Month: January 2012

Enterprise Organizational Structures Are Not Agile and Don’t Work

As soon as any large enterprise decides to implement agile development, they run right into organizational boundaries. They are likely to have siloed departments much like the following: Program Management Product Management User Experience Design Software Development Quality Engineering Publications Customer Support None of these departments can build, deliver and support a software system alone. […]

Enterprise Agile Development and DevOps Cause Major Upheavals

The concept of DevOps is gaining traction within the IT departments of many companies. What is DevOps? It’s the idea of a cross-functional team composed of people from development and operations. The team develops the software and support the resulting software application and associated infrastructure. The DevOps approach is popular with companies offering cloud-based software. […]

Build the Simplest Software That Solves the Business Problem

Agile software development and feature-driven development (FDD) have much in common. Many agile stories encompass features requested by the software stakeholders and end-users. Yet, staying focused on features and not system architecture can be hard to do. Let’s discuss a simple example. Say your development team is asked to build a simple software application that […]

It’s Time to Redefine the Scrum Role of Product Owner

Are we expecting too much from our Product Owners? I’ve read many descriptions of the role and the responsibilities for a Product Owner in Scrum. Some of those descriptions seem over the top and appear to expect too much from the role. Comments like “willing to make hard choices” ( and “the single person responsible […]

The Daily Stand-Up: Start Time Doesn’t Matter

What time should your daily stand-up meeting be held? The subject of what time to hold the daily stand-up is frequently asked by software development teams following an agile approach like Scrum, Kanban, Lean or XP. Most teams like to hold the stand-up ‘first thing in the morning’ — whatever that means. Here’s the problem. […]

Collaborate! Don’t Hide Behind Priorities.

Picture this — I’ll bet it’s happened to you more than once. Your boss, business stakeholder or customer approaches you and asks you to take on an important assignment. It’s not a major project but it’s not a quick or simple undertaking either. You already have more work in your queue than you can complete […]

Mindless Activities Will Kill Your Agile Approach

No software development team can be agile without a strong business foundation that allows rapid progress. Implement Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean or whatever development approach you like. They will all fail unless the business has an agile mindset. Developers should be paid to think and add value not to perform mindless activities. Let computers perform […]

Don’t Change a Development Approach That’s Working

Should your software development team follow a single approach for all projects? Or, should they select the best approach for the situation? I believe the answer is ‘…follow a single approach’. Here’s my reasoning. There’s a general philosophy that software projects facing significant risk factors benefit from agile approaches like Scrum, Kanban, Lean or XP. […]

Build Relationships Not Risk Management Tables

People who are good at the command-and-control approach to software development are always right. That’s correct, they are always right — every time. That’s ridiculous, you say? How can they always be right, you ask? It’s simple. They commit to schedules, costs and feature sets. Then, they pull out a risk management table and tell […]

What’s Most Valuable – Features, Quality or Time?

When it comes to software development (agile or not), what’s most valuable to your company (in alphabetical order)… Features Quality Time Pick one (and only one). Before you answer that, let me better define the choices. Features The “Features” of the software refers to its capabilities and its capacities. In other words, capabilities are what […]