Home » Author Archives: Gil Zilberfeld

Author Archives: Gil Zilberfeld

The Story with Story Points

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I don’t like story points. I think this is part of my crusade against complexity. You can catch a glimpse of  it here. Story points were invented as supporting beams for the bridge between business and development that would later be called agile. They started with a very good concept that wasn’t there before: The story. Remember those hundred page specs, and ...

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Estimates: Jumping To Wrong Conclusions

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The main dysfunctions we concentrate on when talking about estimates are how they (and the people who gave them) are treated once they are given.  Management asks for estimations and then either: Disregards them completely and sets a deadline that ignores the estimates, made by the people who actually know and will do the work. Inflate them because “they are always late”. ...

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How To Make The Most Of Failure

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I was asked a hypothetical question: If someone caused a major failure to the business, would that be a reason to fire her. I said no, because:               It is unlikely that a single individual can actually be the only accountable person in such a scenario. If the error wasn’t malicious, that makes the failure a ...

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The “Done” Fallacy

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One of the earliest ideas you learn as an agile practitioner is “Done, Done, Done”. There’s a lot of thinking behind it, but for me it boils down to trust. When you don’t know what “done” means, the next person who gets you’re deliverable might be surprised. As a rule, we don’t like surprises. So regardless of when it’s going to ...

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Copy-Paste Culture

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At Agile Israel conference, I was recruited to a “Hit The Experts” panel on engineering practices. Ok, I didn’t put too much of a fight. Most of the questions were not of the engineering nature, though. One of the questions went like this: We’ve adapted the Spotify model, and now there’s no specialization, expectations from testers to write code, and ...

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3 Questions of Effective Daily Meetings

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Are your daily meetings effective? When you ask what people want from daily meetings, the answer is that they’d be short. Or Shorter. These answers usually come from people who suffer from long meetings and many other meetings in general. They want to just get back to their work. However, focusing on the length of the daily meeting, is about ...

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Why Start-Ups Fail

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You’ve probably heard that a start-up’s chance of success is very low. There are many factors of why that happens. I want to illustrate this through the waterfall process that plagues many companies,. Waterfall, the root of all evil? Wasn’t it killed by agile? We’ll see. The process we’re talking about looks like this:     Vision – A startup ...

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Why “No Source Control” Is Not A Problem

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Because having source control is a solution. Sometimes we get fixated on something that’s missing, and we’re sure that’s the problem. When we can control it, it really isn’t a “real” problem, because it’s easily solved. But in many cases, the solution is out of our control, and we think that if only we had that missing piece of the ...

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The Lean Learning Board

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A while back, when I wore my product hat, I started referring to the product backlog as an option backlog. We had lots of ideas going in there, but they were basically stories that we didn’t commit to implementing. Instead, we could pick from our options based on our understanding  of the market, our capabilities and so on. Only when ...

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The New Agile–Decisions, Decisions

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In the new knowledge economy, the winners are the ones who learn quickly. But learning means nothing, if it cannot be applied to the business. So the winners are the ones who learn, and use that knowledge, by deciding where to go, and what to do next. If decision making is the king maker, it can also come back to ...

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