Mar 222016
 
2016: The Year That Agile Explodes

“Agile” — it’s an intriguing notion. Iterative, progressively elaborated projects with core deliverables to maintain motivation and progress along the way. It makes an extraordinary amount of sense both from a project management and leadership perspective. And up until now, true Agile practice has been refined and confined to a relatively narrow province, guided by trained scrum masters and captured as a distinct (yet, niche) practice within the project management community. 2016 is the year we can all look forward to a host of “new” Agile practices, each with its own nuance, and each with its own subset of practitioners. We’ve been seeing the cracks in the wall for several years, as organizations come up Read more

Mar 222016
 
Forecast for Security: Beware the Headwinds

“Never make forecasts, especially about the future.” — Sam Goldwyn This is particularly good advice for those with the courage (temerity? foolhardiness?) to forecast trends in technology. We can safely predict that technologies will get better/faster/cheaper/smaller, but which ones? Who will use them? How? For what? Back in the days when fairly standard IT was just bought by organizations with cost-conscious and risk-averse CFOs, the only question was how much technology would be bought, which depended largely on the overall economy. Starting in the 1980s, when ordinary people began buying IT, much of it from brand-new companies, predicting consumers’ tastes and quantifying their demand presented a whole new challenge. Add in the Internet, and what Read more

Mar 082016
 
Agile Frameworks: Diversity And Its Enemies

[Previous posts in this series: 1, 2, 3] Don’s recent post in this series on Agile frameworks struck a chord strongly with me. This passage in particular was, I believe, especially important: Organizations come in many shapes and sizes, with many different organizational structures, product sets, skillsets, and cultures. While it is possible that one of the existing frameworks may work for you pretty much out of the box, I suggest proceeding with caution. Yes, organizations are different. Very different. In fact, if you were to take a busman’s holiday to visit IT several IT departments in the same industry (say, financial services), in the same region (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut), you’d find Read more

Mar 082016
 
Call for Papers: Can Algorithms be Ethical?

“We are rushing headlong into the robotics revolution without consideration for the many unforeseen problems lying around the corner. It is time now to step back and think hard about the future of the technology before it sneaks up and bites us when we are least expecting it.” – Noel Sharkey, Foundation for Responsible Robotics One of the more vexing issues of Sharkey’s robotics revolution requires hard thinking – whether or not the computing algorithms that underpin it are “ethical.” For example, what path should a self-driving car be programmed to take in the event it finds itself in a situation where it may either have to crash into a bus stop full of school Read more

Mar 082016
 

As we begin another year and try to predict where quality assurance (QA) will go in the next few years, we need to reflect for a moment on where QA has been — especially with the dire predictions in recent years that QA in software engineering is dead. One thing that is dead is the traditional way of doing QA. The days of huge QA departments conducting ­testing mainly using manual methods, and usually as a phase after the development team is done, are gone. Market pressures and the fast-paced demand of software releases have made sure that relying on only manual testing as your QA strategy is no longer acceptable. Having said this, organizations Read more

Mar 082016
 

IT continues to revolutionize on a daily basis the way in which human society operates, to the extent that change itself is no longer perceived as something new, but rather has become the normal state of affairs. Amongst all areas of human and economic activity, IT continues to lead and stimulate further this fast pace of change. As hard evidence of this fact, we could describe an almost endless set of recent developments, including applications in aerospace, astronomy, medicine, cloud computing, smartphones, artificial intelligence (AI), drones, robots, voice and image recognition, Internet security, and so on. So what novelties and trends can we expect for 2016 and the years ahead? Overcoming Limits to Growth An Read more

Mar 022016
 
"Agile Management" Vs. Bad Management

Lately, Agilists have been giving the role of middle managers (or possible lack thereof) in Agile transformation a fair amount of attention. While this is a knotty problem, I worry that our polite efforts to re-define the management function might be enabling organizational neuroses and psychoses, instead of helping people address them. Ultimately, we have to use plain language: there are many bad managers out there. Agile exposes their incapacity, and makes delaying the inevitable that much harder. While compiling a complete list of middle management functions might provide some catharsis, this is supposed to be a short blog post. Therefore, I’ll highlight a few that Agile commonly exposes, with the clarity of those photos Read more