Author Archives: Laura Powers

Agile in Context

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
Charles Darwin

Just about everyone agrees that being “adaptable to change” is important.

At the same time, many people believe that we’re entering an age of acceleration. The models underlying society at every level are being redefined as traditional linear models of change give way to the explosive power of exponential growth. According to computer scientist, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil:

“The 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress; organizations have to be able to redefine themselves at a faster and faster pace.”

At all levels of engineering, we need a management methodology that is “most adaptable to change.”

Is “Agile” the answer? When we ask people to voice their opinions, doubts emerge around the concept of “agile methodologies.” Is it a new buzzword, yet another management fad or a new paradigm for surviving and thriving in times of rapid change? Or is there something better on the horizon?

Join Cathy Simpson of Agile Learning Labs to explore these questions at the next IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society meeting on April 2, 2015. In this talk, we will look for the “core of agile” that will endure beyond the fad. We will address agile in context. Everything that is old is new again; and perhaps we will discover together that we’ve been agile all along. We just didn’t have the context to know it.

Share it!

Test Driven Development – Life Beyond the Insanity

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
~ Albert Einstein

 

Are you a survivor of insane software development? Design-code-integrate-test-deploy. Maybe it’s time for a different approach.

Test driven development takes some of the insanity out of the software development process by shifting the emphasis on testing from post-development necessity to the first objective in the project. Create a test and see it fail. Then write enough code so that the test passes. Then refactor mercilessly.

The result?
Read the full article…

Share it!

Performance Review Pain Review – The Agile Way

Performance Review Pain ReliefTake a piece of yellow paper, a slice of pizza, and a couple of guys with clipboards – and what do you have?

Last week – it was the latest gathering of the North Bay Agile Meetup group. The topic was “Performance Review Pain Relief.” So what would you do with that piece of paper –- write a performance review –- or make an airplane? At this Meetup –- we did both.

Led by Chris Sims of Agile Learning Labs and Harold Shinsanto –- we formed agile teams of expert paper airplane manufacturers. And in the course of producing some of the most embarrassing paper airplanes in aeronautical history –- the group explored what works and doesn’t work with performance reviews.
Read the full article…

Share it!

5 Agile Ways to Rock the Boat with Eric Ries

Eric Ries Interview by Lara Druyan at Hackers and Founders, July 2011According to Eric Ries, another way to say “agile” is “extreme troublemaker.” If you think you know what’s given, constant, and unchangeable — think again.

In an interview with Lara Druyan at a recent Silicon Valley gathering hosted by 106 Miles and Hackers & Founders — Eric poked holes in the foundation of entrepreneurial sense and sensibility we all “know” so well.

From his interview, my favorite five agile ways to rock the boat of status quo are:
Read the full article…

Share it!