Author archives: Jesica Wetherhold, CSP, PMP


4 Ways to Keep Up with Today's Agile Trends

By Jesica Wetherhold, CSP, PMP on Oct. 5, 2016 View Comments

For Agile to deliver on its promise of improved speed, quality, and customer-centric solutions, your Agile organization needs to continuously mature and evolve. So how can you keep up with the fast pace?

Answer these four questions to ensure you’re keeping pace with Agile best practices:

1. Are you using Scrum?

Scrum is the most popular Agile approach for delivering innovative, quality products and services. According to the Annual State of Agile Report, over 80 percent of the organizations utlizing an Agile framework use Scrum or a hybrid of Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming. Scrum’s popularity is not surprising, due to its many benefits, including:

  • Promotion of collaboration, continuous improvement, and transparency
  • Minimizing the pressures of predetermined timelines and unnecessary work—87 percent of respondents to the Scrum Alliance's 2015 State of Scrum survey say their team's quality of work life has improved by using Scrum
  • Enhanced productivity and innovation due to self-organizing and self-managing teams
  • Rapid inspection, adaption, and pivoting of projects according to changing customer needs
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Agile Development: 4 Ways to Tell if You’re Living in the Past or Staying True to Agile Principles

By Jesica Wetherhold, CSP, PMP on Jun. 14, 2016 View Comments

Companies have a history of creating lengthy documentation that bogs down software development. In this “pre-Agile” era, requirements were established up front, testing didn’t occur until Agile methodologies developed, and the customer wasn’t involved until they were given the end product. Modifications and changes could cause an entire project to go way over budget or even fail. Everyone knew there had to be a better way.

In 2001, seventeen software gurus came together in Snowbird, Utah to eat, ski, and discuss different approaches to building software. These ‘organizational anarchists’ brought their independent initiatives with them, such as Feature Driven Development, Extreme Programming, Crystal, SCRUM, Adaptive Software Development, and pragmatic programming. Their common focus was on lightweight ways to develop software and by the end of the meeting they established the Agile Manifesto.

A principle of the Agile Manifesto states “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” We know it works. Its history tells a story and helps us understand the true value and impact of an Agile framework in today’s creative economy.

Ask yourself these 4 questions to determine if you’re living in Agile’s past or holding fast to its core guiding principles:

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Agile Transformation: 5 Changes Project Managers Can Expect

By Jesica Wetherhold, CSP, PMP on Nov. 17, 2015 View Comments

The manufacturing and software development fields have been using Lean and Agile principles for years, and service sectors like financial services and healthcare are rapidly following suit for project implementation and delivery. Companies want to find a competitive edge by delivering the most valuable product in the least amount of time, and Agile development methodology makes that a reality.

In order to succeed in Agile, it’s necessary to shift focus and thought processes around how to manage corporate initiatives. This is true across the organization, from C-suite executives and management teams to marketing, finance, and project management professionals. In fact, project managers will often need to take on new roles altogether, like “product owner” or “scrum master.”

As team members that are heavily affected by Agile processes, there are five key adjustments a project manager must prepare for in order to succeed in an Agile development transformation:

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