A New Copy!

Today we tackle Chapter 5 of  Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability. Chapter 5, Flow Metrics and CFDs combines the concepts of flow metrics and cumulative flow diagrams (CFD). Cumulative flow diagrams are powerful data visualization techniques, combined with flow metrics the power becomes more evident. Buy your copy today and read along! (more…)


Transformation Killers Can Create Destruction.

Change that isn’t perceived as wildly positive is not exactly the easiest thing to convince people to participate in.  The problem isn’t that people and organizations can’t change, but rather that change efforts are more often than not screwed up.  We continue the top 20 transformation killers in order of worst to first.  Recognize that even the least of the transformation killers can stop change in its tracks.

Round Two: Transformation Killers 15 -11:

  1. Ignoring Culture


Transformations Aren’t A Safe Place


Organizational transformations have been around since two people got together to cooperate for any length of time.  Mentally I can see Neanderthals changing their approach on a hunting expedition.  In today’s terms organizations, reorganization, they embrace agile or they pivot.  Those are just a few terms and phrases that describe organizational transformations.  While our forbearers may have understood they were transforming the term, organizational transformation has only lately become a thing.  Google’s NGram viewer shows the startling rise in popularity of the term.

Organizational Transformation

The popularity of the term is a reflection of the perceived need to radically change how and what we are doing.  The term transformation evokes large scale rather than continuous tweaks to your product or service.  Large-scale changes are risky and often fail.  Reflecting on changes ranging from CMMI deployments to Agile transformations I have observed that transformations fail for a myriad of reasons.  The following list identifies 20 of the most nefarious transformation killing culprits.  Even though in reverse ranked order none of these are good. (more…)

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SPaMCAST 468 features the return of Johanna Rothman. Johanna and I discussed her new book, Create Your Successful Agile Project: Collaborate, Measure, Estimate, Deliver.  (Buy your copy today and support Johanna and the SPaMCAST).  Johanna provides incredibly useful and pragmatic insights for delivering value to your customers and stakeholders!

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough product development problems.

Johanna is the author of more than ten books, including:

  • Create Your Successful Agile Project: Collaborate, Measure, Estimate, Deliver
  • Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization
  • Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, 2nd ed
  • Diving for Hidden Treasures: Finding the Value in Your Project Portfolio (with Jutta Eckstein)
  • Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Project Schedule or Cost

See more of Johanna’s writing on http://www.jrothman.com, and http://www.createadaptablelife.com.

Contact Johanna at:

Email:  jr@jrothman.com

Web:   www.jrothman.com

Previous interview with Johanna

SPaMCAST 180 – Johanna Rothman, Transparency and Trust

SPaMCAST 23 – Rothman, Project Management , Traceability

Upcoming Appearances

Metricas 2017

I will be keynoting on Agile leadership and delivering one my favorite presentations, Function Points and Pokémon Go

29 November 2017

Sao Paulo, Brazil


Re-Read Saturday News

This week we re-read Chapter 4 of Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction by Daniel S. Vacanti. Chapter 4 is titled, An Introduction to CFDs. Cumulative Flow Diagrams deliver a huge amount of actionable information.  This chapter lays down the basics needed to build a CFD.  Buy your copy today and read along!

Previous Installments (more…)

A New Copy!

Today we begin Part 2 of  Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability. Part 2 is titled Cumulative Flow DIagrams for Predictability. Chapter 4, Introduction to CFDs lays out the Vacanti’s view on the composition of cumulative flow diagrams (CFD) and the principles that drive those views. Cumulative flow diagrams are some of the most powerful data visualization techniques and are used far less than they should be! Buy your copy today and read along!

Part 2 Cumulative flow diagrams for predictability

Chapter 4 Introduction to CFDs.

The Software Process and Measurement blog has tackled CFDs in the past. CFDs provide a basis for interpreting the flow of work through a process. A CFD can help everyone from team members to program managers (note I think my understanding and experience would suggest updating and tailoring some parts of the older entries on the topic). Vacanti opens Chapter 4 with the concept: (more…)

Scrum of Scrums are about the conversation!

The purpose and composition of a Scrum of Scrums (SoS) have been discussed in detail in earlier blog entries.As a means to scale, SoS has been leveraged as a structure for teams to coordinate and plan activities between each other.  The SoS is a platform for conversations such as negotiating access to a capacity from a team with specific skills or reminding everyone that you are refreshing the test environment in a few hours. The pattern of getting people together to coordinate with a structured approach in a time box is a powerful tool. That is why the base pattern has been tweaked and leveraged for many other purposes, some of which stray away from a few basics prerequisites:

  1. You have to have more than one team. It is difficult to coordinate if no one else is involved.   Just because you are doing Agile or Scrum does not mean that you need to leverage a Scrum of Scrums. Don’t think this has not happened.
  2. Participant teams need to interact with application or capability level.  Holding a Scrum of Scrums that have no functional or capability connection will devolve into a status meeting or worse.
  3. Participants need to have a valid reason to plan and coordinate together.  Even if participants share an application, project, technology or capability, they still need a reason to plan, coordinate and negotiate together or the SoS will be a status meeting.
  4. Participants must trust each other.  Without trust no real communication is possible.

A Scrum of Scrums is not a status meeting — the world does not need more status meetings. (more…)

You can’t make a consensus decision by yourself.

Consensus decision-making is occasionally viewed as a panacea; however, there are several potential shortcomings. Like most situations, knowing an issue is a major step to resolving the issue. (more…)