Month: March 2012

Don’t Build Bad Business Software With a Good Process

5 Steps for Avoiding the Perils of Building the Wrong Business Software Building an enterprise-scale software package is an expensive proposition under any circumstances. (The definition of enterprise scale for this post is any software package that requires a shared server and supports multiple users.) The real cost includes upfront payments, server costs, user training, […]

Are You Being Agile or Are You Writing Software?

Is your goal to be agile or to write software? Sorry. ‘Both.’ is the wrong answer! There needs to be a focus. Something has to have priority. You can’t serve two masters. Here’s why. Let’s say your team has used a waterfall (command-and-control) process for a while and is comfortable with it. The team has […]

Test-Driven Equals Quality-Driven. Develop ATDD Skills.

Manufacturing industries learned long ago that it’s better to prevent problems than fix them. That’s one of the basic tenets of being lean. Fixing problems is expensive and wasteful. Preventing them isn’t cheap but it’s less costly than fixing. It seems that many in the software industry haven’t figured this out yet. Software defects shouldn’t […]

Don’t Give Product Owners More Credit Than They Deserve

Are Product Owners (PO) all-knowing and all-powerful when it comes to software features and functions? I think they’re sometimes given more authority than they can handle. There needs to be a balance between business needs and technology constraints. Here’s a specific example to illustrate my point. Let’s say the agile development team is asked to […]

Don’t Make Commitments Until the Time is Right

Don’t make a decision today that you can put off until tomorrow. Many product manufacturers like to operate with minimal finished product inventory. They follow the principle of postponing the final build process until a customer order is in hand. That’s lean thinking. This technique enables them to optimize cash flow and minimize the risk […]

Resistance to Agile Development Is Not Inevitable

Many companies would like to do a better job at developing software — better quality, better delivery times, better cost / benefit. Here’s the problem, getting better means changing and change is hard. It’s widely perceived that most of us are resistant to change. I’m not convinced of that. I think most people, including me, […]

Turn These Lean Times into a Strategic Advantage

Being agile is not simply about changing how you develop software. It’s also about how you conduct business. Today’s businesses have to think fast and act faster. Technology is a driver that can pull organizations to new heights but only if they abandon the past and embrace change. Here are five areas where changing the […]

Permanent List of Electronic Kanban and Scrum Tools

A few months ago, I published a post called “Electronic Kanban Boards Are Worth a Look”. Since then I’ve continued to look for software that can be used by software development teams practicing Kanban or Scrum. Specifically, I’m interested in electronic project boards. There are a lot more options available than I thought and there […]

What You Don’t Know Could Kill Your Project

Have you ever heard someone say “You don’t know what you don’t know.”? That’s the worst kind of situation. What you don’t know represents risk and it can severely harm your project. Let’s take a closer look. There are basically three types of knowledge available to a software development team: Knowledge the team has — […]