Month: August 2012

Agile vs. Waterfall – Avoid the Semantic Debate

Every software development approach has its flaws and its critics. Though at times, it seems like everyone is looking for a panacea — a cure-all or ultimate remedy. Sadly, there is none. Here are a few criticisms leveled at the major development approaches. All have some validity, especially when the approach is applied improperly (which […]

Say It. Do It. Improve It.

Have you ever noticed that some people avoid the spotlight? That is, they like to work on low-key projects that don’t get a lot of corporate attention. I’m not in any way suggesting that they don’t work hard. They simply don’t like drawing attention to themselves. Along comes an agile development approach using Scrum, Kanban, […]

Software Impossible – 6 Questions You Need to Answer

You’ve delivered a new or improved software application. Congratulations! Now you find that the software is not receiving the enthusiastic reception you expected. Some people are complaining about defects. Others are whining about missing features. Something seems to have gone wrong. Unfortunately, this scenario is more common than not in software development. We can try […]

The Minimum Viable Prototype Is a Better Idea

You’ve likely heard about the concept of the Minimum Viable Product or MVP. The idea is to build the simplest software solution that satisfies the business and user needs — then begin iterating. Keep improving the product in release after release. The MVP concept is controversial if only because defining a minimal viable product is […]

The Trial and Error Approach Really Works

Much of what happens around us involves trial and error or the process of elimination. For example, if you’ve ever gone to a medical doctor complaining of not feeling right, you’ve seen this in action. Doctors rarely pinpoint a medical condition immediately. They usually start eliminating possibilities by asking questions. They run some tests that […]

There’s a Problem with Burndown Charts

Okay. I admit it. I’m not a big fan of burndown charts for tracking software release progress. You can flip them over and call them burnup charts but I’m still not a believer. Here’s why. The burndown chart has an end goal. That goal is total user story points expected to be delivered for the […]

Scrum Is Not Stressful But People Are

I’ve heard complaints that the Scrum approach to software development creates a lot of additional stress. Really?  That perception needs further analysis. The team commits to a delivering a set of stories by a target date. That’s stressful. They have daily standup meetings to report progress and discuss impediments. More stress. They have to satisfy […]