Software Estimates Are an Exercise in Probabilities

Has this ever happened to you? A senior manager asked me if a software application could be ported from Microsoft Access to The business unit workflows are partly automated and partly manual today. I did a top-level analysis and suggested that the current application could be ported fairly quickly. The project got approved and […]

Being Agile Means Changing Corporate DNA

Successful companies have well-defined business models. They know what works and what doesn’t. They have a formula for generating revenue and controlling expenses. It’s all good — until the business model needs to change. Why would a successful company want to change its business model? New product competition, disruptive technologies, lower-cost competitors, marketplace demands, rising […]

Just-In-Time Planning Reduces Waste and Improves Software

The best agile software development teams use just-in-time planning. It’s a simple concept, really, but not-so-simple to put into practice. It has roots in product manufacturing and is embraced by companies following a kanban approach to building products. You’ve probably heard of just-in-time inventory management. It’s a set of techniques for minimizing both raw materials […]

Happy Agile People Build Good Agile Teams

2013 is winding down and businesses around the globe are making plans (or have made them) for 2014. Most of those plans will be poorly defined and lacking in clear objectives. Rather than focus your energy on things beyond your control, focus on you. Would you like your software development team and your company to […]

What Does It Take To Be Agile?

What does it take for your software development team to be agile? Only you and your team can answer that question. I can offer my opinion about being agile but your circumstances may vary. The characteristics that one person requires for agility will be different from what someone else in a different situation requires. For […]

Guest Post: BYOD: How Employees and Employers Benefit

The BYOD movement is growing among businesses in the U.S. and globally. The ability of employees to bring their personal devices to work has many benefits that employers (and employees) new to the movement need to recognize and weigh before implementing BYOD in their organizations.  Some of the key benefits common to bring-your-own-device programs are […]

Phased Agile Development Builds Bridges

My last five posts have covered the topic of using phases in agile software development similar to the phases of the Rational Unified Process (RUP). So why phases? Neither the Agile Manifesto nor Scrum make any reference to phased development. If you use phases, are you really doing agile development? (If you haven’t read the […]

Project Phases Can Be Used In Agile Development Too

Big companies like highly-structured approaches to software development. Why? They’re trying to control and reduce risk. Despite the fact that their real-world experiences clearly demonstrate lack of success, they keep trying. Some of these companies are adopting approaches that apply more rigor and structure to agile development. The two most discussed (and controversial) approaches are […]

You Can’t Reuse or Recycle Wasted Time

At times, seemingly inexplicable situations are simple to understand once you wrap your head around them. For example, I’m often astonished at how long simple software changes take from the time the change is proposed by the business to the time it’s deployed. Here’s a scenario I see a lot at company after company. Hard […]