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Hours, Velocity, Silo’d Teams, & Gantts

I’ve been having some email conversations with some project and program managers turned Scrum Masters. In general here’s how things have proceeded: Their organizations decided agile was a great idea Their organizations decided Scrum was a great idea to implement agile (because they don’t know the difference between Scrum and agile) The teams started working in two-week iterations, sort-of getting ...

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In Agile development planning, a security framework loses out

In Agile Estimating and Planning, Mike Cohn explains the different factors that go into prioritizing work on a software development project: financial value, cost, knowledge and risk. He then works through a couple of examples to show how these decisions are made. One of these examples is whether or not to build a security framework for an application – an ...

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Architects Need a Pragmatic Software Development Process

I have been a non-stop software architect since 2006. During my experience, I realized that it’s really hard to perform the role of architect in an organization that doesn’t have a software development process or have it too simplified. When the development is not fairly organized, project managers don’t find a room in their schedule to implement architectural recommendations. They ...

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An agile methodology for orthodox environments

My company designs and develop mobile and web based banking solutions. Our customers (banks for the most part) are highly bureaucratized, orthodox (ie. like to have everything pre-defined and pre-approved) and risk adverse, and therefore change and the disruption of the status quo is not a normal sight within most of them. Most banking IT departments are used to the ...

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Sooner or Later: Deliver Early or Minimize Waste

There’s an obvious but important tension in Lean/Agile development around when to make decisions. Between the fundamental Agile position that we should do the most important and most risky work first, and the Lean argument that we should make decisions at the last possible moment. We need to decide early and try things out, iterate to minimize risk and time ...

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Agile Estimating: Story Points and Decay

I’m re-reading Mike Cohn’s Agile Estimating and Planning. It’s the best book I’ve found on this and worth reading, even if he gets too Scrummy at times, and even if you don’t agree with everything he says. Which I don’t. For example, I don’t agree with him that Story Points are better for estimation than Ideal Days. When we do ...

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Measuring your IT OPS – Part 2

In my opening article I stated the importance of measuring IT OPS to provide the underlying framework for a Continous Improvement (CI) culture and to this effect I identified a list of IT OPS measurements which I consider key to understand how your IT organisation is performing. In the first article of this series I suggested a simple way of ...

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Measuring your IT OPS – Part 1

In my previous article I briefly explained the importance of measuring IT OPS to lay the foundations for Continuous Improvement (CI). I then listed what I think are few, indispensable IT OPS measurements that form the basis for a CI environment. The first of these is FALT, (Feature Average Lead Time). Which kind of measure is this and why is ...

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Product-Burndown-Charts and Sprint-Burndown-Charts in SCRUM Projects

Product-Backlog-Charts and Sprint-Backlog-Charts are used in almost all Agile approaches. In the following article the terminology of SCRUM is used, e.g. User Stories, Product Owner, Product Backlog, Sprint and Sprint Planning Meeting. The described Backlog-Charts are also useful in other agile methodologies and even in non-agile settings. Actually, they are a general technique to estimate efforts in situations where other ...

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