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Agile Economics: Scale 3D

When we started talking about scaling, we said that organizations are looking for a cure. The pain is slow delivery. That cure seems to be taking the success agility brought the team and scale it to a group, organization or the entire company. We know that small organizations (agile or not) generally have better delivery capabilities than those of the bigger organizations ...

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The Case for and Against Estimates, Part 1

After the article I referenced in Moving to Agile Contracts was published, there was a little kerfuffle on Twitter. Some people realized I was talking about the value of estimates and #noestimates. Some folks thought I was advocating never estimating anything. Let me clarify my position. I like order-of-magnitude estimates. I don’t hire people without either a not-to-exceed or an ...

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Workshop outputs from How Architects nurture Technical Excellence

Workshop background Earlier this week, I ran a workshop at the first ever Agile Europe conference organised by the Agile Alliance in Gdansk, Poland. As described in the abstract: Architects and architecture are often considered dirty words in the agile world, yet the Architect role and architectural thinking are essential amplifiers for technical excellence, which enable software agility. In this ...

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When is Agile Wrong for You?

People often ask me, “When is agile  right or not right for a project?” I’ve said before that if the team wants to go agile, that’s great. If the team doesn’t, don’t use agile. That answer is insufficient. In addition to the team, we need management to not create a bad environment for agile. You might not have a great ...

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Velocity is Not Acceleration

I see a lot of confusion around velocity in new-to-agile teams. Too many people treat velocity as an acceleration measurement. That is, they expect velocity to increase to some large number, as a stable state. Velocity is a rate of change coupled with direction. When managers think they can measure a team with velocity, they confuse velocity with acceleration. As I enter ...

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A Retrospective in the Park

The other day, I facilitated a sprint retrospective in the park. The sun was shining, and we had all been working hard to complete our backlog, so it felt like a nice reward for everyone’s efforts. Holding a retrospective outdoors can also give it an energy and sense of enthusiasm that is harder to find in a small room. I’ve ...

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Management for the masses?

This is an important post. This is the ninth blog post in my mini-series on management, it is the blog post all the others have been building up to, let me recap some key points: When creating software there there is coding work, testing work, requirements work and some unavoidable management work Removing managers may remove some work (because managers ...

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Do not (only) meet the budget

In a previous article I wrote The actual decision (of a software architect) should lead to a solution that meets availability, performance, reliability, scalability, manageability and cost criteria. (Btw: the first six critera should be met, the last one should be at least met and minimized, but that is a different story.) Many times the criteria are met and there ...

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Requirements in an Agile World

On a recent project, there was a pain point where Stories with unclear requirements were ending up with developers. Time was then spent trying to clarify the missing pieces meaning less time to write great code and meaning that developers ended up under even more pressure to get things done. Now, there are many reasons why Development teams struggle to ...

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