The latest enthusiasm for hypothesis-testing in the Agile community is a good thing…Until it turns bad. If we’re not careful how we do hypothesis testing, that’s exactly what could happen. Hypothesis testing means applying the scientific method, which involves doing something really, really hard: putting our cherished beliefs to the test, not to prove them, but to disprove them. Any fool can come up with “evidence” to support a hypothesis. Why do I think that matching socks keep disappearing after I do the laundry? Demons steal them. How do I know? If I’m really committed to this explanation, I’ll find some way to support this novel viewpoint. Without this core commitment to testing to disprove, we Read more
Posts Tagged 'learning'
In the early part of the decade Nicholas Cage starred in the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds,” something about stealing cars very rapidly. In the mid-1980’s colleague Ken Orr wrote “The 1-Minute Methodology,” that uncovered the secret to speed—disconnect input from output. If you can steal a car in 60 seconds or execute a methodology in a minute, why not learn to be agile in 90 seconds? I get tired of articles like “The 3 things you must know to be agile,” or “Five easy steps to agile implementation,” or “The secrets of agility unleashed,” or “Agile Mastery in Minutes.” Software development is hard. Agile may be a better way to approach software development, but Read more
“Writing is a form of thinking, whatever the subject,” says William Zinsser (Writing to Learn). If, as Zinsser says, learning to write well is critical to learning well, then agile team members might do well to work on their writing skills. The entire results of software projects are writings. Whether the output is executable code, test scripts, requirements documents, training plans, or project status reports, they are all, in some fashion, writing. Writing is both a form of thinking and the results from that thinking—and unfortunately, technical education programs rarely focus on writing skills. Zinsser writes, “My hope was to demystify writing for the science types and to demystify science for the humanities types.” His Read more
Funny how some days everything you look at seems related. This morning I was catching up on my Cutter reading list. I was sucked in by Steve Andriole’s recent Business-IT Strategies Advisor, “The Subtle, the Sublime, and the Nefarious: What We Don’t See Sometimes Tells Us.” It’s a short piece on reading between the lines. In his usual no-holds-barred style, Steve decodes the messages that are circulating around many organizations. Here’s what he wrote about training budgets being cut: Training to Obsolescence When management stops training the troops, we should step back and wonder why — really. Usually they say something about saving money, especially in these times: “We’d love to train everyone on the Read more