Agile

Agile Coach as Puppet Master (& the Zoom-Out Resolution)

Calling all Puppet Masters! OK let’s be explicit, “Agile Coach as Puppet Master” is most definitely a statement of what not to be. For the natural or aspiring Puppet Masters out there I’m sorry, you’ve come to the wrong place. You may want to watch this instead. When I talk about Agile Coach as Puppet Master…

Adventures with Moving Motivators

It’s the evening of 26 July 2016 in London and I’m off to a meetup. This time it’s ‘Adventures with Agile’ meets ‘Management 3.0’ meets Percy Pigs so it’s bound to be a brilliant evening (yes I have a sweet tooth!). More specifically, this is an Adventures with Agile meetup, delivered by Ryan Behrman, a highly…

‘Personal Agility’ – a mental shift for personal goal setting

I was inspired by a talk by Giff Constable entitled “The Missing Agile Principle” – see references at the end of this post. Giff’s talk is focused on Agile product development but it struck me as being a great way to express an approach to personal goal setting. Furthermore, it’s a way to apply Agile…

Enemies of Agile: Bad Language #2 “Deadline”

He’s Dead Jim! OK it’s not because it has the word “dead” in it, however undesirable, there are plenty of other words in the same boat such as deadpan, dead end, that doesn’t offend. No, it’s not that as such. It’s also not because some people would like you to interpret the word literally. The…

Enemies of Agile: Bad Language #1 “Resource”

Words and phrases are like viruses in that they spread from one person to another who essentially then become ‘infected’. They become an ingrained habit. There’s a word which I have been trying to kick for some time. As a word in its own right, it’s quite beautiful. It sounds great. However, within the context I…

Enemies of Agile: Big Fat User Stories

The Elephant in the Dining Room There is a famous saying, “How do you eat an Elephant? Answer: one bite at a time!” and so it should be when developing software features. The challenge however is that people do not always recognise a metaphorical elephant when they see one. When faced with an epic or…

Jimi photo

A lesson from Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was a massive fan of technology and exploited it like no other single musician before him. He was probably aware of computers but I’m sure never gave a thought to the intricacies of software development processes and the human dynamics at the heart of it. However, there is much we can take from…

Retrospiketives

I’d like to introduce and encourage a new agile activity or ceremony: Retrospiketive [retro-spike-tive] – A time boxed meeting spawned from a retrospective to focus on a single change implementation plan. Also called a “Spiketro” for short. The name pretty much says it all to anyone already immersed in agile software development. It’s a happy marriage of…

The Elements of Style for User Stories and Scenarios (BDD)

The core content of this post was forged in the fire of an intense agile project that was the conception and creation of the international edition of the BBC Homepage for BBC.com. The project team was assembled and some engineers had worked on the original domestic homepage but this was a complete redesign and rewrite,…

Conversations Over Documentation – Striking the Right Balance

When working on requirements, how is your time split between communicating and documenting? It’s very easy to feel the pressure to get requirements documented so that they can move through the development pipeline, so that designers and developers can start to design and build some working software, to build the next feature. On agile projects…