EppsNet Archive: Agile

Developers Should Abandon Agile

No matter what framework or method your management thinks they are applying, learn to work this way: Produce running, tested, working, integrated software every two weeks, every week. Build your skills until you can create a new fully operational version every day, twice a day, multiple times a day. Keep the design of that software clean. As it grows, the design will tend to become complex and crufty. Resist and reverse this tendency consciously, refactoring in tiny continuous steps, all the time, so that your rate of progress is as steady and consistent as possible. Use the current increment of software as the foundation for all your conversations with your product leadership and management. Speak in terms of what’s ready to go, and in terms of what they’d like you to do next. This is the development team’s best hope for a reasonable life. By keeping the software always ready… Read more →

Antipattern: Daily Standup is Too Long

Scrum recommends timeboxing daily standup meetings at 15 minutes. If you can’t finish in 15 minutes, there may be something wrong with your format. Are you actually standing up? What are you talking about? Each person should answer three questions: What have you accomplished since the last meeting? What do you plan to accomplish between now and the next meeting? What, if anything, is impeding your progress? Focus on accomplishments, not just assigned tasks, i.e., don’t say “I’m working on A and I’m planning to work on B.” Don’t have discussions. Anything coming out at the meeting that needs to be discussed can be discussed after the meeting. Try saying this more often: Let’s talk about that after the meeting. Immediately after the meeting if necessary, without even leaving the room, but not during the meeting. Anyone in the meeting who is not responsible for accomplishing things during the sprint… Read more →

Risk = Cumulative Cost – Cumulative Value

Henrik Kniberg has a presentation online called “What is Agile?” It includes a method of visualizing risk as the gap between cumulative cost and cumulative value, as well as methods of visualizing risk mitigation strategies. I found it valuable. Here are some representative slides: Read more →

All Projects Should Be Early

From a Jeff Sutherland Scrum deck: You can maximize the value delivered per unit of time or cost by shipping when the value curve starts to flatten out. Read more →

Agile, ALM, and Agile 2.0 — Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

Speaking of selling chickens still in shells, an august panel of industry giants laid out their recent improvements and plans for ALM products (Application Lifecycle Management, for those not in the know). These guys dazzled the audience with how they’ve moved far beyond simple source code repositories and testing tools to a complete integration of all modern software practices. Quite a coup, indeed, since most real live software developers I’m seeing out there today still aren’t using the practices automated by the ALM tools. . . . In other words, many software developers aren’t using practices such as test driven development or source version control. Yet here are HP, Microsoft, and IBM announcing new ALM tools that automate more advanced practice in areas not even in use in the first place. Unbelievable. — Ken Schwaber Read more →

Are Daily Stand-Ups Harming Your Team?

Woody Zuill: Are Daily Stand-Ups Harming Your Team? Read more →

It’s a Seller’s Job Market in IT Right Now, Especially for Agile

I recently concluded a 3-month job search. As part of my networking, I met a number of unemployed people in other fields who were having trouble not only getting jobs, but even getting interviews. I talked to a lot of people and averaged about an interview a day, including phone interviews, mostly for development manager jobs. For every development manager job, there are multiple development jobs, so if you’re a developer, your situation is even better than mine was. I live in Southern California, but the demand is not just local. I had multiple contacts from companies outside the SoCal area that can’t find qualified candidates. I’ve been working again for over two months, I no longer have an active résumé on job boards, and I still get emails and calls every day from recruiters all over the country. Agile and Scrum are in demand The situation with Agile and… Read more →

Customer Discovery and Customer Validation

Ask yourself these questions: Do these users in your user stories exist and have you ever spoken to them? How are these features helping your customers achieve their goals? Are these benefits based on any quantitative or qualitative data? — The Product Owner’s Dilemma | Scrumology Read more →

Ruby on Rails for Rubes

The biggest headache in software development is that most programmers can’t program and don’t want to learn anything. I recently finished up a MOOC called Software Engineering for SaaS, offered by UC Berkeley through Coursera. For a modest investment of a few hours a week for five weeks, I learned some Ruby on Rails — a well-designed platform and a lot of fun to work with — as well as tools like GitHub, Cucumber, RSpec, SimpleCov and Heroku. Over 50,000 students from 150 countries signed up for the class. According to a final email from the professors, about 10,000 students attempted at least one assignment or quiz. Or to look at another way, 80 percent of the students gave up without even trying. Approximately 2,000 students, or 4 percent, completed all four of the assignments and the three quizzes. One of the enrollees who gave up without trying is a… Read more →

The Essence of Scrum

Good short article by Tobias Mayer on the principles of empiricism, emergence and self-organization, and the mechanisms of prioritization and timeboxing. Read more →

INVEST in Good Stories

What are the characteristics of a good user story? Bill Wake developed the INVEST acronym: I – Independent N – Negotiable V – Valuable E – Estimable S – Small T – Testable For a short description of each attribute, see Wake’s excellent article. Read more →

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