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Lessons from the Fragile

Jul 19, 2016 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

What's the opposite of fragile?

Most people would answer "robust" or "resilient." If we subject something that is fragile to stress, shock, randomness or volatility, we can expect that it will be harmed. If we do the same to something that is robust or resilient, we can expect that it will resist harm - but won't be any better off than when we started. But what if something that is subjected to stress, shock, randomness or volatility actually benefited? That would be the opposite of fragile: antifragile. This is the core theme of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. 
 

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Creating the Perfect Team: A Checklist

Jul 05, 2016 | by Abhijeet Kher, Senior Software Engineer | Tags: Agile


A Well Formed Team (WFT), per 3Back's white-paper and in accordance with Scrum guidelines, is a team which is self organized, self contained, and value-driven. Such a team uses appropriate standard of care while delivering an acceptable amount of work specified by stakeholders. The accountability in such a team is highest between its members, followed by accountability towards its stakeholders. Use the following checklist to determine what you'll need to create a WFT:

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How to Keep Employees Accountable and Committed

Jun 21, 2016 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

Accountability and commitment. We hear these words a lot in the business and Agile world, but what do they mean, and how do we do them well?

Accountability

We've all seen instances of "accountability" in the form of blaming and shaming: ("Whose fault is it?" and "What were you thinking?) These are the forms that accountability takes in a fear-based organization. The blaming and shaming approach to accountability creates unhealthy stress, shuts down creativity, and limits the success that people and organizations can achieve to only what is achievable via "safe" choices.

However, some people and organizations that have rejected a fear-based culture, and the blaming and shaming that go with it, may swing the other way, and avoid holding people accountable at all. I don't know how to hold you to account without blaming and shaming you, so I won't say anything at all, even though your work or follow-through has not met my expectations or the organization's standards. You might have experienced this dilemma. But surely this can't be the only alternative?

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Creating Well Formed Teams

Jun 16, 2016 | by Abhijeet Kher, Senior Software Engineer | Tags: Agile

Well Formed Teams

How do you get a complex set of work done? Put a team on it. People working together to accomplish a common goal. We see it everyday, and everywhere. For most cases, that’s how work is done. Quoting Steve Jobs, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” But is having a team enough for success? If any combination of people put together will produce a successful result, we would gravitate towards picking all the A listers and chaining them together. But that’s not generally the best combination. To understand the best makeup, we have to define what a Well Formed Team (WFT) means, which is a term used extensively in Agile/Scrum frameworks lately. 

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