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Agile Project Management

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

 
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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Nov 292012
 
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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 …

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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 …

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Jim Plamondon, Cutter, and the API Economy

I’ve recently joined the Cutter Consortium as a Senior Consultant, focusing on the API Economy. This begs three questions: Why the API Economy? Why me? Why Cutter? Why the API Economy? The API Economy is, in brief, the exchange of information resources facilitated by: Exposing your entity’s core information resources to an ecosystem of developers through an Internet-based Application Programming Interface (API), and Combining other entities’ APIs to build new information resources. You may never have heard of the API Economy, but you will. It is the economic force that is driving cloud computing and mobile apps. The success of cloud and mobile computing is accelerating the API Economy towards a tipping point, in a …

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Be the Management You Want to Change — An Open Letter to Agilists

Dear Agilist, Everywhere I go I hear the same thing: “Culture and management are the major impediments to enterprise agile adoption.” Indeed, hundreds of us recently sought out the annual industry conference presentations and panels on how to change management — and culture — to facilitate the agile organization. I propose you and I stop hoping for management to change. Instead, why don’t we become the change we want management to be? That’s right, become a manager! Why the heck not? Here’s my reasoning. If you are skilled in the disciplines of: Prioritizing based on value, quality, and risk reduction Self-organizing cross-functional teamwork Transparent communication Making work visible Limiting work in process Feedback loops for sensing …

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