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Author Archives: Allan Kelly

Allan Kelly
Allan Kelly has held just about every job in IT, these days he provides training and consulting in development management, processes & products, especially around Agile. He specializes in working with software product companies, aligning company strategy with products and processes. More about Allan at http://www.softwarestrategy.co.uk/allankelly

Management work: Strategy and Planning?

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In my list of management work last week I left what some people will think of as a major omission: strategy and planning. There is a school of thought that says that managers spend, or at least should spend, a lot of their time engaged in thinking big thoughts, having big discussions, creating company and product strategy. Sure thats why ...

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What is management work?

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Continuing my discuss of management, broadly speaking my argument is: There is management work to do – the same as there is coding, testing and customer understanding. To pretend there isn’t such work to do, that all software development might be reduced to rational engineering is naive. Much of management work may be administration, we might be able reduce the ...

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Thoughts on the nature of management work

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Returning to my Management, my mini-series of blog… (Non-Commissioned Managers, Analysts aren’t managers and Managers who are not managers) Lots of Agile advocates have a real downer on Management. I think (like myself) they dislike the authority conferred on “managers”. This may be dressed up as a rational dislike of top-down reasoning – and they have a point – but ...

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Analysts aren’t managers

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Continuing from my last blog, Managers who aren’t managers, I need to say a bit more about people who aren’t managers but get talked about managers. This is a group of people who aren’t managers and wouldn’t consider themselves managers but programmers and testers consider to be managers. I’m thinking specifically about Business Analysts but there are others. To a ...

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Managers who are not managers

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I’m continuing my theme of management from my January blog (“It takes an engineer to manage engineering”) we need to clear up some terminology. I often hear form people at Agile conferences that we should get rid of managers but they offer up no definition of manager. Let me suggest that the title “manager” is thrown around quite lightly these ...

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It takes an engineer to manage engineering

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I’ve been meaning to write about the managers and Agile software development for a long time. And, apart from a few asides, I haven’t. Why not? Well partly because the topic is difficult, or rather large, but mostly I’ve not written it because I’m fearful of the flames that will come down on me. You see I think managers have ...

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The staffing pyramid

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When I see development teams I expect to see more programmers than requirements people (BAs, Product Managers, etc.), and I expect to see even fewer management types. Think of it like a staffing pyramid structure:                 Programmers (and often testers) should form the largest group, without programmers there is no software, and while ...

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Agile adoption by numbers – and some problems

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I’ve done a few agile introductions in my time, in fact I’ve started to feel I could almost write a book entitled “agile by numbers”. So yesterday when this question appeared on some LinkedIn group I thought I’d give it a quick go: “I am working with an organization which wants to explore agile adoption. What are the some of ...

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Large companies and fast cars

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A few weeks ago I tweeted: “Large companies trying to be Agile remind me of middle aged men buying sports cars” I wasn’t saying large companies couldn’t be Agile – heaven knows most are trying and a few have successful software teams but on the whole the successes are few and far between. My thinking has nothing to with whether ...

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Stop empowering people – End disempowerment!

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In the last two posts I’ve discussed some problems with of self-organizing teams and highlighted the need to be clearer about what is actually meant when talking of, that is naming, self-organizing teams. At a minimum the labels need clear definition (I suggested some definitions and I hope someone knows some better ones.) I went further and I called for ...

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