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Archive for 'Software Development'

Great by Choice

I just finished the book Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen.  It is an excellent book and I rank it in the top tier of business books alongside Jim Collins’ earlier work Good to Great.  Great by Choice is a comprehensive study of elite companies that all outperformed the market by 10X and each [...]

Agile Leadership

Recently I attended the Cutter Consortium’s annual Summit in Boston as a panelist for Jim Highsmith’s talk on Agile Leadership.  Jim’s talk was great and got the attendees thinking and talking.  On the plane flight there I jotted down my thoughts on this topic, which is an important one because of how management / leadership [...]

Planning and Commitments (Or a Lack Thereof)

One of the more uncomfortable negotiations between a product team and business people typically happens at the start of a project. This is where the business people want to know what the team can deliver so they can communicate to customers and investors and the team is looking for guidance as to what they should [...]

Don’t Fly Blind

Very few professionals would consider running a business without having reliable revenue and cost data.  Yet there are many software development teams who forget that having data to monitor the business of software development is critical.  Of course it’s hard to measure revenue, but we can definitely measure the costs and gather data that are [...]

The Off-site Customer

Most of the original agile methods have an explicit or implicit assumption that there is an on-site customer; a customer working in close proximity with the team.  Having the dedicated attention of customers who can write or help write user stories and provide continual feedback is a great idea. I confess however that I’ve never [...]

Outsourcing: Cost-cutting and Efficiency

A topic that is widely discussed today in the high-tech industry is outsourcing. The recession has pushed the industry past the tipping point, and every medium and large high-tech company plus many small ones are doing or setting up development in low-cost centers. For better or worse, outsourcing is here to stay; it’s time to [...]

Specifications: be careful!

One of the things that teams who try agile struggle with is what to do about specifications, from UI designs to feature specs to test plans to software designs. Some agile books leave you with the impression you should avoid written documentation entirely, and it’s true that many teams who practice agile avoid any kind [...]

It’s Code-AND-Fix!

The error in the first print run of my book that I most wish I’d caught in proofreading is at the start of the chapter on Defect Prevention.  In the opening paragraph I describe how a culture of defect detection is one of coding then bugfixing; i.e. code-then-fix, or “let’s add all the features first, [...]