What does “project success” mean?

A few years ago, I did a training course in project management. Right near the beginning, they told us about the dreaded Chaos Report. Ever heard about that This was a yearly document produced by the Standish Group (an IT consulting firm) that produced alarming statistics on the vast number of failed projects. We were […]

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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 askingĀ 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 postĀ 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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Cloud, the shift from buy to rent, and everything as a service

Cloud computing is an often misunderstood concept that fell victim to Gartner’s hype cycle in a pretty spectacular way. But it is a real thing and it is a game changer (it already has changed many games) and it is here to stay. But there are plenty of blogs and books that can tell you […]

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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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Pricing of technical debt

I talked recently about technical debt and the importance of cleaning it up via regular refactoring. This article will explain the pricing of technical debt and why we should do it. Any information system will probably at some point suffer from large scale or “macro” technical debt. This often happens when a project is implemented […]

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