This week we continue the priority theme with an essay titled, “What is a Priority?” I wish it was a simple question. Since the whole idea of priority is premised on a group of people having a shared perspective and definition this is a question that needs to be asked and answered. 

We also have a visit from Susan Parente with her I’m Not A Scrumdamentalist column.  In this installment, we tackle bad leadership (I wish tackle was not used metaphorically).


The Software Process and Measurement Cast features an essay on prioritization. We prioritize in order to establish what to work on and when to do it. There is often a difference between assigned priority and the real priority based on when teams start and complete a piece of work. This essay is part of the overall conversation on controlling work entry and answering the question: Are we working on the most important thing?

We also have a visit to the QA Corner with Jeremy Berriault. Mr. Berriault and I discussed how testing is integrated into the Agile Performance Holarchy.


This week we dive into what is often viewed as arcane science by the development community, pricing. Pricing can make or break any product. Everyone in the value chain has to have a good understanding of how pricing decisions are made and how they can impact what should be built and when. One critical part of the conversation focuses on whether there is an ideal pattern for product and development to work together? If not, what are the consequences? Our conversation just skims the surface of Ajit Ghuman’s new book Priced to Scale which hit the book stands in April. 


Work Entry: An Introduction, focuses on what work entry is and why it is the single most important part of determining whether a team is dependable, predictable, and even remotely agile. 

We will also have a visit from Jon M Quigley and his Alpha and Omega of Product Development. Jon and I discuss, wrestle, and chew on how the idea of a product backlog can exist in a project environment. 

Re-Read Saturday News 

We have read or re-read Fixing Your Scrum: Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems by Todd Miller and Ryan Ripley cover-to-cover if you don’t count the index at the back of the book (and I certainly do not). As a wrap-up, I briefly consider three points that came to mind during the re-read. If you have not bought your copy — what are you waiting for? Fixing Your Scrum: Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems 

Next week we will start our re-read of Monotasking by Staffan Noteberg by laying out an approach. I am contemplating combining the re-read with experience reports as I try to put the ideas in the book to use. More on that next week.

This Week’s Installment 

Week 16 – Final Thoughtshttps://bit.ly/3p3tbU0v 

Previous Installments

Week 1: Re-read Logistics and Front Matterhttps://bit.ly/3mgz9P6 

Week 2: A Brief Introduction To Scrum, and Why Scrum Goes Badhttps://bit.ly/37w4Dv9 

Week 3: Breaking Bad Scrum with a Value-Driven Approachhttp://bit.ly/3stGc9Q 

Week 4: The Product Ownerhttps://bit.ly/3qpKvSn 

Week 5: The Product Backloghttp://bit.ly/3cAEk9c 

Week 6: The Development Teamhttp://bit.ly/2OLVAAs 

Week 7: Embracing The Scrum Master Role –  https://bit.ly/3m0HB5D 

Week 8: Managementhttps://bit.ly/31Kv39l 

Week 9:  Thinking In Sprintshttps://bit.ly/321wXTg 

Week 10: Sprint Planninghttps://bit.ly/3stWOhx 

Week 11: Sprint Backloghttps://bit.ly/3njezit 

Week 12 – Reclaiming The Daily Scrumhttps://bit.ly/3eNzMgz 

Week 13: Deconstructing the Done Product Increment – https://bit.ly/3bedTGc 

Week 14: The Sprint Reviewhttps://bit.ly/3huZvgP 

Week 15: The Retrospective https://bit.ly/3bOK2Vg 


Speaking of Monotasking by Staffan Noteberg, in the next podcast, we will feature the interview I did with Staffan covering the book that we are about to re-read.  We discussed how to apply the ideas in the book to improve focus, productivity, and quality of life.

Play Now!

The idea of Communities of Practice is thrown around a lot in organizations, often without thinking about the goals of a CoP.  Why? Organizations are increasingly becoming more diverse and distributed, while at the same time pursuing mechanisms to increase collaboration between groups and consistency of knowledge and practice hence the rapid growth of Communities of Practice.  Let’s explore the goals of a CoP.

This week also marks the premiere of Tony Timbol’s new column, “To Tell A Story.” In this week’s installment, we begin to explore the nuances of User Stories.  Tony is a practitioner, consultant, entrepreneur, and science fiction author — Tony does it all.

Email: tony.timbol@agileready.net

Web: BeAgileReady.com 

Interested in Mikolaj Pawlikoski’s book, Chaos Engineering, Site reliability through controlled disruption I have discount codes for the listeners of the Software Process and Measurement Cast, ping me @tcagley@tomcagley.com and I will share them with you!

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This week’s Software Process and Measurement Cast features our interview with Ted Harrington, author of HACKABLE: How to Do Application Security Right. Application security requires planning, coding, and testing. It is not something that you can easily remedy after the fact – it needs to be part of the conversation before you write one line of code. Ted provides insights for developers, C-level executives, and product owners. If you have not bought a copy buy two copies (https://amzn.to/386w7Hr), one for you and one for your boss, and listen to the interview together.

Play Now!

This week Dave Nicolette, author of Software Development Metrics from Manning Publications, and I talk about pragmatically using metrics. Dave and I talked about the value teams get from measurement regardless of the approach you are taking to deliver value. Measurement is feedback and measurement is leadership for guiding and improving how work is done.   

After you have listened I think you will want a copy of Dave’s book on metrics.  Use the link: http://mng.bz/r2Og  Also, yes there is more, you say you don’t want to pay full price?  Use the discount code podspam20 to get a 40% discount code (good for all Manning products in all formats).


If you have not gathered, I am passionately invested in a code of ethics for Agile Coaches.  A CoE is important for a wide range of reasons, but most importantly it is important for delivering value to the people and firms delivering coaching or being coached. I am convinced that without a code of ethics agile coaches will be like Peter Pan and the children that never grew up.  While that might be a bit of hyperbole, ethics are highly related to professionalism. As part of my goal of pushing for a code of ethics, I got involved with the Agile Alliance’s Agile Coaching Ethics Initiative.  The initiative is being chaired by Shane Hastie and Craig Smith who are also acting as product owners.  Currently, there are 20 – 30 people involved from across the globe. The people involved are amazing; I actually look forward to group working sessions (we are mobbing) and pair Zoom calls. Who really looks forward to meetings? I am a better guide, coach, and person from working with this diverse group of amazing people.

Standing Up?

Shu Ha Ri has become a common pattern transplanted from martial arts into the agile vocabulary.  The pattern describes the learning journey from student to master. Students follow their masters, and masters create new patterns of knowledge to teach students. A common issue I observe in many organizations and teams is that as a person, team, or organization matures their agile and lean practice they let the basics atrophy. It’s almost as if there is a gremlin that whispers in practitioners’ ears, “basics are for learners, you are a master.” This laxness is observed and emulated. The Daily Scrum or standup meeting is a case in point. 


The Software Process and Measurement Cast 617 features our essay on rediscovering productivity.  One of the tools I have embraced is Pomodoro. It is a great approach to staying focused and helps unwonkify time in my home office!

Also this week, Susan Parente brings her “Not A Scrumdamentalist” column to the Software Process and Measurement Cast! Susan begins a three-part series on grateful leadership.  Grateful leadership is so much more than just saying thank you.

In between the essay and Susan’s column, we have a promo for the Agile Online Summit 2020. (more…)

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