Category Archives for Agile

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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Obligation to dissent and the circle of safety

I read an article recently about “obligation to dissent“. It’s an interesting phrase with some important concepts behind it. Some of these concepts tie closely into the principles of Agile. Some organisations foster a culture where dissent is welcome, others don’t. This is an important clue into the overall health of that organisation. What is […]

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Go see. Stop and fix it.

I’ve read a fair bit about Lean Manufacturing and Lean Software Development. Lean Manufacturing is old and Japanese and not really related to Agile at all. Lean Software Development is an attempt to apply some of those ideas to software development. It shares a lot in common with the values and principles of the Agile […]

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Misconceptions about the Product Backlog

There are a lot of misconceptions about the Product Backlog. In fact, I would say it is probably the least understood artifact of Scrum. Getting it wrong can cause big problems, not just for your product and its roadmap, but for your developers too. Being a product owner and managing this thing is hard job, […]

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Ways that cloud can support agile and lean startup

One of the biggest changes in information technology over the last ten years has been cloud computing. This change is huge and it is here to stay. While cloud is transforming businesses and governments around the world, it provides special advantages for certain types of organisations and work. This article will explain the ways in which […]

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Outcomes not outputs

One of the key takeaways I got from reading the excellent book Lean Enterprise is the idea that you should focus on outcomes not outputs. This is a powerful idea for strong agile teams, and ties in well with the Agile Manifesto. If you understand this concept, you can make a lot of the annoying […]

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Common barriers to agile adoption

A lot of organizations are trying to “go Agile”. That sounds great, but they often fail. Sometimes they get part of the way there, sometimes they got most of the way and achieve some benefits, but then struggle. Sometimes they fall in a heap and don’t get anywhere. Often they just end up doing “cargo […]

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Why technical user stories are bad

You might sometimes come across “technical user stories” when doing agile software development. These are generally a bad idea and should be avoided where possible. This article will explain what technical user stories are, and why technical user stories are bad. It will also cover the rare situations when you need to use them. What […]

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The strengths of Scrum

  OK so you might think after the last post, that I’m against Scrum and I think it’s worthless. Not true at all. I use it a lot and have a lot of respect for it. There are definitely some strengths of scrum for software development. I just think it’s worth being aware of its weaknesses. […]

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