into Agile Modeling

Agile modeling started out fairly complex and it grew a bit into its current form.

Ambler, Scott W. Agile Modeling (2006). Articles>Project Management>Agile>Collaboration


Failing Fast: Getting Projects Out of the Lab

“Failing fast” means getting putting applications out in the wild as soon as possible to learn whether they will succeed. This gives you access to early user feedback to quickly weed out ideas and methods that don’t work. Failing fast is a good thing—or, at least, it's preferable to failing slowly and spending too much time, effort and money developing a product that should have been put to rest earlier. Money and time you save by cutting off unsuccessful projects quickly will mean you have more money and time for the successful ones. The concept of failing fast can help businesspeople and stakeholders reduce the riskiness of launching products by letting real users and the marketplace dictate their product choices.

Hillerson, Tony, Alan Lewis, Scott Green, Ryan Stewart and Randy Rieland. UX Magazine (2009). Articles>Web Design>Project Management>Agile


Five Levels of Agile Planning: From Enterprise Product Vision to Team Stand-up   (members only)

Existing agile methods often focus on small, single-team projects and overlook the broader impact of large, multi-team and multi-year projects. This paper outlines a distinct planning framework that has been used successfully in large-scale agile software development projects and relies on five levels: product vision, product roadmap, release plan, sprint plan and daily commitment. Each of the five levels of planning addresses the fundamental planning principles: priorities, estimates and commitments. In this paper, the main agile principles are introduced, as well as the Lean principles upon which the agile methods are built. One of those Lean principles, Muri, or overburdening of people, is addressed through the extension of the agile planning process. The extension of the most used agile planning technique (iteration planning) is described in detail, both the motivation for the extension as well as the collaboration practices behind each planning level. In the final chapter, the impact of product complexities on the planning process is evaluated, and a solution to create a smooth flow in the planning/delivery cycle is presented.

Smits, Hubert. Rally Software Development (2007). Articles>Project Management>Agile


Getting Real About Agile Design

Agile is here to stay. The economic difficulties of the past months have finally put waterfall out of its misery; now more than ever, long requirements phases and vaporous up-front documentation aren’t acceptable. Software must be visible and valuable from the start. For many designers, Agile is already a fact of life (and for those less accustomed, some recommended reading follows at the foot of this article). We are reaching the point where we must either acclimatize or risk being bypassed. The good news is that Agile does allow us to still do the things we hold dear—research, develop a vision, and test and improve our designs—we just need new techniques. Now is the time to get real, and prove design can adapt, if we want to stay relevant in these increasingly unreal times.

Bowles, Cennydd. List Apart, A (2008). Articles>Web Design>Agile>Project Management


Homer's Odyssey   (members only)

In this offbeat presentation, Jean compares the impediments and obstacles encountered by an Agile mentor with those detailed in Homer's classical reference. Through the presentation and dialogue, you will discover who plays which classical roles in an organization's effort to adopt Agile practices: Cyclops, the Sirens, Poseidon, Circe, Cicones, the Lotus-Eaters, and even the good-and-faithful dog Argus.

Tabaka, Jean. Rally Software Development (2006). Articles>Project Management>Agile


Integrating UX into Agile Development

How do your organizations integrate UX design and user research into agile development processes? How would you map out your entire development process, step by step?

Six, Janet M. UXmatters (2011). Articles>User Experience>Project Management>Agile


A Project Manager's Survival Guide to Going Agile   (members only)

When software development project teams move to Agile methodologies, they often leave project managers behind. Traditionally trained project managers are confused as to what their new roles and responsibilities should be in an environment that no longer needs them to make stand-alone decisions. This paper focuses on re-defining the job of project manager to better fit the self-managed team environment, one of the core Agile principles. Special emphasis is placed on the shift to servant leadership, with its focus on facilitation and collaboration. Mapping of PMBOK knowledge areas to Agile practices is discussed at length. After reading this paper, project managers should have a better understanding of what changes they need to make professionally, and how to make these changes in order to survive the transition to an Agile software development approach.

Sliger, Michele. Rally Software Development (2007). Articles>Project Management>Agile


Successfully Managing Agile Projects in the Waterfall Enterprise   (members only)

Agile and waterfall methods are utterly different—from the way projects start to the expected deliverables and release schedules. In a waterfall world, what's an IT enterprise to do? Can agile and waterfall methodologies successfully coexist? The answer is yes, for both the short-term and the long-term. In this presentation, Michele Sliger outlines how to: factor your company's business needs into existing agile processes, streamline requirements and activities and identify specific points where agile and waterfall teams must plan, coordinate, and review progress. Learn how you can make agile processes work in the real-world.

Sliger, Michele. Rally Software Development (2007). Articles>Project Management>Agile


Tactical Management of Agile Development: Achieving Competitive Advantage   (members only)

This whitepaper provides an Agile development overview full of techniques, best practices and educational materials.

Leffingwell, Dean. Rally Software Development (2007). Articles>Project Management>Agile


A Tale of Two Technical Writing Teams   (members only)

Sometimes considered an afterthought in the product development lifecycle, technical writers often struggle to become part of a performing Agile team.

Broderick, Stacia. Rally Software Development (2007). Articles>Project Management>Agile>Technical Writing

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