Agile

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Metal Toad goes deep on the practice of Agile.  From XP to Scrum to SAFe we've got all kinds of brain share for you.  Buckle up and do some learning (you'll thank us for it).

Agile is a family of project management strategies where budget and time are fixed, so features delivered flexes. Certification in Agile at Metal Toad is most often accomplished through Scrum certification, though we also have explored other certifications like PMP.

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    Gaming the Metrics

    One day in high school we had a substitute teacher. At the beginning of class, the substitute teacher handed out a quiz and told us we'd be tested on it at the end of the period. During class, we searched the textbook in small groups to find the answers.

  • CC. "Man on ship's gangplank," by James Crookall

    The Agile PM Onboard

    Hiring and starting a new job - two sides of the same coin, yet with similar risks and rewards. Can a new employee onboard a new job with a minimum of wasted time, effort, and stress? Can the new employee grow in knowledge, confidence, and reputation in the process?

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    To PMP or Not to PMP?

    I'm often asked for career path advice by up-and-coming professionals in the project management space.

  • Several engineers of color in a business meeting. Confident and assured, they are discussion how to create the best customer journey for the amazing product.

    DevOps QA: The Many Hats of a Quality Assurance Engineer

    Note: This is the second post in a series about the different roles I end up carrying out as a Quality Assurance Engineer.

  • Engineer using a mobile device to test a new feature.

    The Many Hats of Quality Assurance Engineers: Tester

    Quality Assurance Engineer is a broad term that can cover a wide variety of roles and responsibilities. It can refer to a more specialized role, like Automation Engineer or Technical Support.

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    The Marriage Retrospective

    In popular culture and societal norms there is little space within romantic relationships to air your grievances about your partner. Or, if you do have a “safe” space to share things with your partner about the relationship — that you need couples counseling or a referee.

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    Want to get your product to market faster? Hire a Scrum Master.

    In the practice of Agile Project Management, it has long been assumed that a Scrum Master (also referred to at Metal Toad as Agile Project Manager) is an integral member of any successful Scrum team.

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    The Most Agile Thing You Can Do Is Throw Away Agile

    In my career, I've found that there are two types of "agile" software process maps. There is Agile, with a big A, that is usually purchased from non-technical people by non-technical stakeholders.

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    Top 5 Ways Executives Destroy Agile Companies

    A few months ago, a senior executive of a large company asked me, “With our Agile transformation, how am I going to screw it up?”   The question shook me to the core. A few years earlier...

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    Agile Everything

    Chaos is a major pain in the ass. Yes, it can be invigorating, challenging, and propel you in your life or career — but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s extremely hard to appreciate chaos for...

  • Evolving With Our Clients: The Great Scrumban Experiment

    Evolving With Our Clients: The Great Scrumban Experiment

      Identifying the need for change In early 2016, Metal Toad fully adopted Agile Scrum methodology. We'd been dabbling in it for a while, coopting some of the ceremonies but lacking any real consistency or a well-defined process.

  • Women of Color in Tech Chat (wocintechchat.com)

    Code Quality

    One of Metal Toad’s continuing goals for developers centers around mastery.

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    Notes: An Agile Project Manager’s Critical Asset

    The Livesaving Nature of Notes The software industry’s shift to Agile project management methodologies has many of us happily burying the waterfall project artifacts – the 13 required management plans, comprehensive work breakdown structure (

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    User Story Insights Using Google Sheets

    By using Google Sheets as a tool to glean metrics on user stories, Product Owners and Product Managers can increase the probability of project success by ensuring their team is building the right features for the most value and assisting in creating a healthy balance between releases.

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    Client Escalations - A Chance to Shine

    When your client escalates an issue to your organization, it can be very stressful, but it can also be a chance to shine as an organization if the escalation is handled quickly and professionally.

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    The Problem with Scope Creep in an Agile Shop

    Scope creep is a huge risk factor to a project going off the rails. It’s also diabolically difficult to measure.

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    The Sprint Commitment as a Dev Team’s Shield

    I was thrilled when I first learned and began applying Agile software development practices. Finally, I was able to get off the painful cycle of being forced by upper management to come up with and commit to long term schedules based on

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    The Softer Side of Scrum

    Many of the folks reading this blog are already familiar with Agile Software Development (a.k.a. Agile). Maybe your organization already uses Agile methodology, or maybe you’re considering adopting one of its many variations into your company’s workflow.

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    For innovative work: Agile is about delighting customers, Waterfall about CYA (Cover Your A**)

    For innovative work: Agile is about delighting customers, Waterfall about CYA (Cover Your A**)

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    Teams Make Their Sprint Commitment

    One cornerstone of scrum is the team sprint commitment. A team must make their sprint commitment in order for the business to have faith in the team and agile process, to allow predictability of dates, and for team truly to perform as a team vs. a set of individuals. I want to explore some of the reasons why teams don’t make their commitments and what the teams can do to avoid missing their commitments in each case.

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    Stand up for Best Practices

    To deliver quality products, everyone involved with the development process must be willing to stand up and take a stance against not following best practices.

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    Agile Versus Waterfall, Once and For All

    As we race towards the date of my presentation at this October's Digital PM Summit, I'm working to crank out the remaining posts in my series that started after I first presented on the topic of growth at Drupalcon Austin. This seventh post touches on one of the biggest debates of the last decade

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    Metal Toad Templates Part 2: Our Agile Burndown Google Spreadsheet

    Here’s the first template post in this series, following my opinion piece on when to use a PM tool versus creating your own spreadsheet.

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