AlignIT Manager Tech Talk: Agile Software Delivery (Part 2 of 2)

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While you're working hard with today's technologies, you need to stay abreast of tomorrow's innovations. In this episode of the AlignIT Manager Tech Talk, Ruth Morton and Jonathan Rozenblit chat with Sam Guckenheimer, the man who wrote the book on Agile and Visual Studio, about how development teams can optimize Application Lifecycle Management, utilize advanced methods to deliver higher-value software faster, and systematically eliminate waste and inefficiency throughout the entire development lifecycle.

They discuss the concepts in Sam's latest book, Agile Software Engineering with Visual Studio: From Concept to Continuous Feedback including, but not limited to:

  • Empowering and engaging multidisciplinary self-managing teams
  • Overcoming causes of software waste, missed schedules, and poor quality
  • Reengineering development to remove overhead: make individuals more productive and empower high-performance teams
Featured Guest: Sam Guckenheimer

Sam has 28 years of experience as an architect, developer, tester, product manager, project manager, and general manager in the software industry in the US and Europe. Currently, Sam is the Group Product Planner for Microsoft Visual Studio. In this capacity, he acts as chief customer advocate, responsible for the end-to-end external design of the next releases of Visual Studio. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2003, Sam was Director of Product Line Strategy at Rational Software Corporation, now the Rational Division of IBM. He holds five patents on software lifecycle tools. A frequent speaker at industry conferences, Sam has guest lectured at Florida Tech, MIT, Harvard, and Yale. Sam is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard University.

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  • ALM Webcast Series: Microsoft invites you to participate in a five part webcast series designed to help you explore opportunities to minimize development costs within tight timelines while remaining agile throughout software development and test cycles.
  • Managing Complexity with Process, People, and Tools: Development teams are constantly challenged to deliver highly secure, quality software in an environment of growing business demand and quick time-to-market. Development managers are taking a more holistic approach to software development to help create an efficient and effective development process.
  • Delivering High Quality Software Through Agile: Delivering high quality software is a risky undertaking. Development and Quality Assurance managers are in a tight partnership over the war against software bugs. Software quality issues not only delay the time to market for a solution while increasing costs, but they also delay the subsequent benefits to the business.
  • Unify Your ALM Platform: A shared collaboration infrastructure based on Visual Studio Team Foundation Server can help teams break down barriers and deliver value to the customer while leveraging earlier tool investments.
  • Magic Quadrant for Integrated Software Quality Suites: See why Microsoft and its application lifecycle management platform are viewed as "Visionary" in this Gartner report.

About AlignIT Manager Tech Talk

The AlignIT Manager Talk is a monthly live streamed video series hosted by Ruth Morton (LinkedIn) and Jonathan Rozenblit (LinkedIn). Each Tech Talk episode airs on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 12:00pm to 12:30pm EST. The show focuses on a range of topics for both infrastructure and development managers and is interactive, taking questions via a live chat and providing answers on air.

About AlignIT

The Align IT program is dedicated to keeping IT leaders informed about what really matters in business and technology. We do that through in-person events, web casts, our blog and of course, this Manager Tech Talk series. You can find more information about the Align IT program at

Comments, suggestions and ideas for future topics can be left below as a comment or emailed directly to the Align IT program feedback alias at



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Very interesting discussion on software development agile practices and tools. My time bookmarks in minute:seconds format follow:   

    0:37 elements in SPRINT cadence are defined for good reason. Check the "what" (Sprint review) & "how" (retrospective)

    2:07 smell = what went wrong on how team works (Team Foundation Server (TFS) dashboard can help)

    2:47 bug reactivations is a smell indicator

    3:50 other indicators of smell are shown on TFS dashboard

    5:00 question on team roles and responsibilities in the face of new technology

    7:00 team perception in an agile project (cohesive team size: 6 +/- 3)

    7:30 more than 9 team members ==> too many communication paths for a cohesive team

    8:15 use scrum of scrums for multi-team collaboration

    8:57 Convey law: organizations are doomed to ship software that reflect their structure

    9:55 bring work to teams rather than shuffle people

    10:43 team cohesion works in your favor

    11:00 agile approach in adopting new technology: build golden thread, create prototype

    12:20 @jrozenblit question on agile adoption shift in mentality  

    12:55 Ford assembly line philosophy compared with Toyota

    15:40 what tooling can be used in an agile project?

    16:15 TFS as collaboration hub

    17:07 descriptive vs prescriptive metrics collected without overhead

    18:30 TFS helps collection of metrics

    19:30 question on user stories not perceived (valued) by customers

    22:20 not everything can fit as user story

    24:20 multifunctional, self-managing teams idea... eliminating the waste between developers & testers specific for traditional organizations

    25:25 "no more no repro" game ("it works on my machine" paradigm)

    26:25 reference to VS2010 15 scenarios used to eliminate waste in collaboration between developers & testers 

    27:20 tester - developer collaboration scenario facilitated by TFS

    29:10 reference to resources

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