Month: July 2013

Stop Dawdling and Make a Decision

There are many decisions that have to be made during the course of every project. No matter how much planning takes place at the outset, many details will have to be worked out along the way. Also, don’t forget the unplanned work items and change requests that inevitably happen along the way. Not a day […]

One Size Fits All. No Project Too Big or Too Small.

So your company wants to adopt a new approach for software development projects. The selection committee wants to pick an approach that can be used across the board — on all projects. The committee naturally focuses on big (i.e. expensive) projects because they offer the biggest bang and the biggest risk. The development approach they […]

I’ll Know What I Want When I See It

“I’ll know it when I see it!” Many software specifications should simply make that statement and call it a day. Spending a lot of time at the beginning of a software project trying to precisely define software behavior and appearance is often a waste. Let me tell you a story. I once reported to the […]

6 Ways to Pour Money Down the Drain on Software

Over half of major information technology projects fail. Corporate America spends tens of billions, yes BILLIONS, of dollars on these projects resulting in huge losses. These results span all industries, crossing geographic boundaries and applying to all corporate operations from the front office to the back office. Technology gets the blame but it’s not a […]

Does Planning Make Perfect? No, But It Helps!

One of the leading causes of delays in software development projects is simply the state of being not-ready. I see it all the time. A team member tries to work on something and runs right smack into a wall of missing information. Or a someone tries to hand-off a work item to another team member […]

7 Prerequisites for Building Great Software Systems

When I and other bloggers write about agile software development, we almost always focus on process areas and Scrum, in particular. That’s fine, but I’m making the argument in this post that your team simply cannot be agile unless some basic elements of software development are in place. Without them, the best agile process on […]

The Difference Between Incremental and Continuous Improvement

Most large enterprises claim to engage in continuous improvement but they are really improving incrementally. Their efforts often include annual reorganizations whereby vice presidents are shuffled around and new procedures are put in place. In my experience, little if any value derives from such organizational tinkering. Another form of incremental improvement results from conducting “project […]