[This is an edited version of a post originally entitled  Creating an Agile Contract] Writing an agile contract, without changing your procurement process, is like forcing a square peg into a round hole.  As an industry, we’ve tried to do so for more than decade, and we have to accept it doesn’t work.  We need… Read More

I see two main things going wrong when agile projects are done under traditional contracts. The first problem is that the parameters of the project – cost, scope and time – are set far too early. The result is often an infeasible project.  No contract, no matter how it’s worded, can fully protect you in that… Read More

Feature Thinning is the agile practice of simplifying the scope and implementation of specific features, on a case-by-case basis.  Often, given their growing knowledge of the technology and business domain, an agile team can suggest simpler alternatives to what the users originally asked for.  Often, these simpler alternatives still give all the key benefits, at… Read More

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