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The T-Shape Deception

I have never worked with a single person who mastered no more than a single skill. Every individual I worked with had the intrinsic capability to perform in more than one type of work. Every individual I worked with had the intrinsic ability to join forces with people that master other areas of expertise. Every individual is naturally T-shaped. Ultimately, people ...

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When does a Start-Up need Agile?

I started writing another piece on more economic and agile/software development but it got to long, so right now, an aside… Back in 1968 Peter Drucker wrote: “Large organizations cannot be versatile. A large organization is effective through its mass rather than through its agility.” Last week I presented “Agile for Start-ups” here in London for the third time. Each time I’ve given this ...

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Creating opportunities to deliver value (as an Independent Scrum Caretaker)

I have wandered the fascinating realms of IT, technology and software development since graduating in 1992, except for the years of running a bookstore (1996-1999). I discovered an Agile way of working through eXtreme Programming and Scrum in 2003. It became my purpose, my belief and my core; spreading the Agile paradigm to help people create better products and humanize ...

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Measure Your Cost per Feature

As Mark Kilby and I work on the geographically distributed teams book, I realized this morning that we need to define cost per feature. I already wrote Wage Cost and Project Labor Cost and the management myth that it’s cheaper to hire people where the wages are less expensive. (It might be, but it might not be.) That’s because of ...

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1% improvement

Keeping with the numerical and financial theme of the last couple of blogs I want to turn my attention to improvement and how really small improvements add up and can justify big spending. This also turns out to be the case for continual improvement and continual delivery…                   How would you like ...

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Agile Approaches Require Management Cultural Change

Ron Jeffries, Matt Barcomb, and several other people wrote an interesting thread about prescriptive and non-prescriptive approaches to team-based agile. The issues are nuanced and for me, don’t lend themselves to a Twitter discussion. (Learning how to write short and coherently is a different post.) If you don’t want to read the entire thread, here is a summary: People often ...

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Getting to Working Software – Introduction

“Working software” – How is it made? Here’s the secret sauce – Working software is really about the people who build it. Working software is built by professionals. And professionals are not just tech wizards. They write software in specific effective ways. What practices do we have in our disposal, that make us professional? Think about it: As developers, our ...

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Sprint Review Tips for Product Owners

The sprint review meeting is maybe the most important Scrum event for product people—it helps you collect feedback and make the right product decisions thereby increasing the chances of creating a successful product. But I find that product owners are not always clear on who should attend the meeting, how it should be run, and how to collect the relevant ...

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The hidden dangers of Process Debt

Most of us involved in software development are familiar with the term “technical debt”. As a quick reminder, it was introduced by Ward Cunningham to describe the phenomenon that occurs when we use code that is easy to implement in the short run instead of applying the best overall solution we have identified. It is by definition a conscious decision ...

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