Essential Practices

Development Support Essentials - An Essential Practice

Development Support Essentials practice provides guidance to improve the development environment to enable faster delivery. This includes continuous integration, automated testing and deployment automation environments and tools.

The DevOps Essentials practice provides guidance to smooth the transition from development to release and increase feedback from operations back to development.

The Agile Governance Essentials practice provides the guidance to align decision checkpoints between different development endeavors and non-software activities.

Agile Architecture Essentials Flyer - Improve your software engineering

The Agile Architecture Essentials practice provides guidance for achieving just-in-time architecture preparation and continuous and emergent evolution of the software system.

Essence -Adaptive Funding Essentials

The Adaptive Funding (AF) practice provides guidance to allocate agile budgets across development portfolios and to forecast budget requirements in a continuous manner.

Agile Essential Team-Level Agile: Nail the Basics

We must work as a team! Teamwork is critical! There’s no ‘I’ in team! These mantras are plentiful and many Agilists believe that success at the team level is the foundation to success at the organizational level. But what does it really mean to work as team and is there a common recipe to build and grow a successful agile team? Agile believes in principles before practices and in multi-disciplined, self-organizing teams. All teams need direction and guidance, but with an agile approach no one should be telling the team how to do their job. Teams need to be empowered to make choices rather than be told exactly what to do. But sometimes things can start to unravel and too much time and energy can be wasted arguing about the basics. You can forget about scaling agile if your team is unable to clearly demonstrate the value of agile at the team level. But, get the basics right at the team level and engaged, highly motivated, cross-functional teams of teams can follow.

Essentializing DSDM Agile Projects paper, available to download

The challenges for many organizations when adopting DSDM (Dynamic System Development Method) are around mind set change, awareness and communication. The Essence standard helps teams navigate through many of the complex challenges common in software development delivery from helping teams identify and engage with the right stakeholders at the right time in the right way, to making health and progress visible to all in a language that everyone can understand. The Essence standard is presented in a number of tools such as a deck of Alpha State Cards, which are a simple, easy way to track status of a software project and help plan next steps. Applying Alpha State Cards with the DSDM Framework helps portray the aforementioned and enable communication between team members.

Milestone Mapping - Essential Game Play

When given a major piece of development work teams may want to identify some intermediate milestones to help improve their estimates and plans. This is particularly useful when the development involves high levels of innovation such as new teams, new ways of working, new technologies, new business domains, or new business partners. Use this game to visualize your milestones and form a light-weight roadmap for your software development. [Download the complete guide of all seven Alpha State Card games.](/publications/brochure/alpha-state-card-games)

Chase the State Alpha Card Game from Essence Agility Toolset

Often when developing software teams lose sight of the big picture, and don’t truly understand where they are. This fast, structured retrospective enables a team to quickly understand where they are with regards to their software development. It does it in a holistic fashion that will complement any other progress measures in use, whether they are burn-ups, burn-downs or some form of earned value. It takes the blinkers off and forces the team to review all aspects of software development. Use this game to determine the state of your software development efforts. [Download the...

Agile Gaming Objective Go: Alpha State Card Game

Objective Go is a simple way to ensure that a team’s objectives are balanced and that important aspects of software development are not overlooked when setting the teams short and long term objectives. Be careful not to take on too much or expect the states to be progressed too quickly. Many of the state changes will take time to achieve but making the objective clear will accelerate the team’s progress and make sure that all the aspects of software development are given the attention they deserve. [Download the complete guide of all seven Alpha State Card games.](/publications/brochure...

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