Category

Agile Project Management

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

Sep 052012
 
Pursuing Velocity

In my recent Cutter Advisor “Reassessing Your Software Process,” I tried to shed light on the relative velocity of an in-house process v. that of related processes in the market. I stressed that I actually perceive the two as “twins” that can’t really be separated as they mutually affect each other. Furthermore, I expressed my conviction that the boundary between the firm and the market shifts nowadays not “only” as a function of cost of transactions[1], but as a function of the disparity in velocity of the software process inside the firm versus the velocity of related processes in the market. In response to my advisor, Peggy Drew, an Agile Program Manager with Omgeo, wrote …

Read more

 
Test-Driven Business: The Myth of Planning

In my first post in the Test-Driven Business (TDB) series, I took the liberty of being a little provocative, placing Planning after Ideation and Implementation as one possible way in which the three phases could be sequenced. This arrangement is illustrated in Figure 1. Figure 1: Cultivation Culture Obviously, Planning could precede Implementation and it might precede Ideation. The reason for my provisionally placing it last was to draw attention to the complicated interrelationship between the three phases, to the fact that in today’s markets linear order between the three can’t really be taken for granted. As a matter of fact, I would contend that sharp scholars have been observing that the order is not necessarily …

Read more

 
avatar

August has officially arrived, which means the annual Agile conference is just two short weeks away. Whether you’re doing Agile, thinking about doing Agile, or are a leading Agile thinker, you’re aware of this event. This year’s conference, Agile2012, is headed to Dallas, Texas. The weather promises to be about 100°, so don’t forget to bring your hat and sun block (under 3.4 ounces if you’re carrying on)! I’m pleased to report that eight members of the Cutter Consortium Agile team are presenting at Agile2012. Led by Dr. Israel Gat, Director of our Agile Practice, Cutter’s team is ready to help you make the most of your Agile2012 experience. Dr. Gat’s “No Bull Know How” …

Read more

 
avatar

Is there something intrinsically incompatible between Agile and CMMI that will forever keep this conversation burning? This always heated debate hasn’t lost its steam yet. But maybe it should. Instead of focusing on “why or why not” – let’s focus instead on “how” Agile and CMMI can work together to effect successful software projects. The upcoming Cutter IT Journal with Guest Editor Hillel Glazer seeks practical advice and insight on how to improve the understanding and compatibility between Agile and CMMI. How can Agile or CMMI as products and services — provided via training or education — contribute to fanning or resolving the conversation? Or is there a viable reason they should part ways? Let …

Read more

 
avatar

Has agile crossed the chasm? Unambiguously: yes and no. To apply the concept of Geoffrey Moore’s book, we must first answer the question, “Is agile a disruptive technology?” To me, that answer is yes. If you do not agree, this is a good stopping point. Next, we must answer the question in regards to the market. Let us first focus on the software industry, both software product companies and IT. Then we can answer the question: yes, agile has crossed the chasm, from the perspective of the total addressable agile market. Certainly, mainstream has adopted agile. Traditional manufacturing organizations such as Caterpillar, Boeing, and Ford use agile methods. Insurance companies like Farmers, United Healthcare, and …

Read more

 
Quick Reflections on the Voke Press Release about Agile

I recently had the pleasure of responding to the comments made by Voke in a press release about its new report that claims that companies do not understand costs of rework and cannot identify clear benefits of Agile. Brian Bloom of Computerworld Canada asked for my reaction, which was subsequently published in IT World Canada. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to read the full report, my impression is the report reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the core tenets of Agile. An Agile phrase you might want think about as you read the article is value delivery. Basically, I view Agile software as a triplet {Process, Output, Outcome}, where: Process=The way a self-organizing team works in accord with an Agile …

Read more

 
Research Agenda for Test-Driven Business

In my recent blog post Test-Driven Business, I started to examine the application of Test-Driven Development techniques to the business.  The general idea is that software to development is like hypothesis to the business. We test in development in order to make certain that the software works correctly. Likewise, we test a hypothesis in the business in order to validate it. Just as we fix a line of code, we fix an invalid hypothesis. The model proposed for Test-Driven Business includes two core elements: View of the flow of activities in the firm as comprising three distinct phases: Ideation, Execution and Planning. Two strands that we try to merge within each phase. With these elements …

Read more

Jul 092012
 
Test-Driven Business

Change used to be viewed, experienced and managed as a discontinuous phenomenon. A period of change was typically followed by a period of stability. Moreover, the general expectation was that the period of stability would last a much longer time than the time it took to assimilate change. Change nowadays is becoming continuous. Various Cutter Consortium clients deploy code dozens of times a day. Companies like Wisemarkit enable you to “open a shop in 60 seconds and fill it with products you believe in.” When new features are deployed every hour and e-shops can be formed on the fly, periods of stability in which you can catch your breath have for most practical purposes vanished. …

Read more

 
avatar

Prior to the advent of agile methods, planned methods had characterized software development. An important focus of these planned methods was to get all of the requirements up front. Furthermore, there was a fervid attempt to get the requirements correct and complete before proceeding to the next stage of development. The unreal assumption that correct and complete requirements would remain so while the solution was developed turned out to be the bane of planned software development methods. It was impossible to get the requirements completed up front, as the business reality kept changing and users could not have known them earlier in the lifecycle. As it turns out, it was not even necessary to capture …

Read more

 
avatar

Products and processes are two of the most vital components of a successful business. Useful, relevant, or innovative products are important for attracting and keeping customers. Efficient and effective processes are crucial to making the customer experience enjoyable and worthwhile. Product and process should therefore be included as key components in any business architecture. But, too often, product and process are not given the architectural priority they deserve. While physical products such as cars or planes are highly engineered, enterprise architects tend to overlook the architecture of information-based products and view them instead as the domain of business managers. (Note that physical products, such as the engineering of cars or computers, are more likely to …

Read more