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SPaMCAST 513 features a second essay on reciprocity.  One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is that some people on a team are passengers and others play different, more involved, roles. Being a passenger long-term on a team or in an organization is a form of rent-seeking and is not valued highly by others.

We also have columns from Susan Parente (I Am Not a Scrumdamentalist) and Jeremy Berriault (QA Corner).  Susan provides a spirited discussion of self-directed teams in agile.  It is a myth that agile teams just get to do what they want. One of the places to find Susan is at S3 Technologies, LLC. Rounding out the cast is this month’s installment of the QA Corner.   Jeremy discusses one of thorniest facts of life for a tester — hard deadlines.

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we tackle Chapter 8, titled The Hero In The Age of Checklists.  Heroes are a big deal; pick up any newspaper and you will see how much the cult of hero is celebrated.  Checklists and methods are viewed by many as diminishing the role of the hero which sows the seeds of resistance to change.  What role does the hero play in a disciplined process? If the hero is core to how we view ourselves and our society, do tools like checklists run the risk of being met with hostility?  Chapter 8 dives directly into the deep end to address these topics.

We have two or three more weeks left in this re-read, which means it’s time for the poll.  Vote and be heard! Write in candidates are welcome.

Remember to buy a copy of The Checklist Manifesto and READ along!

Current Installment:

Week 9 – The Hero In The Age of Checklistshttps://bit.ly/2PWu2TC

 

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Book Cover

We have two-ish weeks left in this re-read, which means it is time for the poll. I have added the second and third place finishers from the last go around to sweeten the pot.  Please let me know what you’d like to see in the next Re-Read segment. 

This week we tackle Chapter 8, titled The Hero In The Age of Checklists.  Heroes are a big deal; pick up any newspaper and you will see how much the cult of hero is celebrated.  Checklists and methods are viewed by many as diminishing the role of the hero, which sows the seeds of resistance to change.  What role does the hero play in a disciplined process? If the hero is core to how we view ourselves and our society, do tools like checklists run the risk of being met with hostility?  Chapter 8 dives directly into the deep end to address these topics. (more…)

A count of the Pokemon in my local park yesterday!

In today’s complex software development environment, it is easy to see every data collection issue as a complex automation problem. For example, I recently had a discussion with a team that is trying to determine how they would know whether a coding standard change they were contemplating would be effective. The team proposed capturing defects the coder/developer pairs found in TFS. The plan was to enter each defect found into the tool. After a discussion, the team decided to adopt a much simpler data collection solution with very low overhead. One of the classic quality tools is a tally sheet or check sheet. A check sheet is a form that used to collect information as it happens as a set of checkmarks or tally marks on the form. Check sheets are a very simple data collection tool. They are often a great way to pilot data collection before spending time and effort on automation or adding overhead to work. A check sheet is a form of the histogram where data where data collection and categorization occurs at the same time as visualization. (more…)

Sample of a Fishbone Diagram

What is a Fishbone diagram?

Ishikawa diagrams, also known as fishbone diagrams, are a mechanism for generating and mining data to discover the cause and effect of an issue or observation. Kaoru Ishikawa created this diagramming technique in (1982) to show the causes of a specific event. A fishbone diagram is an analysis tool that provides a systematic way of looking at effects and the causes that create or contribute to those effects. Because of the function of the fishbone diagram, it may be referred to as a cause-and-effect diagram. The design of the diagram looks much like the skeleton of a fish. The technique has been adopted and used in many quality and analytical processes such as SAFe’s Inspect and Adapt process.

This diagramming technique is almost always used in combination with other techniques (see below). The diagram acts as a way to organize many potential causes of problems or issues in an orderly way and so that the root cause can be sifted out of the noise.

When should a fishbone diagram be used? (more…)

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SPaMCAST 512 marks the return of Jeff Dalton.  Jeff and I talked about the CMMI Version 2.0 and the Agile Performance Holarchy.  The CMMI is often maligned as promoting anti-agile behaviors. Jeff makes the case that Version 2.0 promotes agile.  We dive into the Agile Performance Holarchy during the second half of the interview. The Agile Performance Holarchy provides technology leaders with a model to guide agile adoption.  

Jeff Dalton

Jeff Dalton

Jeff Dalton is Chief Evangelist at AgileCxO.org, a Research and Development organization that studies agile leadership. He is a technology executive with over 30 years of experience as a CTO, CIO, VP of Product Development, and for that past fifteen years has been CEO of Broadsword and AgileCxO. He is an executive agile coach, agile assessor, and instructor, a regular conference speaker, and author of both “The Agile Performance Holarchy: An Operating System for Agile Leaders” and “The Guide to Scrum and CMMI: Improving Agile Performance with CMMI.” In his spare time, Jeff is an instrument-rated pilot and plays bass in a jazz band. He has degrees in music and computer science.  

Contact Jeff at:

Re-Read Saturday News

In week 8 of re-read of The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (use the link and buy a copy so you can read along) we read about building a usable checklist. In this chapter, Dr. Gawande puts all of the lessons learned in chapter 6 into action and tests the result.

We have three or four more weeks left in this re-read, which means it is time to start soliciting ideas for the next book. To date, Sandeep Koorse has suggested Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit and Steven Adams has suggested Bad Blood – Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.  What are your suggestions? I will run the poll in two weeks!

Remember to buy a copy of The Checklist Manifesto and READ along!

Current Installment:

Week 8 – The Fix – https://bit.ly/2NeKyBE (more…)

Book Cover

In week 8 of re-read of The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (use the link and buy a copy so you can read along) we read about building a usable checklist. In this chapter, Dr. Gawande puts all of the lessons learned in chapter 6 into action and tests the result. (more…)

Rent-seeking is like vacuuming up the money!

One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is that some people on a team are passengers and others play different, more involved roles. Being a passenger long-term on a team or in an organization is a form of rent-seeking and is not valued highly by others. Rent-seeking involves seeking to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. In a team, a rent-seeker will increase their share of the credit while minimizing the use or contribution of their own resources. In the popular comic strip Dilbert, the character Wally works very hard at being a rent-seeking passenger. In real life, I have known very few Wallys. Most passengers exist for a short period of time because they are learning a new concept or are changing roles. Long-term passengers on teams use the team’s inertia to minimize the amount of effort they need to expand. Long-term or professional passengers often employ reciprocity as a form of rent-seeking behavior to enhance and solidify their position in a team. (more…)