Category Archives for Agile

Agile Metrics: the Ultimate Guide

Metrics is one of the most discussed and misunderstood topics in the whole field of Agile Software Development. I have written some material on Agile metrics before, but this is the definitive guide. It will cover every possible metrics you would possibly want to use, and tell you what they mean, when you should use […]

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Software development is a design activity

Software development is not a manufacturing activity Despite what a lot of people believe, software development is not a manufacturing activity. That is, it is not a process that takes some inputs (money and ideas, people, time, source code, compilers) and then manufactures some outputs (software; APIs, DLLs, database schemas). We have spent too long pretending it […]

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Retros are not continuous improvement

Retrospectives are one of the hallowed traditions of Agile software development. They are mentioned specifically as one of the twelve principles in the Agile Manifesto. They are one of only four regular activities prescribed in the Scrum guide. Extreme Programming says you must “fix XP when it breaks” (and talks a bit about retrospectives in that […]

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Technical debt – or technical bankruptcy?

It’s time we admit we have a problem with technical debt. Everyone knows what it is, everyone is talking about, but not enough is being done about it. Time and again I have seen teams and systems end up swamped in technical debt. Swimming and eventually drowning in the stuff. Until entire projects have to […]

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Agile managers – what do they do?

People might be wondering what managers do in an Agile organisation. You might wonder if they are still needed. Agile managers aren’t measuring or forecasting anymore, because your teams should do their own measuring and forecasting. They don’t micro-manage people’s work anymore because teams are empowered to work how they want. So if we still […]

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Agile metrics: you’re doing it wrong

I’ve been spending more time reading forums, groups and Quora about Agile. I’ve noticed a type of question coming up over and over again. People seem obsessed with finding the answer to the misguided question “what are the best metrics and KPIs we can use for measuring our teams in Agile?”. I’ve talked before about […]

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Myths of agile: Agile means fast and cheap

I thought I was finished with my “myths of Agile” series. But I’ve come across another one that still rears its ugly head from time to time. The idea is that everybody should all do Agile because it means you can do the same work, but “faster” and “cheaper”. Which is everyone wants. Right? Agile […]

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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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