Bimodal IT theory

A few years ago, research organization Gartner came up with this concept called Bimodal IT theory. This basically said that for any large organisations, there are two types of IT systems. These types serve different purposes, are built with different technologies, serve different customers, have different cost and risk profiles, and should be kept separate. And […]

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The history and future of management

Many organisations today are run according to management principles which are 50 to 100 years old. These methods are not appropriate to the fluid and fast-paced world we live in, but many organisations are struggling to change. In this article, I will talk about the history and future of management theory, so we can understand […]

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What is Test Driven Development (TDD)?

Test Driven Development or TDD is a technical practice that is often (though not always) used by people doing Agile software development. It represents a different approach to both testing and development. It can be difficult and cumbersome at first, but many people believe that it has big payoffs in the long term. I’ll talk […]

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Backlog Refinement in Scrum explained

A lot of people are confused about Backlog Refinement in Scrum. I’d say it is one of the most frequently misunderstood and misused topics. It doesn’t help that the Scrum guide has very little to say about it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and is for a fairly good reason: we are now […]

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Let’s stop talking about requirements

I get a bit sad when I hear the word “requirements”. It is a word that strongly reminds me of the bad old Waterfall days. The origin of requirements Back then, we would talk about “requirements” all the time. Projects would start with a big scary BRD (Business Requirements Document), which sometimes spilt over into […]

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The myth of culture change

A lot of people talk about culture change in organisations. “We want our place to have an innovation culture!”. “Our leaders keep telling us about culture change initiatives”. “The problem with that company is its culture”. “How do we copy Google’s culture?”. You hear these phrases all the time. People write books, go to conferences, […]

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The most common reason Agile fails

There are plenty of examples of Agile going wrong. Big government projects trying Agile and crashing and burning. Or “Zombie scrum”. Or “Cargo Cult Agile”. These are all sad stories and all too common. So what goes wrong? There are lots of reasons. Some of them are cultural, some of them are technical, some of […]

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Agile product funding

Agile Product Funding and Teams I’ve talked before about the problems with project teams and project funding. To summarise: projects are generally short-lived affairs, and can often leave a mass of technical debt and half-finished work behind them project teams are generally short-lived affairs, and project managers can willfully set them on death marches, since […]

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Cargo Cult Agile

You sometimes hear about “Cargo Cult Agile”, and you might be wondering what that means. It’s a cute term with an interesting and funny history. But the thing itself is not funny at all. This article will explain what it is, where it comes from, and what to do about it. What does “cargo cult” mean? […]

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Scrum bad smells

There are a number of “bad smells” that you might encounter while doing Scrum. These are generally signs that might seem innocent, but suggest something is badly wrong. You need to watch out for these signs. Standups going over the timebox The bad smell This is a classic one to watch out for. The Daily […]

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