EppsNet Archive: Antipatterns

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 →

Antipattern: Exactly on Schedule

I work with a company that has the following set of milestones in its standard project methodology: Vision/Scope Complete Requirements Complete Design Complete Definition Complete Build Complete Test Complete Rollout Complete I’ve noticed an interesting pattern at the weekly enterprise status meetings: a significant number of projects report being exactly on schedule for each milestone — not one single day ahead or behind! — until they get to rollout, at which point they suddenly go several months late. Some things can be faked and some things can’t. As long as you have milestones that can be met simply by declaring them done, or by signing off on a document, you can always hit them on time. But when it comes to putting actual working software in front of a customer, that’s when you really have to deliver the goods, and that’s when the milestones start getting missed. This is a… Read more →

Antipattern: Bore People to Death With Your Job Ads

A common piece of advice to job seekers is: Don’t focus your resume and cover letter on what you want; focus on how you offer what the hiring company wants. This advice also applies in reverse to a hiring company writing a job ad, but in practice, it’s almost never followed, which is why this ad for a position at the Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) jumped out at me: Read more →