Agile Project Management

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

Jun 202013

The API Economy has exploded. The use of APIs today is so prolific that the number of publicly-exposed APIs has grown exponentially to the tens of thousands, and is expected to increase even further as non Internet-centric companies are starting to realize its business potential. We’re finding that as businesses begin to expose and combine their information resources with those of others to build new and innovative assets, a whole new market of customers becomes available — creating a new channel for businesses to generate revenue and gain a competitive edge. Sounds like a win-win situation — but is it too good to be true? What are the risks of exposing your data assets and Read more

Jun 072013
What’s on Tap for Day 2 of Summit: Executive Education+

The Cutter Summit program includes a mix of keynotes with accompanying panel sessions, case studies, interactive exercises, roundtable discussions, lightning talks, half-day immersion workshops and seminars, and many, many networking opps. The other day I wrote about the keynote and case study that will take place of the first day, Nov 4, of this Fall’s Summit. Today I’ll highlight the “main events” for the second day. (Watch for another post on roundtables and lightning talks.) Israel Gat will kick off the morning, keynoting on the impending explosion of the API economy. Israel is well-known for his expertise on Agile and software/product development governance supported by technical debt assessment and valuation, but he actually spends much Read more

May 222013
Making Profits Using API Economy

How much have you paid for your last home phone? Probably 10 euros, dollars, or whatever is your currency. It is likely that 20 years ago you would have paid a higher amount, even without taking into account the inflation. Still, imagine a world where you are the only phone owner, what would be the value of such phone? Probably zero, or even negative, since it would be a useless device that occupies space in your home. Here we appreciate two concurrent and conflicting phenomena that are at the root also of API Economy. The first is the so-called Network Effect: the phone has a value that depends on the number of users of the Read more

Apr 252013

Where is IT headed these days? With technology at the core of everything we do, and “traditional web” software moving on to mobile devices faster than one can say “mobile”, does this make the need for a fully-staffed IT department less critical? What is/will be the role of IT in our technology-driven era? How will IT attain a cross-departmental competitive edge? One prediction is that the typical in-house IT department will go up in the value chain, combining its expertise with the domain expertise of the CMO, COO, CFO, etc. IT will no longer be heads-down, technology- and operations-only focused, but will be collaborating with the business side at a higher level than currently being Read more

Apr 232013

The more agile software development becomes mainstream, the more often I run into a typical pattern of management mismatch. It comes in several flavors. A recent client CTO who is responsible for the IT of an online store illustrates one example. “We have just raised an additional budget of 1 million Euros for this year to implement this fantastic feature,” he told me. “And now I’d like to talk with you about how to cut the teams.” A management workshop on agile contracts with another client demonstrates a second example. The workshop began with its current situation: “We want to build this platform and already have three Fortune-20 clients on our list. Our mission is to Read more

Mar 192013

Recently there have been rumblings within the industry along the lines of “what’s next after agile?” and “what does the post-agile landscape look like?” These rumblings reflect the challenges organizations face when adopting agile within an enterprise environment. Although popular, Scrum only provides a small kernel upon which to build an agile strategy, leaving you with the heavy lifting of tailoring an end-to-end agile strategy that reflects the realities of your environment. Worse yet, the simplistic strategies promoted by agile purists sow seeds of confusion and doubt amongst people still struggling to adopt an agile mindset. Beliefs that agile requires small co-located teams, downplays architecture, delivers no documentation, doesn’t work in regulatory situations, and doesn’t Read more

Mar 172013

Even if you don’t play chess, you are likely to enjoy Gary Kasparov’s recent article The Chess Master and the Computer. Gary writes on the complicated subject of  intelligence  and the human mind in a clear, jargon free language. I would dare say his article is as incisive as the way he plays chess. For the Agilist, (and for anyone who takes interest in knowledge work), Gary cuts to the heart of the matter recounting the following episode: In 2005, the online chess-playing site hosted what it called a “freestyle” chess tournament in which anyone could compete in teams with other players or computers. Normally, “anti-cheating” algorithms are employed by online sites to prevent, or Read more

Feb 142013

In his unique style, Hillel Glazer clears up confusion — while perhaps even standing on one leg — around CMMI in this video. He says it’s what to improve, not how, and that every CMMI practice avoids a risk so you can use the practices as guides to finding where you have issues. Agile-and/versus-CMMI has been a topic of lots of debate recently here at Cutter. For example, Hillel wrote in “Agile vs. CMMI: The Debate Goes On“: Jens Coldewey’s Advisor “Why ‘Agile vs. CMMI’ Leads Down the Wrong Track” rightly argues that “Agile vs. CMMI” is not the right direction to go. However, he assumed a particular (and common) perspective about CMMI and in doing Read more

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