Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scrum in Sales?

Working with OpenView Venture Partners, I've seen Scrum implemented everywhere in 100% of the venture group and some of our portfolio companies. Now I'm seeing other companies doing the same thing.

In the past month I have seen people aggressively implementing Scrum outside of software development. Joint hardware/software teams are emerging as the hardware people figure out how to break things down and produce regular working prototypes for software testing.

I've talked to many sales teams using Scrum. It needs to be simple and lightweight for the sales team. Here is Accurev's agile sales implementation. The iteration length is a little long for Scrum but it seems to work for them. Accurev has a useful Agile Glossary as well.

You’re So Agile! Implementing Agile… in a Sales Team?

September 27th, 2010 by cluccaNo comments »
My job here at AccuRev involves working as an “Agile Evangelist,” and along with the other Evangelists on my team, we have appropriately named ourselves “Team AgileCycle.”  Prior to ourAgileCycle product launch, AccuRev took a company initiative to bring Agile into every part of the business.  The idea was to bring an educational awareness of Agile process to all of our teams by implementing basic Agile practices.  ”Team AgileCycle” was responsible for bringing Agile to the sales team, so our salespeople could have a taste of what Agile development was really all about.
(I should point out that we do realize sales organizations and development organizations are vastly different, and certain Agile practices can’t be applied to a sales cycle. But we did see great opportunities to pick up Scrum methodologies and usefully apply them to help within our sales organization.  Some of the changes we made do not qualify as not “pure” Agile, or even best practices, but the point of this exercise was to expose our team to some of the things software developers are doing in the real world.)

Implementing Agile Step 1: Sales Scrum Training

Implementing Agile Step 2: Implement Sales Standups
Implementing Agile Step 3: Mark Out Sprint and Retrospectives.
Implementing Agile Step 4: The Task Board

Monday, September 20, 2010

OpenView Venture Partners Opens Their Kimono

OpenView Labs supports expansion stage startup companies with a strong offering of expert support to portfolio companies. They have decided to open up their experience and expertise to all who are interested after working with agile practices and implementing Scrum in most of their companies during the past three years.

The web site is packed with useful information like a rigorous analysis of why you should dump all those worthless job descriptions that are messing up your company! Of course, you probably have already got rid of time sheets that reduce productivity. But I bet you still have performance appraisals which are proven to demotivate employees!

There is a lot you can learn from this site whether you are a software developer or the CEO of a company.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

HICSS 2011 Agile Papers Accepted

The following papers have been accepted for presentation at HICSS-44 and for publication in the IEEE Digital Library. They have been uploaded to the publication site and are print ready. About 40% of papers submitted were accepted and each paper was reviewed by at least seven reviewers. With this broad spectrum of excellent feedback the Minitrack Chairs followed the guidance of the HICSS Conference Committtee and the reviewers rigorously. Some good papers did not make the cutoff and should be resubmitted next year following the guidance of the reviewers.

Presentations on preliminary versions of several of these papers were presented at Agile 2010. We strongly recommend that people submit papers to Agile 2011 and use this as a preliminary phase of formulating a paper for HICSS 2012. The Agile conference no longer publishes experience reports in the IEEE Digital Library so it is no longer a vehicle for putting papers into the historical record. It is however, a good medium  for feedback that can help get a peer reviewed paper accepted at HICSS.

Embracing or Constraining Change: An Exploration of Methodologies for Maintaining Software
Dana Edberg, University of Nevada, Reno; and Polina Ivanova, University of Nevada, Reno
An Educational Testbed for the Computational Analysis of Collaboration in Early Stages of Software Development Processes
Thomas Kowark, Hasso Plattner Institute; Jürgen Müller, Hasso Plattner Institute; Stephan Müller, Hasso Plattner Institute; and Alexander Zeier, Hasso Plattner Institute
Virtual Reality Meets Scrum: How a Senior Team Moved from Management to Leadership
Dina Friis, University of Copenhagen; Jens Ostergaard, Scrum Foundation; and Jeff Sutherland, Scrum Foundation (Agile 2010)
Hitting the Wall: What to Do When High Performing Scrum Teams Overwhelm Operations and Infrastructure
Jeff Sutherland, Scrum Foundation;and Robert Frohman, Pegasystems (Agile 2010)
Measuring the Impact of Scrum on Product Development at Adobe Systems
Peter Green, Adobe Systems
Supporting Scaling Agile with Portfolio Management: Case
Kristian Rautiainen, Aalto University School of ScienceTechnology;and Joachim von Schantz, Paf;and Jarno Vähäniitty, Aalto University School of Science and Technology
The Role of the Story Master: A Case Study of the Cognitive Load of Story Management Tasks
Aaron Read, University of Nebraska Omaha;and Nicholas Arreola, University of Nebraska Omaha;and Robert Briggs, University of Nebraska Omaha

HICSS-44 PAPERS FOR REVIEW - reviews due 14 Aug 2010
January 4-7, 2011
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
Kaloa, Kauai, Hawaii

HICSS-44 offers a unique, highly interactive and professionally challenging environment that attendees find "very helpful -- lots of different perspectives and ideas as a result of discussion." HICSS sessions are comprised primarily of refereed paper presentations; the conference does not host vendor presentations. All papers are peer reviewed and accepted papers are published in the IEEE Digital Library.

Track: Software Technology
Minitrack: Agile Software Development: Lean, Distributed, and Scalable
Co-Chairs: Jeff Sutherland and Gabrielle Benefield

Agile software development processes have been influenced by best practices in Japanese industry, particularly by lean product development principles implemented at companies like Honda and Toyota, and knowledge management strategies developed by Takeuchi and Nonaka, now at the Hitotsubashi Business School in Japan, and Peter Senge at MIT.

This minitrack will focus on advancing the state of the art or presenting innovative ideas related to agile methods, individual practices and tools. Accepted papers will potentially enrich the body of knowledge and influence the framework of thought in the field by investigating Agile methods in a rigorous fashion.

The track is open to research papers on multiple aspects of agile methods, particularly those that bring best practices in knowledge management and lean development to scalable, distributed, and outsourced Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP), and other agile practices.

Papers of interest include these topics:

*Research on existing or new methodologies and approaches: informal modeling techniques and practices, adapting/trimming existing methods, and new product/project planning techniques.

*Research on existing or new techniques or practices: pairing, war-rooms, test-first design, paper-based prototyping, early acceptance test driven development, exploratory testing, refactoring, or others.

*Research on special topics or tools: configuration and resource management, testing, project steering, user involvement, design for agility, virtual teams or others.

*Research on integrating ideas from other fields, e.g. interaction design, requirements engineering, cognitive science, organizational psychology, usability testing, software security, into agile processes.

*Research studies of development teams using ethnographic or social research techniques.

*Research on agile software engineering economics.

*Quantitative and qualitative studies of agile methods, practices, and tools.

*Research on agile compliance and cost benefits within CMMI, ISO 9000, and FDA certified development projects.

Papers are particularly relevant when agile processes are shown to produce quantitative and qualitative benefits across multiple implementations.

Jeff Sutherland
Scrum Training Institute
Boston, MA USA
+1 617 606-3652

Gabrielle Benefield
Scrum Training Institute
London, UK