Agile for managing a research data team


An interesting read: Lessons learned managing a research data science team on the ACMqueue magazine by Kate Matsudaira.

The author described how she managed a data science team in her role as VP engineering at a data mining startup.

When you have a team of people working on hard data science problems, the things that work in traditional software don’t always apply. When you are doing research and experiments, the work can be ambiguous, unpredictable, and the results can be hard to measure.

These are the changes that the team implemented in the process: Continue reading “Agile for managing a research data team”

Modern agile?

InfoQ recently posted an article about something called “Modern Agile” by Joshua Kerievsky which sparked my curiosity. It seems that there is also a website but did not find other references beside the author’s articles or keynote.

What is modern agile?

Modern Agile is ultra-light, the opposite of mainstream Agile, which is drowning in a bloated tangle of enterprise tools, scaling frameworks and questionable certificates that yield more bureaucracy than results.

Well, after reading it, seems to me that is nothing more than the principles already outlined in the original Agile Manifesto.
Not sure what Modern stays for …

Modern Agile has no roles, responsibilities or anointed practices. Instead, it is defined by four guiding principles

  1. Make People Awesome
  2. Deliver Value Continuously
  3. Make Safety a Prerequisite
  4. Experiment and Learn Rapidly

It goes then on to describe how these four guiding principles match one-to-one with the four Agile values from the manifesto … well, then why do we need them?

I fully agree that some interpretations (is this what is intended with “mainstream”?) of Agile (or better, Scrum …) are becoming over-engineered with all these frameworks but in its original concept was already a light process with only four values.

No need of new interpretations.
Let’s just go back to the roots of Agile mindset.

My new book: “from Zero to Agile”


I have just published on Amazon my new book about Agile.

Agile is on great advance, more and more organisations and teams adopting it. But what is it exactly? And how do you become agile?

In this book I want to show how is possible to introduce gradually a series of changes so that at the end your organisation will be agile (i.e., it has understood the Agile values and principles and know how to apply them), not only does some kind of Agile practices.

Through examples you can see how to introduce and tailor the Agile principles, week after week: in 8 weeks we took a team with no prior experience of Agile into changing its mentality and attitude.

I hope this journey can help your team (and further: the entire organisation) to do a similar one toward the same goal: being Agile.

The examples show which are the general principles and why / when they make sense, so you will be able to inspect your situation, adapt these principles (as needed) and adopt them, finally repeating this cycle continuously.

Build your method up, don’t tailor it down.

Finally, this book is about agility as values system, culture, mind-set, and not about a specific process or methodology. All the currently most used methodologies – Scrum, Lean and Kanban – will be described, each one with its advantages and disadvantages.

The book contains revised versions of the posts published here in the past plus several brand new chapters (about Kanban, how to scale Agile and many examples of retrospectives for each topic introduced every week).