Top 10 Top 10 Agile Lists

Top10Top10A while back I stumbled upon a clever blog post that showed the Top 10 of Top 10 lists and given my lack of creativeness today, I thought I would put together a Top 10 of Top 10 Agile Lists. I took this on and felt it would be an easy task given the amount that folks are talking and writing about agile. Well, it really wasn’t that easy, but I did find 10 Agile Top 10’s that are worth a read. Check them out, and please share your thoughts and links to other agile blogs that you feel are good ones:

#10 10 Misunderstandings About Agile Development. Written by the folks that maintain the Scrum Project Management blog, this is a clever and funny blog that tries to dispel some of the misgivings of agile. My favorites are “We do not want testers in Agile Development” and “Agile will likely be too chaotic to track progress.”

#9 Top Ten Agile Analogies. Damon Poole (founder and CTO of Accurev) is a funny guy without writing this blog, but he of course delivers with this one on Do it Yourself Agile blog. My favorite from this one is an anonymous quote, “Agile is like being pregnant, either you are or you aren’t.”

#8 10 Contracts for Your Next Agile Project. This is not really a top 10 list; however, it is a solid list of 10 contracting methods you can use if you are starting/contracting on a project that will be an agile project. It’s a good read and a constant question I hear while working with teams.

#7 Top Ten Organizational Impediments. This blog was penned by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, this top ten list lays out some of the issues that slow or prevent organizations from successfully using agile as a software development process. Much of the list centers around the organizations that say they are agile but they are not serious about it. What I mean is that they are not aware of the commitment they must make.

#6 Top 10 Estimation Best Practices. I like to say that we make estimating way too complex; however, we all do it and we do make it too complex. This blog from Leading Answers (Mike Griffiths) takes a fairly broad brush and paints out 10 guidelines surrounding estimation. The best point made is “Agree on what ‘It’ and ‘Done’ Means”. This is where the conversations for agile requirements should be centered and estimation will be natural and easy.

#5 Top 10 Essential Product Owner Characteristics. Peter Saddington does a great job maintaining AgileScout, and he has done a good job helping to hone the skills of the ever important Product Owner role. This top 10 list does a great job spelling out those things to look for within a good product owner — the best one here is “Collaborative by choice.” To me, this characteristic is make or break when it comes to a good Product Owner.

#4 Top Ten Reasons to Love Agile Testing. This is a favorite list of mine. One reason is that a team that has embraced Agile Testing best practices is usually a successful agile team and the second reason is that it is a fun list.

#3 Top 10 Agile Development Traps. Found on by Vin D’Amico, this blog posting should be shared with all developers as part of their training and indoctrination to agile development. I’ve seen multiple teams fall into these traps.

#2 10 Agile Strengths. John Goodpasture writes a great positive blog about why Agile has worked for him. He stated that his first post about agile weaknesses went negative and I must say, you are not alone. A lot of folks write negative slanted blogs about agile and it was bought for me to find many positive top ten lists. I don’t get this because I see that when Agile principles are applied and used, the long-term results are positive. Nonetheless, thanks John for writing a positive top 10!

#1 Top Ten Things Programmers Hate About Agile. And to wrap up this top 10 of top 10’s, Damon Poole provides us the perfect satirical top ten to make folks reflect on why they think they don’t like agile. It’s a great list in that it pokes good fun at some behavioral aspects of developers/engineers which often lead us to dislike the fun change that Agile introduces. Nice job Damon 🙂

If you have a top 10 list to share, please post a comment and a link.

My career journey has had me wearing many hats ranging from Systems Analyst to Programmer to IT Manager to Programmer to Director. Today, I work as a coach and instructor to the leadership and team members of organizations on their agility journey. I'm constantly practicing to be a good learner, aspiring to be an inspiring leader, and I'm constantly walking the line between pragmatism and conviction when it comes to the application of lean and agile principles and practices.

Matt’s purpose is simple, “I believe in working with teams to help them get better, learn, and be successful in building stuff while having fun.”

At the end of the day, Matt believes in integrity, hard work, curiosity, people, and faith.


    • Great point Peter, thanks for putting that out there too! I hope to one day be on it 🙂 is a link I always recommend.

      If everyone hasn’t checked out the Top 200, they are missing out — I used it to help bootstrap my Feedly.

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