Agile metrics – the good, the bad and the ugly

Agile teams often look at and discuss metrics. Some of these metrics are interesting and important, some of them are of questionable value, and some should only be used with caution. This article will attempt to clear this up. The use and misuse of metrics Before going into the various metrics that agile teams use, […]

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Project versus product mindset

product management agile

I’ve talked a bit recently about project management and project managers and some problems in this area. More specifically: Traditional project managers don’t care for the long-term interests of the team Traditional project management isn’t interested in the long-term benefits of the project after it has been delivered. So what’s the solution? Product teams instead of […]

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How does project management fit into Agile?

If you read my last post, you’re probably thinking I’m against all forms of project management, and want to consign project managers to the dustbin of history. That is not at all the case. I actually think there is a role for (some form of) project management in Agile, especially in large organisations. It just […]

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The old and new faces of Lean

I wrote recently about Lean and Agile, the differences between the two, and their strengths and weaknesses. Things have become more confusing due to the arrival of a book called The Lean Startup. An American entrepreneur called Eric Ries wrote it in 2011, and it quickly became an influential and controversial work. It also inspired […]

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Agile Release Planning as a range of probabilities

A lot of people find release planning difficult and confusing in Agile. How can we plan out our releases when we don’t have fixed scope? When will we know something is ready for release? How do we use velocity to help our planning? Are releases tied to iterations? I’m going to try and answer these […]

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Are story points really about value?

I used to think story points were about work When I started doing Agile, I was introduced to the idea of user stories and story points. They seemed pretty clear to me; user stories were defined pieces of work, and the story points was an estimation of how much work there was to do in […]

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Difference between Agile and Lean

What is the difference between Agile and Lean? A lot of people are asking about the difference between Agile and Lean. Are they the same? Which came first? Which is better? Better for what? This article attempts to answer all of these questions. Lean came first. It is Japanese and old Lean is old. Very old. […]

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Why Continuous Delivery is so important

Scrum is a (pretty) good framework for managing requirements, how they move into and out of backlogs, and how we inspect and adapt the outcome of those requirements. But one of its weaknesses is it has very little to say about engineering practices. One of those engineering practices is Continuous Delivery, or CD. This discipline […]

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Servant Leadership and management by measurement

I was reading a bizarre post on Linkedin Pulse about some wacky new system for story point estimation. The details of it aren’t interesting or important. What is interesting is the motivation behind it. The imaginary problem that many people think needs to be solved is that traditional managers, when moved (kicking and screaming) to an […]

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Don’t split people across agile teams

Why do people get split across agile teams? People sometimes get split across teams when working agile (or Waterfall, for that matter). You might hear things like “this team has two front-end developers, two back-end developers, a UX designer, a tech BA, and 50% of an architect”. Why 50%? There are usually two reasons: The […]

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