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Presentation 7-7-09: Managing an Agile Team


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Presentation 7-7-09: Managing an Agile Team

  1. 1. Being The Manager Of An Agile Team Jeffrey Palermo CTO, Headspring Systems
  2. 2. Quarterly Giveaway • Drop a business card • Win iPod Touch
  3. 3. About me • CTO, Headspring Systems • Agilist since 2004, XPer since 2005, pragmatist always • U.S. Army Veteran (Iraq, 2003-2004) • Founding member, AgileAustin board of directors • Microsoft MVP (Solution Architecture) • Director, Austin .Net User Group • INETA speakers bureau • • Headspring’s Agile Boot Camp • Certified ScrumMaster
  4. 4. Agenda • What does a manager do? • How to deal with risk • Predicting issues • Forecasting • Hiring and firing • No broken windows (defects) • Feedback and metrics • Managing scope & setting expectations • Questions up-front!
  5. 5. Overview Extreme Programming has lots to say about the customer, agile management, agile planning, agile software engineering and testing. Scrum has a lot to say about the process of iterating and organizing priority. Lean has a lot to say about increasing production and production quality as well as eliminating waste. Lots of clients, even with agile training, remain with questions about where management fits in within an agile culture. This session is a blend of project management and people management. Agile:
  6. 6. What does a manager do? Why is it different managing software projects? Why can’t we manage it the same as managing a Taco Bell?
  7. 7. What does a manager do? The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self- organizing teams. -
  8. 8. What does a manager do? • Self-organizing does not mean self-directing. – What is the size of the team? – What do individuals on the team get paid? – What type of office space will we pay for? – What project will make us money? • Teams will always self-organize, even in the absence of management. – How will we run the project? – How will we involve stakeholders? • /agilemanagement/
  9. 9. What does a manager do? • Chain of command is important • Authority must be delegated
  10. 10. What does a manager do? Everything that is right or wrong with an organization is managements’ fault The “free love” hippie culture doesn’t jive with stockholder expectations.
  11. 11. What does a manager do? • How organized is the strategic roadmap? • How are requirements coming? • Is delivery on track? • What about quality control? Defects? • How is feedback getting absorbed? • Are operations going smoothly? • The right people • The right things • The right time (what IF these things are challenged?)
  12. 12. What does a manager do?
  13. 13. How to deal with risk Risk: What might go wrong What does the Agile Manifesto say about dealing with risk? Agile risk management: “Responding to change over following a plan”
  14. 14. Predicting issues As a manager, you cannot predict every issue that may arise. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  15. 15. Forecasting Which metric do you use? 1. Hours 2. Ideal hours 3. Function points 4. Story points tied to complexity 5. Story points tied to size 6. Man-days
  16. 16. Forecasting Units tied to time/effort are a moving target. • Similar tasks get easier over time • Programmer skills increase • Libraries/componentization
  17. 17. Forecasting Choose a unit that remains the same in the presence of improvement • Function Point • Story Point
  18. 18. Hiring and firing “I don’t know exactly what you do, but I know that problems arise when you are on vacation.”
  19. 19. Hiring and firing “I don’t know exactly what you do, but I know that problems go away when you are on vacation.”
  20. 20. Hiring and firing • Topgrading • It’s not a mystery who the weakest team members are • Staff ROI & opportunity cost
  21. 21. Hiring and firing Senior/junior mix • Highly repeatable processes – More junior staff • Novel or emerging processes – More senior staff
  22. 22. No broken windows (defects) • No bug database – The Art of Agile Development • Stop the presses quality control • QA as a strategy, not a job role • Automation • Define “DONE” • Working software is the primary measure of progress. • Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  23. 23. No broken windows (defects) Quality • Strategic direction • Requirements definition • Architectural specifications • Construction quality • Functional test automation • Operations monitoring & deployments
  24. 24. Feedback and metrics As a manager, what are your metrics? As a manager, what type of concrete feedback do you receive? Why is it difficult to measure management?
  25. 25. Feedback and metrics Management is knowledge work. Slack by Tom DeMarco • Efficient secretaries • Fully utilized highway
  26. 26. Feedback and metrics Software delivery metrics • Consistent # of points delivered per unit of time (not a programmer metric) • Number of defects released (ZERO) Whatever you measure will improve - keep all the plates spinning - modify metrics as you see weaknesses
  27. 27. Managing scope & setting expectations
  28. 28. Managing scope & setting expectations Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
  29. 29. Managing scope & setting expectations • Small team – Whiteboard, throw-away documentation – Verbal agreements • Large team – Written, persistent documentation – Documented agreements – Meeting minutes – Requirements traceability – Story specifications
  30. 30. Wrap-up • Management is an enabler of an effective software organization • Beware of the pendulum swing • Leverage Agile values and principles to make your organization more effective • Don’t implement “Agile”. Implement effectiveness
  31. 31. Questions? • Jeffrey Palermo • CTO, Headspring Systems • • •