Over-Starting and Under-Finishing

Posted August 18, 2015 by Tim Ottinger in Agile Transition, Anzen, Anzeneering

Here is a story board to consider. Is it healthy? Is it being well-operated? New scrum practitioners may say that it looks great if that’s the first day of the sprint, but indicates serious problems if it looks like this on the last day or two.
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Evolutionary Design

Posted August 12, 2015 by Joshua Kerievsky in Anzeneering, Learning, Software Design

What is agile’s most valuable practice? It’s called Evolutionary Design. No other practice does a better job of managing risks in software development. Evolutionary Design influences how we organize people and teams, plan what to build, collaborate, integrate, develop and release. So why aren’t more people using it? Perhaps they don’t understand Evolutionary Design and […]
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Stop Per-Person Swimlanes

Posted June 19, 2015 by Tim Ottinger in Learning

Kanban boards (AKA “story boards”) are used by most Scrum, XP, and Kanban teams. They are a kind of Big Visible Chart used to visualize the work of the team in a straightforward way. As useful and simple as they are, in practice many are set up in ways that discourage teamwork and collaboration, ironically […]
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5 Lessons for Learning from Piano Lessons

Posted June 11, 2015 by Bill Wake in Learning

I’ve returned to piano lessons after a 30-year gap, and I’m struck by the challenges of learning, whether for fun or work.
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Estimation and Trust

Posted May 29, 2015 by Ashley Johnson in Learning

Then I ask, “Do you trust your developers’ estimates?” They always answer no, not really.
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Metrics Mislead!

Posted May 14, 2015 by Bill Wake in Anzeneering, Coaching

Metrics mislead! In complex domains like software development, metrics can’t capture everything important. Setting goals for metrics can make things worse.
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Fake and Mock Objects in Pictures

Posted February 13, 2015 by Bill Wake in Software Design, Test Driven Development

Interesting objects collaborate, but some collaborators are tricky to work with. When objects have awkward collaborators, test doubles (stub, fake, and mock objects) replace the collaborators to make testing easier.
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Are Your Development Defenses Dangerous?

Posted February 9, 2015 by Joshua Kerievsky in Anzen, Anzeneering

To illustrate how defenses can endanger us, let’s go back 600 years to the Battle of Agincourt. In Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents, James Reason uses this 1415 French vs. English battle to illustrate how even today’s high-tech defenses can endanger us. Entering the battle, the English force was lightly-clad and about one fifth […]
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Golden Gate Safety

Posted January 29, 2015 by Joshua Kerievsky in Anzen, Anzeneering

In the 1930s, during the Great Depression in the United States, building bridges was a dangerous job. 24 workers died during the 1933-36 construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. One Bay Bridge engineer recalled, The worst aspect was not being able to show any fear. Those steelworkers were merciless, and to preserve our self […]
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Agility Requires Balance

Posted January 28, 2015 by Joshua Kerievsky in Agile Transition, Anzeneering, Extreme Programming

Most agile software teams have a serious imbalance in technical and managerial agility. The imbalance begins early, as many teams and organizations believe they will be agile simply by adopting agile management practices like sprints, standup meetings and storypoint estimations.
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