Posts Tagged ‘agile’

  

Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast

I recently saw an email from a colleague who mentioned that they did not have time to properly resolve a technical issue because they needed to hurry to get their code ready for testing. At the time, I was reading Stephen Hunter’s novel The 47th Samurai about an U.S. sniper. One of the themes within […]

Maintaining Business Velocity

Much has been written about how to increase and maintain the velocity of development, especially in an Agile context. But relatively less is said about business velocity – the ability of the product owner or business team to produce sufficiently refined requirements (e.g. user stories) to keep up with the pace of development. Lean thinking […]

The Two Domain Problem

Most professions and trades only need to know their own domain of practice, not the customers. When you see a dentist or a plumber they do not need to understand what you do in order to work on your teeth or your plumbing. Software development is different: its essence is the automation of work. So […]

Scaling Up From One Developer

I have noticed a common problem afflicting small development teams formed to make significant enhancements to an application that was previously maintained by just one developer. Both the original maintenance developer and their management are accustomed to essentially solo development and this culture spills into the enhancement work. Development is treated as individual efforts rather […]

The Mindset of a ScrumMaster

I have been familiar with the Scrum method for developing software for a number of years. Scrum is a simple tool: it defines just a few meetings, artifacts, and roles. So the basic mechanics of scrum are easy to pick up. Using Scrum to its fullest potential, however, requires a much deeper understanding. One area […]

Industry Adoption of Agile

Agile methods have seen a surge of adoption within I.T. in the last few years. Agile is clearly not a fad or limited to early adopters – it has entered the mainstream and is here to stay. For those of you not yet using Agile, I wanted to provide statistics and recommendations from widely-recognized industry […]

Adopting Agile in Government

As Agile is seeing widespread adoption in many industry sectors, what about within government (public sector) organizations? Can Agile work within governments? What are some challenges and risks to watch out for? I’m giving a presentation on this topic Thursday, May 17th, 2012 at noon that aims to answer these questions and provide guidance based […]

The Shocking Truth about Agile and Waterfall

There is a common perception within I.T. that Agile methods are recent innovations – the new kids on the block – and they are contrasted with the traditional waterfall approach – the old-timer that has been around for ages. This perception is propagated by events such as the widely-discussed 10-year anniversary of the agile manifesto […]

Alternatives to Formal Traceability

In my prior post The Trouble with Traceability I discussed the problems with doing requirements traceability, especially formal traceability using approaches like a requirements traceability matrix (RTM). Despite the flaws with traceability the underlying objective is sound: ensure that everything the customer or user requires is correctly delivered. So how can we achieve this objective? […]

Defects – To Fix or Not to Fix

To fix defects or not fix defects, that is the question: whether it is better to suffer the complaints of outraged users, or to divert effort to investigate and eliminate them. Shakespeare quotes aside, every software development project has to make decisions on how many defects to fix and which ones to leave alone prior […]

Connecting with Calgary

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Calgary, Alberta to visit the CGI office there and hang out with several of the development teams. These teams have extensive experience with larger-scale agile development including both XP and Scrum and have a good reputation for having a great development culture that excels at mentoring and […]

Comparing Agile and Traditional Project Management

I just attended a great presentation about Agile project management by Mike Cottmeyer at Agile Edmonton’s monthly meeting. What stood out for me were two comparisons Mike made between Agile project management and traditional approaches (e.g. waterfall project, PMI/PMP). Dealing with Uncertainty Mike characterized traditional approaches as trying to manage out uncertainty in the effort […]

The Most Effective Method of Quality Assurance

The goal of quality assurance (QA) activities is to ensure that a particular work product is of sufficient quality. Work product most typically refers to the software making up the system, but can also be applied to related documentation (requirements or design) or even processes. Two common methods for doing QA are reviews and testing, […]

To Be or Not To Be Agile

I am a big fan of the agile philosophy of software development as summarized by the Agile Manifesto. The agile approach fits well with my pragmatic mindset, and I consider myself an agile practitioner, despite currently working in a bureaucratic environment providing application development and maintenance services to a large, process-heavy government client. But then […]