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Balance Innovation, Commitment, & Feedback Loops: Part 1: High Innovation Products

Many of my clients are trying to use short feedback loops in agile approaches. That desire bumps up against their management’s desires for longer commitments. This continuum might help them think through their needs for commitment and innovation. High Need for Product Innovation and Change The more need for product innovation and change, the shorter the feedback loops need to be. It’s not useful ...

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Error handling omitted for brevity

Q: What is the difference between programming in college and programming in the real world?A: Error handling Do you remember when you were learning to program? Do you remember those text books you had back in college? And do you remember what they said about error handling? As I remember it most of what they said about error handling was: ...

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The illusion of agility (what most Agile transformations end up delivering)

Agility is a unique and continuously evolving state that is typical to a specific organization with its people and its history. A traditional (industrial) approach to becoming more Agile commonly creates no more than an illusion of agility. Agility is a specific state as it reflects the uniquelessons and learnings that an organization and its inhabitants went and go through, the way in which ...

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“Agile Coaching” Is Not the Goal

I’ve met a number of agile coaches recently. They tell me they’re hired as Scrum coaches or as Scrum Masters. They see their job as “better Scrum.” It would be lovely if that was their one and only job. However, many of these coaches work in organizations just starting a cultural transformation. Even though the client asked for agile coaching, ...

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The power of small declines

Last year I wrote about the power of 1% improvement, and how powerful this can be when that improvement occurs frequently. For example, if a team improves 1% a week then over the course of 50 weeks (a year) they would improve by over 62%. A few days ago I had a revelation: the opposite is also true. If a team ...

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Help Managers Visualize Their Problems

I’ve been working with several managers at organizations large and small, who want to capitalize their software “earlier.” These managers have some strongly-held beliefs about the people: People are resources Resources can multitask on several projects at a time If “headquarters” does the difficult work, you can move the “grunt” work to lower wage areas and you will save money ...

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Technical Debt and Product Success

Similar to a company experiencing financial debt, products can incur “technical debt”: This happens when wrong or suboptimal architecture, technology, and coding decisions are taken. Consequently, the architecture may not be as loosely coupled as it should be, and the code may be messy rather than clean. This article explains why product people should care about technical debt and it ...

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