Guest Post by Diane Davidson

The future of Finance was already changing from your typical accounting, auditing, and control functions, and that was before the pandemic hit in March.  The mantra of “do more with less” has switched to “do better with less,” which has shifted companies to a lens on cost savings.  As discussed in my first post regarding “What is Finance Transformation?” finance managers are expected to act as future-looking business partners and less point-in-time reporters.  The guidance partner’s role is more critical than ever, with the future holding so much uncertainty and leading to spending freezes.  Many companies have embarked on a finance transformation journey with cost costing as the number one objective.

(more…)
Play SPaMCAST 624 Now!

Software Process and Measurement Cast 624 is structured a little differently. We begin with the conclusion of a three-column arc on grateful leadership from Susan Parente’s Not A Scrumdamentalist Column. In this installment, Susan and I discuss how servant leadership, commonly practiced by agilists, can combine with grateful leadership to be even more powerful. 

(more…)
Fitting The Pieces Together

Getting the work you commit to getting done in an iteration or sprint is not constrained to a conversation about Scrum or Scrumban. Timeboxing is common in almost all work to some extent. For example, the act of a person or a team saying what they will do to meet a need and when it will be done establishes a timebox and an expectation of performance. This expectation of performance is at the very heart of every technique, method, framework, and methodology. This expectation is often violated. Teams that chronically do not complete work they committed to in a sprint the third usual suspects is work hitting roadblocks before being shippable.

(more…)

Over the years I have gravitated towards the idea that work entry issues are the single clearest indicator of problems in an organization. My first job after getting my Bachelors’s degree was for a women’s clothing company. We had salesmen jumping the queue to get their orders in the system or shipped earlier.  We created all sorts of rules to help control the process. The rules generated a lot of overhead and anger.  Reflecting on the last six months, I have seen many of the same issues with teams I have worked with. Work jumps the queue because no one takes the time to consider or reconsider urgency. How can software changes for daylight savings time ever be a surprise and become urgent? I am not naive enough to think every event or defect is predictable, but having pieces of work thrust into a sprint or iteration after it begins reflects failures of thought, control, and caring. The second category in our tour through why committed stories don’t get done in a sprint is not controlling the work entry process after a sprint starts. (If you think just having a work entry process is the solution, you are in for a rude awakening. Assuming you have a process, the process is never the root problem). Two of the most critical roots of work entry problems during a sprint/iteration are:

(more…)
Not Done!

One of the topics suggested by the audience was addressing the problem of stories not completing during a sprint during a panel discussion in which I participated. The majority of the audience were using Scrum or Scrumban approaches to developing and maintaining software. Attendees provided several situations to add context to their topic request. Boiling down the stories they provided yields three usual suspects that are the bane of teams everywhere.

(more…)

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 621 features our essay on why agile coaches need a code of ethics. Agile is practiced in nearly every culture. Each culture has its own definition of duty and of right and wrong. Coaches help to establish and address the client’s needs by leveraging approaches that align with the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto. It’s time for coaching to grow up and be a profession.

(more…)
Listen Now!

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 620 is something out of the ordinary. Ola Omiyale joined me as a co-host and we interviewed Nalin Parbhu, the Founder and CTO of Infuse, and useMango™. We talked about testing and test automation which is a passion for all three of us. We also explored the future of the role of the manual tester.  

(more…)

One of the most common antipatterns in Daily Scrums/Stand-up Meetings is the involvement of the active managers. Note: for the sake of brevity I will use the term “Daily” instead of repeating the full name of this meeting).  If you read no further, I recommend managers stay away from the Daily. While managers at the Daily are not forbidden or bad per se there are all sorts of common negative outcomes. Below I highlight four of the worst: 

(more…)

Leaders and Followers

When adopting any method or framework (e.g. Scrum, lean, orTameFlow), organizations need a leader that believes in both the journey and the destination. The recent thread on enlightened self-interest and enlightened leaders cast doubt on how much enlightenment is really going around.  Whether a leader is enlightened or just seems that way because they are on the right side on an issue we are passionate about is less important than studying how they behave. There are five attributes of a leader that impact the direction and adoption of change. They are: (more…)

The idea of an agile team toiling away trying to be agile in the face of a waterfall organization evokes a huge amount of passion.  (more…)