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Agile Project Management in easy steps

In October 2014 I shared how I would start work on the second edition of Agile Project Management in easy steps. The last few months have been hectic, with my MBA studies, and starting a new job; but finally, last week, we got the final edits completed and the manuscript files have been handed over to the publishers.[…]

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Take two goals into a sprint? Creating a focus on improvement as well as delivery

We’ve all heard the reports that tell us how multi-tasking is not effective, how context-switching causes us unrecoverable down-time. We know from this that we need to be more tightly focused on a single goal (per sprint), one that we can organise our work around, one that more easily helps us know that what we’re doing[…]

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It’s structure, not culture, that kills change

Are you attempting a large-scale transformation, taking your organisation on a journey to a leaner, fitter future so you can deliver delightful quality customer experiences responsively, seizing market opportunities or tackling problems even before they appear? If so, then you’ve probably drunk the cool-aid that it’s all about culture, that you have to change the[…]

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Waterfall projects are more successful than agile projects?

Waterfall projects are more successful than agile projects. Wait! What? For a university paper I am currently writing, I revisited the 2013 Chaos Manifesto. This report marked a watershed moment in the long history of the Standish Group and their biennial Chaos Reports that chart the factors that make projects successful. What stood out for[…]

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Planning Snap, or how Planning Poker can go wrong

You know when someone pulls out the packs of planning poker cards that you’re about to enter into a parallel universe where the normal rules of working life are temporarily suspended and we use a form of game-play to get us past the awkwardness of not wanting to estimate our backlog items. I will be writing[…]

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I want the impossible: Good, Fast, and Cheap

When we start out on a venture, of any kind, we hope things will run smoothly, we expect the ‘happy path’ / ‘sunny day’ scenario to be true. In designing our software, though, we know that we need to allow for alternate paths and exceptions. In the same way, when thinking about our projects, we should expect to be hit[…]

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Assuring against toxic spills – quality assurance in software development

What’s the right time to ensure our products are free from defects? Is it before or after you launch, or some other time? I’ve written recently on the topic of how to handle defects and bugs through feature development and the purpose and value of stabilisation before release. The conversations that this sparked led me to reflect on[…]

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Are we being agile if we have stabilisation sprints?

Did you ever play Jenga? It’s a challenging game of dexterity, patience, and brinkmanship — you start with a tower of blocks, 18 stories high, three blocks per story, then each player takes turns at removing a block from a lower level and placing it on top, until the tower becomes so unstable it topples[…]