EppsNet Archive: Ken Schwaber

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 →

Communication Bandwidth


As I’m writing this article, I’m trying to formulate ideas, understandings, and experiences into words. When you read this article, you try to understand what I’m saying within the context of your experiences. In the process of narrowing my bandwidth to words, and you trying to expand the bandwidth from words to your understanding, a lot is lost. No matter how well I write and you read. And, most of us are not superb writers and readers. — Ken Schwaber Read more →

Why Would You Use Agile for Offshore Development?


More of my customers have been asking me how to use agile processes, particularly Scrum, to help them manage offshore development. Since offshore development undercuts many of the practices that promote agile productivity, I ask them why they don’t just increase the productivity of their teams by thoroughly introducing agility? It seems that offshore development, with its potential for lower unit costs (dollars per programmer day), offers management hope that their losses can be reduced. Since the project is probably going to fail anyway, let’s minimize our losses by lowering our investment by using lower priced resources. A more optimistic, agile, way of looking at this problem is to fix the problem at home and increase the probability of success. — Ken Schwaber Read more →

Waterfall: The USSR of Software


Think of waterfall as being similar in concept to the old USSR central planning of the economy. Think of Scrum as similar to a market economy. — Ken Schwaber Read more →

Schwaber on Scrum


You know that Scrum is gaining traction when all of the things that have been ignored to date become painfully obvious and you just wish you had never started the whole thing. This often happens within three months. At that point, the only thing that pulls me through is looking back and realizing that things have actually improved. — Ken Schwaber Read more →

Competitively Compelling


Ken Schwaber on software quality: I think what will happen is some places will really get it and will be so competitively compelling that others will have to rapidly change or go out of business. As an offset to that, consider that Ford has known for 40 years how Toyota builds cars. Read more →

Beware Metrics


Beware metrics. We are enamored with them from the days of waterfall, when we couldn’t tell what was going on until the end of the project. So, we devised metrics to attempt to read the tea leaves of what might be going on so we could get early warnings. Earned value is a great example of this. Also, we developed metrics to prove that things were improving to our customers even though over 1/2 of our projects failed. See, we are getting better, so leave us alone and please don’t fire us. — Ken Schwaber Read more →

The Legacy of Waterfall


We are so unprofessional it is incredible. The legacy of waterfall is so dominant it is scary. — Ken Schwaber Read more →