The Agile Architect


To Be Agile, Beware the Comforts of Ritual

Ritual is a comforting and seductive mistress. But how do you prevent it from holding you back? Our Agile Architect shares his thoughts.

Protecting Your Fragile Agile Culture

An agile development culture is both precious and fragile. Our Agile Architect points out some warning signs that yours may be breaking down.

An Agile Holiday Open House

In the spirit of the holiday season, our Agile Architect welcomes you into his workspace and shares the ambiance of the agile experience.

Agile Expressionism 101

Our Agile Architect explains some of the expressions you'll hear in an agile environment.

True Quality Assurance in an Agile World

Quality Assurance is not just about testing a system. The role of QA on an agile team is much greater than that, elevating the QA engineer to a god among men.

Breaking Through Development Project Barriers

We often find ourselves surrounded by barriers, both real and imagined, that prevent us from doing our job. Our Agile Architect explains why it's important to break down these barriers and how agile practices can help.

Measuring the Business Value of Projects with Agile

Measuring business value is a challenge regardless of the methodology you use. Our Agile Architect explains how agile principles and practices can be used to ask the right questions.

Agile Humor: 5 Radio Ads and Announcements We'll Never Hear

Our Agile Architect provides absolutely nothing of value in this column. But you might enjoy reading it anyway.

The Art of Writing Agile Stories Redux

Our Agile Architect delves deeper into agile story writing by illustrating his own thought processes when evolving stories from concept to final form.

Defining Your Product with Agile Stories

Building the right product is critical for success. Our Agile Architect shows you how to write carefully crafted stories to define your product and drive agile development. 

Reducing Agile Project Costs With Amortization

The Agile Architect explains how to reduce the cost of large efforts while immediately realizing the benefits. His secret: amortize!

Good Agile Is Messy Agile

Our Agile Architect explains why a clean, well-organized environment is bad for your Agile project.

Agile Deadline Ahead: Calculating Velocity

This month our Agile Architect tackles how you can answer perhaps the most important question of any development project: Are we going to make our deadline?

Picking an Agile Pilot Project: First Impressions Matter

This may be the most important decision in getting agile implemented in your shop long-term. Mark J. Balbes breaks down all the criteria to help you make the right choice.

Continuous Improvement: The Importance of the Team Retrospective

Even good agile teams can get better. Mark J. Balbes walks you through how retrospectives have impacted his team and shows you options for yours.

Agile Holiday Wishes: T'was the Night Before Release...

Our agile architect offers a programming twist on a classic holiday tale.

Dealing with Technical Debt: An Agile Horror Story

Halloween may be over but our Agile Architect has a terror tale for you just the same. It always seems like the right time to incur technical debt but never the right time to pay it off. So don't incur it or this could happen to you...

Project Management Is Not Enough: 4 Crucial Agile Techniques

Why you need automated testing, continuous integration, test-driven development and -- yes -- pair programming for agile to be successful.

You Can't Do Agile If You Haven't Seen Agile

Do all the research you want, but according to our expert, successful agile transitions require someone who's actually spent time in an agile environment.

Agile and CMMI, Part II: Tips from the Trenches

Facing CMMI appraisal? Mark walks you through how he completed the Risk Management and Decision Analysis portions of CMMI Maturity Level 3 for his agile shop.

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