Month: October 2012

Agile Risk Management Won’t Make You Cringe

Mention “risk management” and many software developers will cringe and sneak away. It’s understandable. I’ve observed some elaborate risk analyses covering everything from missed requirements to flash floods. I cringe just thinking about it! You could go to extremes in preparing an elaborate risk assessment matrix covering probabilities, impacts, mitigation steps, etc. If you’re going […]

Great Agile Development Teams Are Never Satisfied

Greatness is hard to achieve and even harder to maintain. Few agile software development teams ever achieve greatness and that’s probably a good thing — they wouldn’t be happy anyway. The best agile teams never get complacent; they never stop improving; they never get too comfortable; they are never happy with their performance. The good […]

Software Development Is Business Not Science

Some software projects stay in “beta” status for what seems like forever — a kind of perpetual beta. It may seem odd but let’s think about this. Most businesses are effectively in perpetual beta, so the software they develop must be too. How can a mature business be in perpetual beta? How can it not! […]

Would You Rather Fail From the Top Down or the Bottom Up?

Many software teams adopt the top-down approach to software development. Others prefer the bottom-up approach. They’re both high-risk techniques you should avoid. Here’s why. The Top-Down Approach Traditional waterfall teams like this approach. It starts with analysis and works its way down to implementation. The approach begins with high-level market or process analysis (depending upon […]

PMOs Often Create More Problems Than They Solve

Companies create Project Management Offices (PMO) as a means of improving software project success rates and establishing best practices. Regrettably, many of these PMOs fail to offer anything constructive. They are often burdensome, costly and wasteful. PMOs are a good idea, in principle. They can be enormously beneficial when done right. When done poorly – […]

7 Warning Signs of a Technical Debt Collapse

Technical debt is a complex topic. Many factors contribute to it and it tends to grow over time. Implementation shortcuts combined with quick-and-dirty fixes contribute to the buildup. But that’s not the worst of it. The biggest problem with technical debt is that it creeps up on you. Imagine a dam with water building up […]