I have to straighten the picture!

I have always enjoyed fixing things that are off. I notice if a picture is hanging on the wall crooked or if a tag is peaking out of someone’s neckline as they walk down the street. While I generally avoid fixing the problem, I see the issue and could solve it. As an agile coach, I am often asked to help organizations that are struggling to make agile work for them. While every team and organization should leverage coaching it is often those that are struggling that are the most interested in help. A colleague, Doug Brindley, many years ago described this as the carrot and pear problem. Doug posited that organizations and literature describe projects as successful (most of the carrot is at the top not at the bottom of the root) while portfolios of projects look more like pears (most of the fruit is at the bottom). Doug’s metaphor was a statement that many more projects were troubled than organizations or the literature talked about. Adoptions of Scrum and other forms of agile are no different, we hear most about the successes. Based on a combination of observations and conversations with seasoned professionals (I do like virtual coffees and happy hours) I have identified five high-level patterns that lead to a need to reset, retrench, and change the pictures on the wall. (more…)

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Software Process and Measurement Cast 381 features our essay on Agile adoption.  Words are important. They can rally people to your banner or create barriers. Every word communicates information and intent. There has been a significant amount of energy spent discussing whether the phrase ‘Agile transformation’ delivers the right message. There is a suggestion that ‘adoption’ is a better term. We shall see!

We will also have an entry from Gene Hughson’s Form Follows Function Blog. Gene will discuss his blog entry, Seductive Myths of Greenfield Development. Gene wrote “How often do we, or those around us, long for a chance to do things “from scratch”. The idea being, without the constraints of “legacy” code, we could do things “right”. While it’s a nice idea, it has no basis in reality.” The discussion built from there!

And a visit from the Software Sensei, Kim Pries!  In the essay, Kim ruminates on the gender gap in computer science education leading to a gender gap in the industry. (more…)