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SPaMCAST 549 features our essay Seven Issues Testers Experience Being Agile.  Recently I attended the QAI Quest Conference in Chicago, during the conference I got to talk with lots of people from across the development spectrum. From the conversations and workshops, I identified seven common threads that test and quality focused personal experience being or trying to be agile. In order to be agile, not just do agile, we need to tackle these seven issues

We also have the completion of Susan Parente’s three-installment discussion of distributed agile.  In this installment of Not a Scrumdamentalist, Susan discusses tools and whether they are the hurdle some people make them out to be.   (more…)

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Listen on Spotify!

SPaMCAST 547 returns to our standard staggered approach with a discussion of work entry.  The majority of work entry issues are caused by eight problems. The eight problems often occur in clusters and are a reflection of organizational culture.  Knowing that there are eight problems is useful so that you can do something about them!

Also this week, Kim Pries, the software sensei is back and goes full curmudgeon.  Kim states ”After 40+ years of software work and lies, I get disgusted when I see yet another rehash of so-called tools that purport to do something valuable. The multi-colored risk analysis “tools” are essentially worthless. To date, I have never seen one of these catch or forestall idiocy on the part of a supplier or a customer. There’s no fixing stupid!”

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we are re-reading Chapter 4 of Thinking, Fast and Slow, The Associative Machine.  This chapter begins a deeper dive into the nuances of system 1 thinking.

If you do not have a favorite, dog-eared copy of Thinking, Fast and Slow, please buy a copy.  Using the links in this blog entry helps support the blog and its alter-ego, The Software Process and Measurement Cast. Buy a copy on Amazon,  It’s time to get reading!  

The installments:

Week 1: Logistics and Introductionhttp://bit.ly/2UL4D6h

Week 2: The Characters Of The Storyhttp://bit.ly/2PwItyX

Week 3: Attention and Efforthttp://bit.ly/2H45x5A

Week 4: The Lazy Controllerhttp://bit.ly/2LE3MQQ

Week 5: The Associative Machinehttp://bit.ly/2JQgp8I


SPaMCAST 548 will feature our interview with Heidi Helfand.  Heidi and I discussed teams and her book Dynamic Reteaming: The Art and Wisdom of Changing Teams.  It is time to challenge the conventional wisdom that in agile (or any walk of life) that you need to keep your teams “the same” in order to be successful.


Nothing Says Celebration Like Fireworks!

I enjoy looking back over the previous year to assess what we have accomplished on the blog and podcast. This was quite a year. Susan Parente and Wolfram Müller joined the podcast as columnists.  Anthony Mersino wrote a guest blog entry that was one of the highest traffic entries on the blog. We had year-over-year growth on both the blog and the podcast. We also got the podcast on Spotify. At the same time, I changed jobs this year. While this was positive from a work perspective, the change reduced the amount of time for blogging and podcasting.  During the year, we also had some technical issues causing the temporary loss of a few interviews. They have been recovered and we are catching up – I learned how to use a Linux distro to recover a drive. Overall we (it really is “we”) delivered 52 podcasts beginning with an interview with Kyle Siemens discussing The Case for Certifications and ending the year with essays and discussions covering Story Maps and Agile Risk Management. All 52 podcasts provided great content and there is not one of them I would not do again in a heartbeat.  We also delivered 212 blog entries.

The 10 most downloaded podcasts of the year were. (more…)


Nothing Says Celebration Like Fireworks!

When I first started blogging in November 2006 and then a little later podcasting (later January 2007), I did not specifically envision still being at it over 11 years later. During this period we went from a random entry to blogging daily for a few years to a cadence of four times a week.  I began the podcast publishing every other week and now we are publishing weekly. In June we (there are now a few people involved in the podcast and blog) we passed the milestones of 500 podcasts (not listening? Check out http://www.spamcast.net) and over 1700 blog entries. I still feel that I have a ton of things to explore, explain, and expand upon, but for today’s post, I’m celebrating. There were the milestones on the blog and podcast, my city is celebrating its bicentennial, in June my wife and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary and on July 4th we are celebrating my wife’s and my country’s birthday.  The month between June 7 and July 4 has been exciting (and busy)!For the first 6 months of the year:Top Five Podcasts:

  1. SPaMCAST 473 – Six Important Flow Metrics and Tameflow Chapter 20 Part 3
  2. SPaMCAST 482 – Natalie Warnert, Diversity and Women in Agile
  3. SPaMCAST 486 – Daniel S Vacanti, Actionable Agile Metrics
  4. SPaMCAST 471 – 20 Transformation Killers, QA and Requirements, Systems Thinking
  5. SPaMCAST 484 – Andriy Bas, Teal, Holacracy, Creativity, Productivity and Flat Organizations

Top Five Blog Entries Published in 2018 (so far)::

  1. Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability by Daniel S. Vacanti, Re-read Saturday Week 11: Introduction to Cycle Time Scatterplots
  2. Coaching versus Mentoring
  3. Eight Categories of Muda
  4. Life Cycle of A User Story: Hierarchy
  5. The Definition of Done: Simplicity and Complexity Revisited

The lists we will share on December 31 will probably look very different. Like the Billboard Hot 100, there are quite a few entries that are charging up the list! I enjoy the competition between entities. Are there particular interviews or blog entries you would like to see? The entries from the Re-read Saturday series remain popular.  For those who participated in the recent poll, I would like to announce that the next book we will read is The Checklist Manifesto  (it was very close). The link to buy a copy and support the podcast is here.One last thing before I go off to watch fireworks. I am working on getting a new feature for the podcast off the ground.  I would like to interview people that would like to share one thing they do that they feel makes them successful. I am looking for a quick five-minute interview to share a short idea that someone involved in testing, developing or helping people that are delivering value think will help. Are you interested? Reach out to me at spamcastinfo@gmail.com or tcagley@tomcagley.com and let’s discuss doing a short interview.Have a marvelous day!  We will be back to our theme on Culture on Thursday!

We will take a break from our re-reading of Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today) this week.  I am spending the weekend learning and getting new ideas to improve the Software Process and Measurement Cast at PodCamp.  While I am sitting in lecture halls at Ryerson University in Toronto this weekend please take the time to weigh in on the poll to choose the next book in the Re-read Saturday Series.  You can vote for two books.  I will cut off the poll next Friday.


With 2018 on the horizon I want to spend a few moments to showcase the most popular podcasts and blog entries published in 2017.

For those of you who read the blog and don’t listen to the podcast, a quick reminder — the Software Process and Measurement Podcast explores the varied world of software process improvement and measurement, providing solutions and advice on how to improve value delivery effectiveness. SPaMCAST combines essays, commentaries, interviews, question and answer sessions, and your feedback to serve up ideas, options, opinions, and advice that can be applied in the real world. In a nutshell, the cast provides advice for and from practitioners, methodologists, pundits, and consultants!

The podcast is published every Sunday, 52 times a year (except when we have equipment failure). We publish two types of podcasts. The first type features an interview, and the second is more of a magazine and includes an essay from the blog and two or three columns from a great group of contributors. The current cast of incredible minds include:

Are you interested in participating? Pitch me! The more voices the better! (more…)


With 2017 just beginning I want to spend a few moments to showcase the most popular podcasts and blog entries published in 2016. (more…)

Just Say No!

Just Say No!


I am in Sweden for the  Øredev conference with a day of sightseeing thrown in. If you are attending, let’s connect! The trip to Sweden has been eventful (not a word professional travelers want to hear). Travails included: delayed luggage, flight maintenance and running in airports (not where I like to run). My wife is still waiting on her luggage.  Both United and SAS Airlines have done a great job helping (not something you don’t hear a lot of when talking about airlines).  That said, the planned posting of my interview with Larry Cooper scheduled for today will happen next Sunday, 13 November, with next magazine entry posting on the 27th (there is a trip to Brazil following on the trip to Sweden).  We will be back to weekly posting in December.  

I will be highlighting interviews on Twitter and Facebook that I have done with Øredev conference participants this week (people like Allan Kelly and Marcus Hammarberg to name two).

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 390 features our interview with Vinay Patankar.  We discussed his start up Process Street and the path Vinay and his partner took in order to embrace agile because it delivered value, not just because it was cool.  We also discussed how Agile fits or helps in a lean start-up and the lessons Vinay wants to pass on to others.

Vinay’s Bio:

Vinay Patankar is the co-founder and CEO of Process Street, the simplest way to manage your teams recurring processes and workflows. Easily set up new clients, onboard employees and manage content publishing with Process Street.

Process Street is a venture-backed SaaS company and AngelPad alum with numerous fortune 500 clients.

When not running Process Street, Vinay loves to travel and spent 4 years as a digital nomad roaming the globe running different internet businesses. He enjoys food, fitness and talking shop.

Twitter: @vinayp10

Re-Read Saturday News

We continue the read Commitment – Novel About Managing Project Risk by Maassen, Matts, and Geary.  Buy your copy today and read along (use the link to support the podcast). This week we tackle Chapters Three which explores visualization, knowledge options and focusing on outcomes. Visit the Software Process and Measurement Blog to catchup on past installments of Re-Read Saturday.

Upcoming Events

I will be at the QAI Quest 2016 in Chicago beginning April 18th through April 22nd.  I will be teaching a full day class on Agile Estimation on April 18 and presenting Budgeting, Estimating, Planning and #NoEstimates: They ALL Make Sense for Agile Testing! on Wednesday, April 20th.  Register now!

I will be speaking at the CMMI Institute’s Capability Counts 2016 Conference in Annapolis, Maryland, May 10th and 11th. Register Now!


The next three weeks will feature mix tapes with the “if you could fix two things” questions from the top downloads of 2007/08, 2009 and 2010.  I will be doing a bit of vacationing and all the while researching, writing content and editing new interviews for the sprint to episode 400 and beyond.

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

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This week we are doing something special. Right after the New Year holiday, all of the regulars from the Software Process and Measurement Cast gathered virtually to discuss the topics we felt would be important in 2016.  The panel for the discussion was comprised of Jeremy Berriault (The QA Corner), Steve Tendon (The TameFlow Approach), Kim Pries (The Software Sensei), Gene Hughson (Form Follows Function) and myself. We had a lively discussion that included the topics of women in tech, microservices, capabilities, business/IT integration and a lot more.

Help grow the podcast by reviewing the SPaMCAST on iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcatcher/player and then share the review! Help your friends find the Software Process and Measurement Cast. After all, friends help friends find great podcasts!

Re-Read Saturday News

We continue the re-read of How to Measure Anything, Finding the Value of “Intangibles in Business” Third Edition by Douglas W. Hubbard on the Software Process and Measurement Blog. In Chapter Four, we focused on two questions. The first is getting the reader to answer what is the decision that measurement is supposed to support. The second is, what is the definition of the thing being measured in terms of observable consequences?

Upcoming Events (more…)

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