The Agile Practioner: The Product Organization

Products can take countless shapes and forms. In the software industry, in which Tom Bellinson works products are actually provided as a service to the customer, but make no mistake, we are a product company. Tom Bellinson expounds upon what a produce company means.

The Agile Practitioner: Agile Documentation

Tom Bellinson advises against standardization. If there’s one takeaway here, it is this: don’t standardize on one or two tools and force everyone to use them for their solution. Allow people to find the tools that fit their particular needs. This practice, he believes will result in a more productive staff and better outcomes that will more than justify the cost of the extra tools.

The Agile Practitioner: Workflow

In this Column, Tom talks about two topics that consistently come up in software development, but, he insists, they can most definitely apply to other product development processes as well: The amount of work in progress and the coupling/interdependency of components.

The Agile Practitioner: Agile Risk Management

Tom Bellinson describes how an agile team responds “when a deadline looms large.” Above all, product teams must have the freedom to deliver on the required outcomes for the customer in a highly flexible manner. An Agile team is trained for this purpose. Read more on this topic in Tom’s Column.

The Agile Practitioner: Business Process in an Agile Age

Tom cites a quote from The Agile Manifesto which states that the definition of Agile is “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools,” a phrase that he finds confusing. In this Column, he relates his efforts to uncover its meaning and shares his discovery with our readers.

The Agile Practitioner: The Importance of Trust

Tom’s role as a scrum master is to encourage practices that make the team more effective. Read why he considers trust an essential ingredient in accomplishing the goals if an “Agile” team.

The Agile Practitioner: Getting the Data

Tom Bellinson asserts that “To understand what is meant by “long-range planning,” we need to go back to the traditional approach to product planning.” In addition to gathering evidence, good product managers should also be directly interacting with users and associated product stakeholders.

The Agile Practitioner: Conflict is Scary

Tom Bellinson believes that conflict is scary, but he encourages risk-taking and change in the face of uncertainty. “Teams without a diversity of membership can fall into the group-think trap and become complacent.” Read his interesting take on the positive role conflict can play in leading to a successful outcome for the process team.

The Agile Practitioner: Striking a Balance–Meetings vs. Work

In this month’s Column, Tom urges practitioners to regularly evaluate what meetings are on their calendars and challenge their necessity. Meetings are, after all, time consuming and ultimately expensive in terms of sacrificing work time. He suggests a number of alternative communication methods and urges you to make sure that a meeting is the best option before choosing it.

The Agile Practitioner: Balancing Change

Tom Bellinson discusses lessons learned in a class he took to fulfill his scrum master certification training, “We must be willing to take bigger risks in the name of continuous improvement.” Read his compelling story drawn from Tom’s personal experience.

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