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Agile

A sad Cobol story

This isn’t a happy story, it has no happy ending, I suffered personally, its personal but I want to share. Its about trying to solve a problem with the fashionable solution rather than rolling back the last fashionable solution you applied which created the problem to start with… A long time ago, well, the best part of 10 years ago, ...

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Project vs product teams

One of the hardest things for companies trying to be agile is how to structure teams. Back in the bad-old days, teams would form around a project. Then six months later, everyone would dissipate and go onto new teams. By the time a team has formed and become effective it is ripped apart again. You get no sense of ownership, ...

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Cross-functional teams

Cross-functional teams aren’t a new idea. And yet, somehow, we still don’t seem to have got the memo. I was listening to the excellent Scott Hanselman’s podcast “Hanselminutes” last week, he had Angie Jones on to talk about automation. Among all the great advice around ensuring that automation is a first-class citizen in your development process one thing stood out ...

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How Much Do You Love Conflict?

Conflict is what progress is made of. A professional and well-managed team loves conflicts and creates them on a daily basis. A professional project manager provokes conflicts and makes sure none of them end in a consensus. Does that sound strange? It’s not sarcasm. Read on.                 Have you ever heard the term ...

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Consider Rolling Wave Roadmap and Backlog Planning

Many agile teams attempt to plan for an entire quarter at a time. Sometimes, that works quite well. You have deliverables, and everyone understands the order in which you need to deliver them. You use agile because you can receive feedback about the work as you proceed. You might make small adjustments, and you manage to stay on track with ...

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You may not need a Tech Lead, but others do

Vinicius sent me a tweet about an article he published called We don’t need a Tech Lead in response to an older article of mine, “Do we need a Tech Lead?” I wanted to respond earlier, but tweets were too restrictive. Here’s my response. The argument against Tech Leads The article rebuts the necessity for a Tech Lead with the ...

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Cost Accounting is a Problem for Agile (and Knowledge Work)

The more I work with project portfolio teams and program managers, the more I understand one thing: Cost accounting makes little sense in the small for agile, maybe for all knowledge work. I should say that I often see cost accounting in the form of activity-based accounting. Each function contributes to some of the cost of the thing you’re producing. ...

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Decision Time: How Decision Rules Help You Make Better Product Decisions

As product managers and product owners, we make a myriad of decisions—from shaping the product strategy and determining the product roadmap to deciding the detailed functionality of our products. But do we make all these decisions effectively? And do we always secure the necessary buy-in? This post helps you make better decisions. It discusses five common decision rules and explains ...

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Pushing vs. Pulling Work in Your Agile Project

If you’re thinking about agile or trying to use it, you probably started with iterations in some form. You tried (and might be still trying) to estimate what you can fit into an iteration. That’s called “pushing” work, where you commit to some number of items of work in advance. And, if you have to service interruptions, such as support ...

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Iterations and Increments

Agile is iterative and incremental development and frequent delivery with cultural change for transparency. What do the words iterative and incremental mean? Iterative means we take a one-piece-at-a-time for creating an entire feature. Iterative approaches manage the technical risk. We learn about the risk as we iterate through the entire feature set. Incremental means we deliver those pieces of value. Incremental approaches ...

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