The value of asking

The value of asking

I think we all know the concept of the saying – there are no stupid questions. The idea being that any question that can be asked, should be okay to be asked. However, through experience, I still hear many, many people say: okay, this might be a silly question but… And how many times has that question been a silly or stupid question? People have different views, different ideas, different expertise and different experiences in their lives. For instance, if…

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Growing a great team

Growing a great team

One of the AgileLabs team found a great article by Eduards Sizovs, which they shared with us. You can read the whole thing at https://sizovs.net/2019/04/10/the-best-developers-are-raised-not-hired/ . The article is about the difference between teams who try to “hire the best talent”, ready-made “rockstars”, and those who focus on finding people with the right attitudes and soft skills and letting them grow. Throughout my career I’ve always tried wherever I can to help people grow – it’s incredibly rewarding to me….

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What’s beyond your team’s horizon?

What’s beyond your team’s horizon?

It always fascinates me looking at old maps of the world, drawn based on the observations of the early explorers. These maps are often very accurate – for the regions the explorer had visited – and yet many of them show the world as having an edge, where they draw big monsters that prevent future exploration. Sometimes we see a similar thing in software teams! As rational and logical as we like to think we are, we are all human,…

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5 themes that determine success for software teams

5 themes that determine success for software teams

When helping software teams to be effective and deliver, we notice their struggles or successes are normally caused by 5 main themes – but often if you asked a struggling team how they could solve their issues, they look at just one, with a blind spot for all else. These 5 themes interfere with each other – for better or worse. If you can improve any of these areas, it will help with the others – but neglecting any area…

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The definition of insanity

The definition of insanity

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to change” We love this quote, from Albert Einstein – it’s so obvious when you think about it, however we often see software teams who are doing exactly this, and it’s destroying them! Nothing kills morale faster than working in a team where things are going wrong, you all know things are going wrong, and yet nothing is happening to sort it out. You probably have a…

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Prevent your team scaling by getting this 1 simple thing wrong

Prevent your team scaling by getting this 1 simple thing wrong

It’s continuous integration. As simple as that! But I’m talking about real continuous integration, not the crazy obsession with tooling that has been sweeping the industry. This is a really misunderstood topic, and it’s going to cost the industry an absolute fortune in wasted time and money – I’ve already seen whole projects, and even whole companies be destroyed when they’ve gone all-in on the wrong things here. When a developer makes a change to a codebase, they need to…

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Offering Capabilities

Offering Capabilities

When we’re building a product for people, we are hopefully offering them something that helps them with the things they want or need. Our product will have things that it can do, and using these will help our users meet their goals. Within AgileLabs we call the things that our product can do “Capabilities”. We describe a Capability in terms or a thing that the product can (or will be able to) help the user do. This is something from…

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Working towards Goals

Working towards Goals

On a day to day basis when building a product it’s really helpful to be working towards some kind of objective or goal, to stay focused. How you think about these goals can make a big difference though.  For us, a goal is a short-term focus on an incremental improvement, that can be reached from where we are now. A goal may or may not extend the capabilities of the system, i.e. it might add to the features available to…

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Eating the dog-food

Eating the dog-food

The expression “eating your own dog-food” is about using your own product, so that you see first-hand the same thing your customer does. This is a really powerful approach, and definitely worth doing! The aim should always to to build products that, as a basic minimum, meet the customer/user’s needs, and do so in a way that is “nice”. This is obviously quite subjective, and we’re clearly going to want to get real customers’ opinions and feedback as well, but…

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Welcome to the Agile Labs blog!

Welcome to the Agile Labs blog!

Well hello, and thank you for checking out the Agile Labs blog! We hope you enjoy reading our articles, and that they can help you in some way. Please share your thoughts and feedback, we’d love to hear from you! At Agile Labs our mission is to help teams to build products in an effective and sustainable way, driven by principles seen in the original Agile Manifesto, newer versions, and ideas from the Agile community as we see them emerging….

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