The Agile Creative

Creative people are strange

Their brains are like spaghetti at times, and in and amongst those noodles are nuggets of brilliance. Creative people like to dictate their own hours. Well that makes sense, because flashes of brilliance don’t always exist from 9-5. Sometimes ideas will come at odd hours. So how do you introduce a creative person to an Agile tool such as Jira without making them feel like you’re trying to impose the very structure onto them that stifles their creativity?

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Building Healthy Agile Teams

It is not easy to build a relationship. And it is even more difficult to maintain a good and healthy one.

Some people say the key is in simply spending time together. Others say it is about spending quality time together. But how do you ensure that the relationships you are building within an agile environment are healthy, resulting in healthy agile teams?

Agile teams

As a Product Owner, you need the team and the Scrum Master to trust your vision and the decisions you are making. A Scrum Master needs to lead and motivate agile teams to stick to the agile processes as well as guide the Product Owner. Team members need to trust each other to finish quality work. For all this to happen in harmony, there must be a strong bond between all the team members.

Building agile teams

Simply spending time together every day in a work environment isn’t enough to build the collaboration that you need in agile teams.  I have noticed that agile teams that have team building activities and that spend more time outside of the work environment together just work better together. If you think about it, it makes sense. If someone becomes not just the person that sits next to you each day, but a comrade that is driving the same goal, your thinking changes.

You now have something in common but you also know more about your colleague than just their name. We need to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses in order to work better together. And what’s a better way to do that than by having some fun together?


BY: CHANTEL NAUDE, SCRUM MASTER AT INFOWARE STUDIOS


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Discovering Agile

I have heard a lot about agile over the past few years but never really understood it as that stage; it was not a part of my life. A few months ago I came face to face with agile and started to dig deeper into this new methodology that is changing the world by discover agile.

After a lot of learning and discovering, I came to a few conclusions – Agile is common sense. When we think back to our days at school, playing team sports, it was always a team effort to win that game. Somewhere in the corporate world we forgot all about team work and moved to the selfish view of how fast one can climb the corporate ladder.

Discover Agile in business

I have discovered that with agile, a happier environment is created by promoting working together as a team. We all need our support structures and as social creatures it is natural to want to feel part of a community, to want to build something together.  With agile, the responsibility for success is given back to the teams on the ground and is no longer just a management paradigm.  There is also no longer a divide between management and staff. They work together as a team to make their company successful. 

An agile path

There is still a lot to learn and discover about agile. Agile is adapting and changing to accommodate the reality of running a modern-day company. If we remember the basics of agile and live by it, we easily fall in love with our work again.  And that is the kind of people that you want at your company.  The ones that want to make a difference and want to succeed.


BY: A SCRUM MASTER AT INFOWARE STUDIOS


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Using lists in Trello for Agile software development

Introduction

Trello is a so-called horizontal product, meaning that it can be used by a wide variety of people, solving a wide range of problems. It is also well-suited for smaller agile software development projects. 

Lists

One of the key features of Trello is the ability to create custom lists (swimlanes). Cards (which can typically contain user stories) can then be attached to custom lists.

Examples of lists

The flexibility of Trello lists can be illustrated by some examples.

Video Production

trello_lists_02

Writing a Thesis

trello_lists_03

Planning Art Projects

trello_lists_01

Adding a new list

Step 1  – close the sidebar:

trello_add_list_01

Step 2 – click on Add List:

trello_add_list_02

Step 3 – add List Name and save:

trello_add_list_03

Step 4 – drag list to the appropriate position on the board.

Conclusion

For more information on how Trello can be used to fit your agile project needs, do a Google search for ‘Trello agile swimlanes’.

Resources
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BY: SOFTWARE DEVELOPER AT INFOWARE STUDIOS


 

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Measuring Agile readiness throughout the Scrum Delivery Life Cycle

At Agileware Studios we have 3 definitions we use to measure agile readiness and work as it passes through an agile scrum delivery life cycle. This assists in measuring agile readiness and ensuring that the right quality of work is delivered throughout the agile life cycle for delivery.

Ready for development

For requirements to be moved into a sprint for implementation we need to ensure that the requirements apply to a certain standard. Requirements need to be clear enough, contain the right level of details and specify the acceptance criteria for delivering the requirement inline with the described business requirement. The implementation team, be it developers or marketers, have the right to refuse work into the sprint if the work does not comply with the definition of “Ready for development” or “Ready for implementation” (non-IT speak).

Definition of done

For the team to deliver a user story within a sprint we need to define the key aspects that determines that the user story has been delivered according to the initial requirement received by the team. Here we also include certain quality checks to ensure we deliver quality software. 

Shippable

We are now happy to deploy the software into production. This is a final check on quality to ensure that we have done all that we are supposed to do as an agile team and that we have checked all the boxes on clinching a successful deployment.


BY: TANIA VAN WYK DE VRIES, CEO OF INFOWARE STUDIOS


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Can Agile overcome cultural barriers

In the end we are all different and unique human beings with our own beliefs and cultural backgrounds. So can agile overcome some of these barriers?

Agile in practise

I have had the privilege these past couple of months to experience the difference agile can make in different cultures. In the Indian culture it is custom to have a representative or a spokesperson. It was a challenge to get the whole team to participate in the stand-ups and to show up for all the agile boundary meetings.  However after some training and a few months of getting used to the whole idea the team is now participating in all activities and enjoying it.

I don’t think that the agile values and principles are easy to follow for all cultures and that there will be a lot more challenges in the future. But we are adaptable and we can learn new ways.


BY: A SCRUM MASTER AT INFOWARE STUDIOS


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