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Agile

The Lean Learning Board

A while back, when I wore my product hat, I started referring to the product backlog as an option backlog. We had lots of ideas going in there, but they were basically stories that we didn’t commit to implementing. Instead, we could pick from our options based on our understanding  of the market, our capabilities and so on. Only when ...

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Managers are not homogenous

(If you are not a coder please bear with me…. we’ll get to the business point in a moment.) When a programmer finds a class named Manager in a code base they know – or at least should know – that it is probably a smell. It might be innocent but until proven so it should be considered guilty. For ...

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Bruce Lee’s Top 5 Agile Coaching Tips

When I was a kid, I was a big Bruce Lee fan. I walked around the playground rubbing my nose with my thumb. When I had a piece of rope, I had to do my version of the nunchaku routine from Way of the Dragon and made cat-like noises. Looking back at Lee, I find it quite striking how many ...

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Thoughts on 6-Sigma and Agile

Question that comes up from time to time: “Does anyone have Agile project which is Six Sigma? How these two things Six Sigma and Agile complement each other on software product development project? “ My answer: In theory Agile and 6-Sigma should fit, they both have their roots in the quality movement. A cursory glance at the 6-Sigma toolset reveals ...

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Features do not a Product Roadmap Make

Last month, Mike Smart of Egress Solutions and I gave a webinar for Pragmatic Marketing on product roadmapping when working in agile environments. We had a great turnout of over 1500 people in the session – with not nearly enough time to answer all of the questions. One attendee asked, “Please explain how a prioritized list of features is not a ...

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Thin Vertical Slices of Value

I recently had a conversation with two colleagues where I was trying to explain the advantages of frequently delivering thin vertical slices of value, versus working on separated components and integrating at the end. I have been familiar with this concept for so long, and generally give it for granted, but while explaining it, I found myself at a loss and ...

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Common Agile objections

Last time (“Waterfall works when…”) I promised to discuss some of those common objections to “Agile.” (Actually, reading back this this post I’m struck by how like my “12 Myths of Agile Development” which was originally a blog post 2 years ago called “11 Agile Myths of 2 Truths”.) (Apologies by the way, “Waterfall works when…” was misposted the first ...

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Waterfall works when…

I frequently find myself in situations where someone says something like: “Waterfall is appropriate when…” Some people out there think there are occasions when an Agile (mainly iterative) approach is “best’ and other occasions when “Waterfall” is “best”. Most of the time I let this line of argument go because its boring, I can’t be bothered arguing. (I’ll look at ...

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Why Managers Ask for Estimates and What They Need to Know

In many of my transitioning to agile clients, the managers want to know when the project will be done. Or, they want to know how much the project will cost. (I have a new book about this, Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule.) Managers ask for estimates because they want to know something about their ability ...

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