There isn’t anything magical about 10 items it could have been 7 or 12, all three numbers have a resonance but as I put the items together it seemed that these 10 were more significant than anything else I could think of, and taking anyone away made the list less effective. So, with apologies for another top-10 list, here you are.
Just as the ‘abominable snowman’ never existed, and is merely used to frighten children from playing in the snow too long, “Waterfall” is just as nonexistent and is used by coaches as propaganda scare tactics to frighten developers into buying into Agile, Lean, kanban, or whatever the flavor of the month is in project management.
It happened again. Some people at the (wildy awesome) ALE 2012 unconference said, “We need to get more managers/leaders/aliens to this event!” Really, you can dream all you want. But you will not get people with different mental models to...
The key to creating software quickly is to re-use good existing code. Existing languages remain popular in large part because they build up a large collection of re-usable libraries, and a system for conveniently installing and using them. However, libraries alone are not enough any more.
An even greater productivity boost are collections of libraries that work extremely well together: frameworks. A framework takes care of as much code common to the problem domain as possible and provides developers with re-usable patterns to develop their custom software. Popular languages build up frameworks also.
But new languages can compete at the framework level, in part because the cost of switching frameworks can be very high. Switching to a new language is now a piece of the equation that also includes the benefits of the new framework.
Agile has the smell of death on it. If you go to an “agile” event you will see few people under the age of 40 and many over 50. These attendees are on average much older than the average age of programmers, and often older than the people running today’s hot software companies. Why aren’t more younger people grasping at agile straws?
I often run into a complaint that agile methods don't have a rigorous definition. The complainer may talk about how this means that you can't tell if a particular team is using an agile method or not. They may also say that this makes it hard to teach people how to do agile methods - what's the curriculum?
To some degree I do feel the pain of this complaint - but I accept there is no cure. This lack of rigorousness is part of the defining nature of agile methods, part of its core philosophy.
Depending on whether you're a proponent or a detractor, agile is either a family of methodologies or a religion composed of one true denomination and a handful of variously misguided sects whose only virtue is being less misguided than the waterfall contingent. The same may be said for waterfall, only backward.
In fact, for all the religious fervor, the question of which methodology is superior can only be answered by the phrase business managers like least from consultants: "It depends."
This term was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf and published in his essay The Servant as Leader in 1970.
The essay was based on the bookJourney to the East by Hermann Hesse. The short story is around the main character, Leo, who is a servant to a group of travelers on a mythical journey. He takes care of the group and all their needs. One day Leo disappears, the group scrambles, falls apart and cannot continue, and abandons their journey. Leo was being a good servant and, in turn, a great leader for the group.
If you look at the definition of Kanban or Lean, you wouldn't find teams anywhere there.
So, if you are a manager of an organization on the Kanban train of evolutionary improvement, what does it mean for team structure? Should you keep the current structure? Adopt the Scrum Feature Teams concept? Do something else altogether? How should you organize your people to be as effective as possible in delivering value for the stakeholders?
Every now and then I hear the following being said when one compares Kanban and Scrum: Kanban is Kaizen, with continuous improvement and soft and smooth changes, and whereas Scrum is Kaikaku, with disruptiv improvement and hard and rough changes.
The Agile software manifesto grew from discontent with heavyweight and unwieldy methodologies that had helped so many (perhaps most) software projects run way over time and over budget. So the real question to address (even before exploring whether Agile + Strategy can co-exist) is whether there is a need for an alternative, lighter-weight approach to digital strategy and planning.
Conspiracies can be fun. Based on just enough superficial evidence or correlation, they allow us to indulge our imaginations and let off some steam. But what happens if we stumble onto a hush-hush cover-up that we were never supposed to find? Is your system just slow today, or is there a key logger running? You better conceal that camera on your monitor (hey, it’s not being paranoid when everyone is out to get you!) We are about to explore some agile conspiracies, so get your cover-up ready...
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