Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

This in first instance is a place to collect interesting documents about "Agility" and how it fits to SF and how Agility and SF may profit from each other.
For discussions about this topic I prefer to do it in the SOLUTION-List: For me it is much comfortabler to write mails with a mail client compared with the restricted textbox-size in "ning"
with the list much more persons can follow the discussion in a well known and very simple way directly and not with alerts only....

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Yes, indeed - now I had a closer look into this site!

It it a GREAT resource!!!!! For example you find here:

* An Overview of Scrum
* Planning and Tracking on Agile Projects
* Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements
* Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements
* Planning and Tracking on Agile Projects
Bücher, Präsentationen, Videos, Podcasts, Merkblätter, Websites zu "Agility" auf DEUTSCH gibt es ==> HIER

This ressource is part of the Wiki of the German-speaking Scrum Community.

The community uses these pages to organize events and meeting within the community or just for discovering and finding people with similar interests in the German-speaking parts of Europe (mainly Germany, Switzerland and Austria).
Maybe these pages will evolve over time to become a platform for exchanging experiences and for acquiring deeper knowledge concerning Scrum and adjoining areas of interest.
A real case:

Provided by Professor Stuart Read.
He is Professor of Marketing at IMD Lausanne (1). He prepared this case of an application of SCRUM in a entire company as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a business situation.)

Here some lines of the introduction:

When John Seybold and his partners founded Guidewire (originally Centrica Software) in 2001, he knew little more about the insurance industry than an informed consumer. But as chief architect of the startup company, he also knew that he and the team had to learn quickly if they were going to convince mainstream insurers to scrap their expensive aging mainframes
and adopt Java-based solutions from an unknown and unproven
Seybold felt that the flexibility and speed they needed might be realized through current thinking on agile project management and a process called “Scrum.” An outcome of the Agile Manifesto, Scrum defined a new way of organization: One that focused on creating products with the customer; that cut out middle management; where projects ran on a monthly cycle; and
that enabled the team to rethink priorities and processes at the conclusion of each monthly cycle. Seybold and his partners were betting that this process would help them quickly create an opportunity in insurance software.

For more see attached document!

Prof. Stuart Read is currently developing cases and research in the following areas:
- New ventures and innovation
- Specifically investigating expertise in the entrepreneurial domain
- Marketing of innovations with network externalities
- Non-predictive strategies that enable managers to effectively make decisions in situations of true uncertainty

His academic credentials include a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Washington and a Bachelor's degree in computer science from Harvard University. He has nearly 20 years of industry experience, having participated in the creation of six high technology start-up firms. Four of those firms were acquired by industry leaders including Sun Microsystems and Lotus Development Corporation. Two are publicly traded. Stuart also spent 6 years with enterprise database software provider, Oracle Corporation.
Hi Hans-Peter,

here is the promised executive summary. You find further information about rapid prototyping on page 7,

best wishes,
Hi Helga, intersting, thank you for providing this paper!

Some comments from me:

I would like to understand better your view, that you see this paper related to "Agility in Projects and Management" or to SF.

IMHO this paper describes an attidude and a way to work based on classifications (page 4) and theories (page 12). And this for me is in contrast to the intentions of "agility" and "SF".

And also addressing a "blind spot" as the core message with this words:
"Why do our attempts to deal with the challenges of our time so often fail? Why are we stuck in so many quagmires today? The cause of our collective failure is that we are blind to the deeper dimension of leadership and transformational change. This “blind spot” exists not only in our collective leadership but also in our everyday social interactions. We are blind to the source dimension from which effective leadership and social action come into being."
for me is focused on a deficit and at the same time a bit too "mechanical": "The cause of our collective failure is..."
So, also this for me does not fit to SF...

I suggest to have - if you like it - a discussion about this in the SOLUTIONS-List!

Agile Product & Project Management Resource Center

Get insight into cutting-edge Agile Methodologies, software development techniques and project management practices directly from their founders.

Yesterday I attended the 3rd "Scrum Meeting" in Munich hosted by Allianz Insurance Company. It was a really GREAT event (designed as an Open Space) with about 50 participants.
As a giveaway at the end each participant received a deck of "Planning Poker Cards" sponsered by Allianz (Allianz is doing a lot of IT- and OE-projects based on "agile" priciples, especially using "scrum").
This cards are a nice example how to make estimations of the effort for tasks in a project not by an "expert in his cell" but as a "co-creative teamwork".

Here you find such cards (with instructions)
==> in English
==> in German
Lesenswertes über Agilität in Deutsch:
Jens Coldewey hat in seinem blog einen Bereich über Agilität und und in seiner Webseite eine Kolumne "Agile Entwicklung"
Danke für Referenz, Hans-Peter. Wichtig: Die Kolumne wurde 2005 beendet, derzeit pflege ich statt dessen meinen Blog. Die Kolumne besteht also eher aus Beiträgen aus der Frühzeit der Agilität. Ich habe aber festgestellt, dass durch die zunehmende Popularität von agilen Verfahren allgemein und Scrum im Besonderen diese Beiträge gerade von jenen, die neu dazu kommen, noch immer gerne gelesen werden
Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing... by James A. Highsmith
# Paperback: 392 pages
# Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated (December 1999)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0932633404
# ISBN-13: 978-0932633408

Comment by Elaine May (Portland, OR, USA):
I have worked at a Fortune 100 company for > 15 years as a software engineer, software manager, and consultant on improving software projects. During that time, I've read many texts on software engineering and software management. This book, more than any other I've read, best captures my philosophy of software management, except for the rants against software process and the SEI which I think are a little much at times. Really, what the author advocates (at least in my reading of this book) is a sensible balance -- not too much process nor too little. This book, along with Rapid Development, are my two favorite "handbooks" for software managers. If you're looking for a quick recipe that doesn't require thought and is guaranteed to be successful, you won't find it here. However, I'd argue that you won't find it anywhere. What you will find is a guide to developing your own "common sense" on software management.
Agile Software Development Ecosystems (The Agile Software Development Series) by Jim Highsmith
# Paperback: 448 pages
# Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (April 5, 2002)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0201760436
# ISBN-13: 978-0201760439

Customer Reviews:

By C. K. Ray "agile sw developer"
I found Jim Highsmith's Agile Software Development Ecosystems to be an easier read than his first book Adaptive Software Development.

This one is an overview of the Agile methods and people behind them -- Scrum, Dynamic Systems Development Method, Crystal Clear, Feature Driven Development, Lean Development, Extreme Programming, Adaptive Software Development, Kent Beck, Alistair Cockburn, Ken Schwaber, Martin Fowler, Ward Cunningham, himself, Bob Charette -- and descriptions of some projects each method was used on.

None of the method descriptions are in-depth enough to actually do them, but they provide enough information to point you into a direction for further investigation. There is some discussion about Agile principles and values, and Agile methods versus non-Agile methods and Company Culture and Market Style, and some discussion on "how to make your own agile methodology" (or how to adapt one to your company's requirements).

I recommend it.

By B. K. Lau (Arlington, MA USA)
This book is about "The Agile Movement", if there is such a word.
This books attempts to convey the rationale and "night thoughts" of veterans who have been the route of traditional methodologies and UML and the hard lessons learned.
It is an interesting and eye-opening book along the line of "The Mythical Man Month" that every software architects, program managers and students of software engineering should read. It does holds its concerns well. An analogy from the art world would be fit here:
It is an "Impressionist" software practices resurgent in responding to traditional "Renaissance" software practices in responding to market forces and expectation and to "get the job done", avoiding over-engineered and over modelled process.

Whether Agile movement will be the last say in software process in the next decade is hard to say.
One big problem with software is that there are lack of accountability that other engineering discipline have and does not seem to fit the shoe as well other disciplines.(civil,electrical,etc). No one got drag to court if a software fails miserably. Compare that to a bridge or house collapsing.
So the ultimate question is "What is Software Engineering and does it makes sense?".
I think by reading this book will provoke you into thinking.





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