Category Archives: Agile

Duke Nukem, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle

One of my favorite recent books I’ve read is the tome on human societies, “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies”. In it, there is a section examining domesticable aminals. The author walks through the observation that although … Continue reading 


Continuous Integration: Early indicators mean inexpensive fixes

Earlier this year, I bought a car—my first new car. Although it fills me with sanctimonious hybrid glee (it really does), it’s making me neurotic with instrument panel indicator lights. The low-tire-pressure indicator after the weather turned cold. The insistent … Continue reading 

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Disruptive versus iterative change

Scrum is a rather interesting phenomena. As a process, the feedback system it incorporates encourages incremental and iterative improvements not only in the software, but the process itself. Once scrum is in place, things can go rather smoothly, although I … Continue reading 


Upsides of Scrum

In many team sports, players are selected by teams through a draft system. If you’re a bit of a sports nerd and you follow these drafts closely (as the team you root for is always in the dumps and therefore … Continue reading 


Waste and group estimations

In my post on ditching planning poker, I talked about the waste we uncovered with group estimations. In fact, we found the entire sprint planning meeting to be a large waste of time. In our spring planning meetings, our entire … Continue reading 


Estimation in consulting

Some of our big early agile projects in consulting gave us quite a big perspective in what works well in estimation techniques in our consulting business, and what doesn’t. We already ditched the group estimation techniques of planning poker, finding … Continue reading 


From sprints to pull-based flow

In the last post, I talked about a large, long-term agile project and how we consolidated individual teams’ story flows into one, big story wall. All teams were now united into one visible process for getting a story from inception … Continue reading 


Visualizing the entire flow

In the large agile project I talked about in the last post, one of the biggest improvements in our process was combining our story workflow across all teams. At the start of the project, we didn’t really know what our … Continue reading 


Ditching planning poker

In a recent long-running agile project, we started out our story estimation process with a game called “planning poker”. Planning poker is a collaborative estimation technique, where all developers on a team determine estimates in stories in terms of points, … Continue reading 


Agile: 10 years later

One of the interesting pieces of Mike Cohn’s post on the 10 year anniversary of the Agile manifesto was a comparison of the arguments in the previous decade around OOP: The next change I’d like to see (and predict will … Continue reading 

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