Agile Project Management

Cutting-edge Agile methodologies, software development techniques and project management practices.

Feb 122013
Devops Implementation Goals

Devops has only been around for a brief few years, and it is already having a significant impact throughout the development community. While there are those who might view the integration of development and operations as a useful fad that serves a limited number of situations, evidence suggests that there are serious advantages to this approach. One reason is that devops represents a convergence plateau in the state of the “software development” art, where development, operations, and the surrounding processes of QA are brought together in an efficient, converged process that provides important benefits (see Figure 1). Figure 1 — Devops: development, operations, and QA. Through integration development and operations, devops seeks to create an Read more

Jan 242013

Cutter IT Journal Call for Papers with Guest Editor Jim Sutton. The heart of a modern enterprise is the knowledge work it does. How to run a factory effectively is fairly well understood these days. But strategy, market positioning, effective services and the like are what make for an effective business. These are all knowledge work activities. Enterprises and knowledge work leaders are moving away from the mass production paradigm and into a systems view using the Lean paradigm. Lean knowledge work emphasizes getting the most from people through appropriate decisionmaking, from executives through workers. This trend is reversing the short-term, every-division-for-itself fractionalization that many organizations adopted during the financial pressure years spanning 2008 – Read more

Dec 272012

In my “Cutter Predicts…” post for 2013, I briefly made the point that a picture/image of an asset is merely one form of representing a physical asset. With services like Instagram, The Fancy and Wisemarkit drawing our attention these days, it is natural to think in terms of photos and/or photo streams. However, I contended: The nature of the phenomenon we are examining here is not restricted to photos/images. Rather, it is generic. Regardless of the nature of your company’s assets, any information about them that flows through the “pipes” of your company is potentially a productive asset. It can be utilized (once an API is exposed) through an app store that mines the information Read more

Dec 202012

How appropriate it is that on the eve of Christmas and New Year we add a consultant of the caliber of Professor Giancarlo Succi to Cutter’s Agile practice! Over the past couple of years the Agile practice has expanded its core expertise in software methods to include just about any aspect of software engineering that Cutter clients have interest in. We added consultants with deep expertise in Lean/Kanban, system engineering, complexity theory, devops and technical debt. We carry out technical due diligence and code audit engagements. And, in accord with Marc Andreessen’s quip “Software is eating the world,” various engagements evolve over time to address strategic aspects of product development. The recently published research report Introducing Read more

Dec 152012
Agility, the Personal Cloud, and Complex Analytics on the Horizon

Predictions are always difficult in interesting times, because tomorrow’s concepts depend upon activity which has not yet occurred. We expected flying cars; we are getting autonomous cars.  In the 1950s, the computer revolution, robotics, GPS, and today’s traffic patterns would have been difficult to envision.  Today, we are seeing rapid evolution across Information and Communications Technology, affecting every component and every meme. But we can see the direction that some areas of recent concentration are likely to take. Concepts of Agility will continue to evolve, moving beyond specific processes such as Scrum toward more comprehensive programs capable of incorporating a wider variety of projects, under more conditions and supporting greater integration with governance. This can Read more

Dec 132012
Development Paradigm Shift over Zombie Apocalypse

Due to the uncertainty of our times, I’m going to make two predictions. First, the world will come to an end on December 21st, exactly as the Mayans DID NOT predict hundreds of years ago. Granted, the Mayan calendar runs out on the 21st but to be quite frank my calendar runs out every year on December 31st and the world has still gone on despite of that dire prediction. The Mayan calendar myth dates back to the mid-1970s, a time when we were seeing Sasquatches in every forest, aliens eviscerating cows in every farm field, and chariots of the gods in the skies of South America. At that time we were also doing prodigious Read more

Dec 042012

The development of agility is part of the changing infrastructure of IT in general, in which entrenched monolithic views of information processing give way to a vision of multiple users, multiple developers, and multiple devices interacting to form something greater than the sum of its parts. Like complex adaptive mechanisms, the new infrastructure is responsive at the cellular level, whether that is the app, the device, the developer, or the user. It becomes more akin to a nervous system than to a department and extends across both business and personal life through the use of BYOD and BYOA, social media, and dwindling boundaries between personal and work time. The agile movement has introduced a number Read more

Dec 022012
Culture, Culture, Culture

Here’s the bad news: As more and more moves to the cloud, expect more security breaches. We do way too much in security theater now. My merchant account provider makes me change my secure password every x days no matter where I am, even if I am in a hotel, on not-so-secure public network. Security theater. This will only get worse. More and more organizations will jump on the water-scrum-fall bandwagon. Oh, they will claim they are doing agile, but they are not. The more they are addicted to their enterprise architects, their lack of project dashboards, their tracking of project hours, and their need to predict project cost so they can manage the project Read more

Welcome, Giancarlo!

 Posted by on Nov 29, 2012  1 Response »
Nov 292012

I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Giancarlo Succi to our team! We’re excited to have him. In addition to his new role as Senior Consultant with Cutter, he remains a tenured Professor at the Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, where he directs the Center for Applied Software Engineering. He has consulted with private and public organizations worldwide (he’s based in Italy) in the areas of Agile methods, software quality/measurements, software system architecting, design, development, IT strategy, and training for software personnel. Dr. Succi’s research interests swirl around Agile, experimental software engineering, open source development, software product lines and software reuse, and software development over the Internet. He is a prolific writer, having authored or coauthored Read more

Oct 102012

I recently watched a talk by a self-appointed agile "expert" who tried to explain the key elements of Scrum. There were lots of minor and major mistakes in his presentation, but the sentence that struck me most was: "User stories are what we call requirements in agile." The sad thing is not that much that this guy said was completely wrong, but that his view is quite common. Another "Scrum" team I was visiting recently showed me its task board. On the left, the group had "prioritized" their stories by assigning them to three categories. Their choice was pretty representative: they had eight cards with priority one, three cards with priority two, and not a Read more