The software engineering field has changed a lot over the years. There have been many advances in the field in terms of tools used, how teams build and test software, the speed of delivery, and so on. For teams that have not yet become a true Agile team (every sprint is developed, tested, and production ready), one pattern continues to show itself even though this pattern is a carry over from the days of large waterfall projects. This pattern is the projection and allocation of budget based on the one-third rule. In the days of large waterfall projects, organizations made the assumption that a software budget was allocated one-third per major category: analysis and design, Read more
Posts Tagged 'Lean-Agile'
If you’ve been following my series of posts about ALM, you know that the Lean concept of flow is one of ALM’s two central pillars. (The other is alignment, an indicator of the likelihood that the software organization is delivering value.) Whenever I talk about anything related to Lean, I’m always a little nervous. People misinterpret Lean frequently, with highly destructive consequences, so putting a Lean frame around ALM is almost asking for trouble. The most frequent distortion of Lean that I’ve seen in software development is the following syllogism: Lean tells us that we should reduce waste. Unused capacity is a form of waste. Therefore, we should maximize the utilization of our capacity. To Read more
Recently, I published a five-part series of videos about application lifecycle management (ALM), summarizing a lot of what I’ve learned about the subject. Probably the two most important points are the following: ALM is a strategy, not a framework, a methodology, or a bunch of tools. Software innovators, from IT departments to Silicon Valley start-ups, need to overcome their confusion over what a strategy really is. The videos already make the arguments behind these two points, so I won’t repeat them here. Instead, I’ll focus on a practical issue, knowing the difference between a real strategy and an imitation of one. Many software companies define their strategy as a series of initiatives. Some representative examples Read more
Last year I predicted that 2011 was to be the beginning of a shift from a focus on quality, schedule, and budget to value, quality, and innovation. Presentations at diverse conferences around the world show that there is an increasing interest in value and quality, and to some extent, innovation, too. The interest in value and quality was boosted in part by Jim Highsmith’s Agile Triangle (see Jim’s webinar Measuring Agile Performance: Beyond Scope, Schedule and Cost Webinar and his book Agile Project Management, 2nd Edition). A few months after Jim’s book came out in 2010, I published the first version of the Lean–Agile Prism in the Agile Journal, where I added design as a Read more
Last year, my colleagues and I predicted various changes: an increase in this, a let-up in that. I finally understand why I have been struggling to come up with my 2012 prediction: I am just not seeing any changes. Let me elaborate on this for my specialty — Agile/Lean software development. I predict that many organizations worldwide will continue to adopt Agile. Most of them will do so with no expert guidance, with ho-hum results, and with little understanding of why they got those results. People will continue to get their Agile skills certified while others rail against the value and implication of those certificates. Companies will still rely on head hunters to hire Agile Read more
Kanban has become the hot topic of discussion amongst the IT community since 2010, due to its accelerated rate of adoption and remarkable impact on organizations — from the few-employee company to the tens-of-thousands-employee company — where it has been adopted despite its young age. This fast pace is both good and bad, Kanban is benefiting organizations when adopted properly, but there is a risk of doing it wrong by rushing an adoption without fully understanding it. For example, people frequently ask if Kanban is a methodology for software development, or for software maintenance, or for project management, or a systematic approach to cultural change in the organization, or something else. Another frequent question is Read more