Performance Reviews Banished

InfoQ have published an article which offers a compelling argument that common corporate performance reviews are fundamentally broken, and should be abandoned. While I largely agree with this premise, I don’t see a great deal of improvement in the proposed solutions. Perhaps it reflects differences in the kinds of places we have worked, but for …

Continue reading ‘Performance Reviews Banished’ »

Working Group Formed to Produce Reusable Agile Contracts

Agile processes are an obvious choice for development work within a business, but have traditionally not sat well when dealing with customers and contracts who like to specify detail, delivery and price before work starts. Negotiators and lawyers have no obvious answers to hand and, rather than take the risky route of creating a new …

Continue reading ‘Working Group Formed to Produce Reusable Agile Contracts’ »

Linda Rising: Prejudices Can Alter Team Work

Team composition and team dynamics are fascinating me right now. We are trying to grow an effective development team, and encourage a process where both the team as a whole and the individuals are doing their best for the company, the product, the customers and them selves. Linda Rising has some thoughts about some of …

Continue reading ‘Linda Rising: Prejudices Can Alter Team Work’ »

Retrospectives for the code base

We have some pretty lively iteration retrospectives as part of our process, but so far they have almost exclusively focussed on the issues affecting the process. Sarah Taraporewalla wonders if such discussions should also cover thoughts about the code base and the changes made to it. Sarah Taraporewalla’s Technical Ramblings » Retrospectives for the code …

Continue reading ‘Retrospectives for the code base’ »

Who plays the role of technial producer on Agile teams?

Looking at the the way collaborative, creative, teams work in fields other than software development can be very useful. There’s an argument that creating a software release is a lot like creating a music album, for example. Chris Johnston has followed this train of thought and asks if we need an analogue to the “producer”. …

Continue reading ‘Who plays the role of technial producer on Agile teams?’ »

The Power of Done

As we attempt to spread agile, continual, iterative, processes throughout the company, there is a growing confusion as to when things are actually ready for release. The old “waterfall” notion of a complex and detailed advance specification, backed up by months of laborious manual testing is no longer applicable. In most ways this is a …

Continue reading ‘The Power of Done’ »

Sins of Commissions – measuring the wrong things

Joel Spolsky has written another article for Inc magazine, this time about the way that incentive schemes and commissions always end up backfiring. Worth a read, and applicable to any process, not just sales. As I pointed out in a recent post, assessing a development team on lines of code, or number of bugs or …

Continue reading ‘Sins of Commissions – measuring the wrong things’ »

Agile and Offshore: Asking for Trouble?

Another post that resonates with our current working situation.There have been several attempts to make use of offshore software development in our company, and we are involved in one right now. The contrast between our “on-shore” agile, iterative, TDD, frequent check-in process and the approach used by our off-shore partners is very sharp. InfoQ: Agile …

Continue reading ‘Agile and Offshore: Asking for Trouble?’ »

Don’t push requirements – pull information

It must be that end-to-end software production process is on my mind. I keep spotting interesting articles about the topic. Here’s one from Digital Dim Sum which delves into the way that requirements find their way into development, contrasting a “push” of requirements with a “pull” of information.. Don’t push requirements – pull information | …

Continue reading ‘Don’t push requirements – pull information’ »

Failures in Agile Develoment

A slightly lightweight article, but the idea is sound. To really make software development processes which work, we need to recognize and pick apart failures as well as celebrate successes. It can be politically tough, though, to stand up and admit failure without trying to spin the blame. InfoQ: Failures in Agile Develoment

Agile Made Us Better, but We Signed Up for Great

Following a mildly rambling discussion this morning, I was intrigued to see the following article which talks about the problems of losing impetus for change after a few bad practices are removed and a few benefits are seen. How far should we be pushing for real end-to-end agility? The Agile Manager: Agile Made Us Better, …

Continue reading ‘Agile Made Us Better, but We Signed Up for Great’ »

What Makes a Good Stand Up Meeting?

As an agile practitioner and consultant I have been participating in daily stand-up meetings for years now, with generally good results. Occasionally such meetings hit some speed-bumps (for example, one problem seems to be that the group of participants can become a bit too large, but splitting the group does not seem useful either). Such …

Continue reading ‘What Makes a Good Stand Up Meeting?’ »