Recently I wrote about Target-Driven Agile.  Now, I’d like to outline what a Target-Driven agile project actually looks like.  Of course, as discussed previously, there are many possible variations.  This is the way I like to do it. (Note: These are just the key steps/phases in a Target-Driven project. I my next post, I’ll outline some… Read More

There are many forms of agile. Some do support setting price and scope up front.  Here, I outline two overall flavours of agile – one which supports fixed scope and price, and one which does not. Background Much as the Old Town in a European city is the center of the city, but doesn’t itself… Read More

At today’s IITP Lightning Talk/Panel Discussion, I promised to post some links about how each agile project tends to need its own process, tailored to its own particular situation. Here are those links, and some rough notes on a few other things too: Tailoring process to each project The main author on this is Alistair… Read More

I’m seeking feedback on the following comparison of agile vs waterfall(*)   The comparison is to be used as background information for a panel discussion on agile contracts, so it emphasizes those aspects which I felt were most relevant to that topic.  I’ve tried to keep it agnostic as to the exact flavour of agile to… Read More

Most software engineers have an intuitive sense that the industry is approaching pricing and estimation in the wrong way.  But we’ve lacked data to prove, or disprove, our intuitions. Magne Jørgensen and his colleagues, at the Simula Research Laboratory, are doing awesome research to fill the gap. Some of what they’ve found will support your… Read More

Here’s a 6-point summary of my “People Skills” talk.  The points are in pairs, two about negotiation, two about the “arrows of communication”, and two about mindset. Identify interests Generate options Share your stories Ask for their experiences Don’t try to win the meeting Test your assumptions Note that there’s far more to people skills than… Read More

A key part of good negotiation, or negotiation-like discussions such as those about design of a new product, is identifying the interests of all parties. I suspect that there’s a very common mistake made, when identifying interests. That is to assume what the other person’s interests are, instead of asking them. But it gets worse.… Read More

It’s not easy to summarise the wonderful work of Chris Argyris. His work on mindsets, namely the Unilateral Control mindset and the Mutual Learning mindset, seems particularly difficult to summarise – and yet it’s so vitally important to anyone who works with other people. Here’s my latest attempt, at approachable wording for the two mindsets. Unilateral… Read More

I think this lovely quote, originally about scientific research, probably explains a lot about how trends come and go in software engineering. after a new paradigm is proposed, the [publication]process is tilted toward positive results. But then, after a few years, the academic incentives shift—the paradigm has become entrenched—so that the most notable results are… Read More

I conducted an experiment today. I chose a problem which Ron Jeffries solved with TDD. I took the opposite approach.  I sat for about 5 minutes and thought about the solution.  Then I wrote down the code, added a unit test, ran the test to find the errors (there were 3), added one more test, re-ran both… Read More