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

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

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

If you were about to attend a workshop on People Skills, what would you be hoping to learn?  What questions would you bring with you? I ask because I’m teaching my first People Skills workshops in a few weeks and am currently fine-tuning the content.  Any tips or suggestions you can offer will be most welcome.… Read More

I’m presenting half-day workshops on People Skills for IT Professionals.  Courses are scheduled in Auckland and Wellington, and available on demand elsewhere. Wellington: 12 June  Details Auckland: 26 June Details… Read More

This Thursday lunchtime I’m presenting the latest version of my ever-evolving “people skills talk”. The occasion is an IITP lunchtime talk. The modest fee, which is discounted for IITP members, includes a light lunch. Details are here.… Read More

I did promise to post something on people skills every week… but some things have come up which will get in the way of my regular posting schedule. In particular, I’m preparing a half-day people skills workshop. “Regular transmission” will resume in a few months.  In the meantime, if you have any suggestions on what… Read More

It’s a common misconception that agile processes can’t be used with fixed scope.  A number of the founders of the agile movement invented their forms of agile on fixed-scope projects. As I write this, I’m working myself on an 18-month project with about 20 people and a fixed(ish) scope (see below).  So it can be done. … Read More

My first exposure to Agile was in the early 2000’s, when a friend leant me the Schwaber and Beedle Scrum book.  It kept talking about mysterious  “emergent properties”, which were apparently good things that would inevitably happen when you followed the process.  But it never really explained why those properties would emerge and, to my… Read More

Agile has always embraced change.  But businesses are still be tempted to minimise those changes, by trying to get things “right” first time.  On my current project, we’re realised that minimising change is not necessarily a good thing. Why? After the system goes live, we must be able to change it.  (In our opinion, an… Read More