Focus On Flow

Definitions provide several benefits. The first is that once a definition for an object or concept is agreed upon, it is far easier to have a discussion without getting confused. A second and equally important benefit is that definitions provide a platform for establishing attributes that can be used to describe the object or idea. For example, if we were describing a flow of water, we could use direction, speed, and volume to describe and measure the flow. If we use Daniel Vacanti’s definition of the flow of software development and maintenance, “the movement and delivery of customer value through a process,” we can identify a common set of attributes that can be used to describe flow. Attributes are critical because even with a definition we need to communicate and measure nuances. Just think if you only had one word to describe rain or hot;, a lot would be lost.

(more…)
Play Now

107 podcasts ago (just a little over two years ago) on SPAMCAST 601 I interviewed Brian Weaver of Torch.AI about leadership. Lots of things have happened since then, a pandemic, Europe in flames again and Torch.AI thriving.  It was great to touch base with Brian to talk about how his perspective as a leader has changed.  While not needed for this interview, I highly recommend listening to SPaMCAST 601 either before or after.  

(more…)

Completing a re-read is always bittersweet. Today we say goodbye to a friend, Why Limit WIP: We Are Drowning In Work. The final chapter is the Epilogue and interwoven are our final notes.  Next week we lay out the logistics for our next re-read of Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Arkins https://amzn.to/38G0ZD3

(more…)
Software Process and Measurement Podcast Logo
Play Now
SPaMCAST 707

In SPaMCAST 707 Susan Parente and I discuss the difference between leadership and management in her Not A Scrumdamentalist column. These two concepts are related but not the same. 

The votes are in!  The next three books for Re-read Saturday are:

Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Arkins https://amzn.to/38G0ZD3 

Extraordinarily Badass Agile Coaching by Bob Galen https://amzn.to/3wJsbtS 

Team Topologies by Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais, and Ruth Malan https://amzn.to/3yXINzo 

(more…)

The votes are in!  The next three books for Re-read Saturday are:

Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Arkins https://amzn.to/38G0ZD3 

Extraordinarily Badass Agile Coaching by Bob Galen https://amzn.to/3wJsbtS 

Team Topologies by Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais, and Ruth Malan https://amzn.to/3yXINzo 

While Bob Galen’s book topped the poll, we will re-read it after Coaching Agile Teams so that I have a chance to read it first (so I can actually call it a re-read).  Thanks to everyone who participated in the selection process.

(more…)
Listen Now

SPaMCAST 706 features a conversation with Tom Henricksen. Tom makes a strong case that ignoring soft skills will limit your ability to deliver real value. Tom says, “Humans Are Hard, Code Is Easy.”

(more…)

The bottom line to chapter 10 of Why Limit WIP: We Are Drowning In Work is simple (assuming you have been re-reading along); too much WIP interferes with learning. Without the time or inclination to experiment, the best scenario is learning by accident.  In Chapter 10, the author discusses how knowledge workers learn. The model is:

(more…)
Perpetuating the Metaphor

Flow is one of the most used words in agile and lean (and there are a lot of overused words in the field). Even though the word is used by nearly every practitioner multiple times a day there are very few solid definitions. Instead of definitions, most practitioners have a notional understanding of what the word means in software and software-related disciplines but often revert to metaphors when challenged. If I had a dollar for every reference to a river or traffic I would be able to outbid Elon Musk for Twitter. The term is used as a noun, verb, and adjective (I am sure someone has an example of flow used as an adverb but I have to hear it yet).

(more…)
SPaMCAST Logo

In the SPaMCAST 705 we stay with the basics and define the term flow. I recently listened to a conversation where the term flow was used 30ish times in 30 minutes. Each use of the term meant something different. Today we draw a line in the sand to improve communication. 

We also have a visit from Jeremy Berriault from the QA Corner.  Jeremy and I discussed the mistaken belief that Scrum Master and Coach can be translated to administrative assistant. 

(more…)

As a coach, I spend a lot of time helping people communicate. Having been involved in helping teams and teams of teams get stuff done I am amazed at the amount of effort that goes into “communication,” how much of that effort is directed to messaging, and how little to actually coordinate and improve products. I recently got an email from a new reader of the blog. The question boiled down to whether it was normal for a whole team to spend three days generating slides and practicing for a sprint review. I will share a version of the response in a few weeks, but the basic answer was no. In that organization, the Sprint Review had stopped being a tool for collaboration and communication and a high-pressure messaging event. Unfortunately, while this might be a bit extreme, messaging and talking at people is often confused with communication.

(more…)