Introduction Software is everywhere. A lot of it works well all day long. Some of it is terrible. Some of it can kill you. This article is about critical software, the stuff that really needs to work, and that can have significant consequences if it doesn’t. There are three trends I have noticed in software …continue reading >
Management, Project Management, and Scrum Master Roles — Who Does What?
Introduction Wow! The lesson I have learned is not to read literature any more. A literature search on “Management, Project Management, and Scrum Master Roles” will make you dizzy, nauseous, and state every possible opinion as the correct one! The bottom line is that the word “manage” has been around for hundreds of years. When …continue reading >
Leading Agile Organizations — Young or Adult Characteristics?
Introduction There are lots of Agile teams out there in the world. Some are having a great time with great results. Many have come to rely on brute force and long hours. In these organizations, not even the Agile practices (e.g., backlog, estimation, planning, “done”) are followed — it’s more like code, ship, and hope. However, …continue reading >
Six Immediately Usable Requirements Tips
Introduction Across the software development industry, the goal that managers mostly care about is schedule. “Schedule is king” is the driving force. The goal is usually communicated as, “Deliver it by mm/dd/yyyy,” with only a confusing or vague definition of what “it” is (see diagram). The manager is (kind of) happy because a deadline has been established. The team …continue reading >
If Only We Could Achieve Our CMMI/ISO/ITIL/? Goal
We Could Get Better Results, Stand Out and Beat the Competition Introduction Your company is small and has been wanting to be appraised, certified or assessed with CMMI, ISO or ITIL for 2-3 years, but you are just not making progress. If you could just get there you would be able to: Resolve chronic project …continue reading >
Scrum/Agile Teams, Hard Skills and Results
Introduction There is a trend in the Agile/Scrum world to focus on soft skills rather than hard skills. When I talk to a typical “Agile Coach” or “Agile Transformational Coach,” they are able to summarize Scrum and might have some good skills on organizational change, dealing with resistance and getting introverted developers to talk. These …continue reading >
Five Short Stories of Results and Lessons — How We Help
Introduction If you are pulling your hair out with your organization, keep reading! In this tidbit I will share some stories of how we have helped companies with the various challenges they faced. Pick out a lesson from one of the stories and try something different to improve your results! There are five short stories …continue reading >
Does Quality Matter?
Introduction Whether product quality matters depends on whom you ask. Some organizations have come to believe that quality is a nice-to-have characteristic on lucky days. A few organizations treat quality as a competitive and efficiency advantage that must be achieved. On the whole, my experience is that most organizations value shipping something by a deadline …continue reading >
Making Money With Agile: Tranquil Lake or Shark-infested Ocean?
Introduction The world is going Agile. Sometimes with intent and caution, sometimes to address a previous challenge, sometimes “just because.” The benefit of Agile is that a project team is able to get early feedback about its work and incorporate changes every sprint. The risk is that the team uses this discover-as-we-go approach as the …continue reading >
Invest One Hour and Get Two Back — Use Practices That Are Out There!
Introduction Most project teams perform well day-to-day and survive, but with a few new practices life could be better. “Better” might mean less rework, less chaos, less overtime or better customer satisfaction. Newer practices already exist in published standards and frameworks. When people refer to published standards and frameworks they often refer to them as …continue reading >
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