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SPaMCAST 486 features our interview with Daniel S. Vacanti.  Mr. Vacanti is the author of Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction.  We discussed the concepts in the book, answered a question from Steven Adams, and talked about his new book.  It was great to talk about a book with the author after the re-read.

Daniel Vacanti’s Bio:

Daniel Vacanti is a 20-plus year software industry veteran who has spent most of his career focusing on Lean and Agile practices.  In 2007, he helped to develop the Kanban Method for knowledge work and managed the world’s first project implementation of Kanban that year.  He has been conducting Lean-Agile training, coaching, and consulting ever since. In 2011 he founded ActionableAgileTM (previously Corporate Kanban) which provides industry-leading predictive analytics tools and services organizations that utilize Lean-Agile practices.  In 2015 he published his book, “Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability”, which is the definitive guide to flow-based metrics and analytics. Daniel holds an M.B.A. and regularly teaches a class on lean principles for software management at the University of California Berkeley.

Contact Information:

Twitter:  @danvacanti





Re-Read Saturday News
We will begin the full-scale re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! next week and I am stoked. Buy your copy and listen to the interview I did with Mr. Marquet (SPaMCAST 202) to get involved in the re-read.  I am going to lead the re-read from my 2012 (7th printing) copy.  The book has 29 chapters, not including the forward, a cast of characters, index, afterword, and a glossary. The book is an easy read because Marquet is such an excellent communicator.  My intent is to knock out the preface material next week and then begin delivering 2 chapters per week. If my estimating ability holds true, we will complete our re-read in 18 weeks. I expect to miss two weeks due to travel. (more…)


Shu Ha Ri


I spend several hours every week running – on purpose. I don’t run very fast, which means when I have the occasional fall because my mind wanders, I inflict very little damage to the ground. This is a preamble to letting you know that I have lots of time to think when I run (which is the reason the ground occasionally gets in my way). Recently I have been thinking about just how rigorously practitioners need to follow processes, methods, and frameworks and when it makes sense to tweak processes to fit the culture. (more…)

Cover of Actionable Agile Metircs

A New Copy!

Before we wrap up our re-read of Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today) remember that we will begin our re-read of Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet next week and I am stoked Buy your copy and listen to the interview I did with Mr. Marquet (SPaMCAST 202). If you want to get ahead, the book after that will be The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (I recently bought a copy and want to share what I have gotten out of it). Now on to the main attraction!

This week we conclude our re-read of Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today). Over the past 18 weeks, we have explored the power of a few metrics to help teams deliver value.  None of the books we have explored in the re-read series are simple, one-idea books. The complexity of these books are the reason they are important, but it makes it difficult to boil them down into a few words. If pressed for a one-line summary, I would say that it is that every team or organization should use data to pursue continuous improvement.There are four concepts that I would like to revisit as we conclude. They are:  (more…)

A sign that says

Contracts Define Who Is Authorized!

We complete our tour of the reputed places agile fears to tread with a brief stop in the land of contractual relationships. Outsourced work is the primary denizen of the land of contracts. In all but the simplest scenarios, asking another firm to do work for you generates a contractual relationship. In most cases, the contract is a proxy for intimacy and trust that occurs inside a single organization. Fences make good neighbors to keep relationships orderly; in the business world contracts take the place of fences to establish boundaries. Boundaries constrain the free flow of information and ideas, which is antithetical to agile principles. There are four core reasons organizations and practitioners see issues fitting agile into an environment of contracts and outsourcing. None of these issues is insurmountable, but they must be fully addressed in the contract. They are: (more…)


The Software Is In The Clouds!

Software as a service (SaaS) is one of the most significant trends of the early 21st Century. SaaS is a scenario in which a person or organization access a piece centrally-hosted software. You use the software as long as you want, you don’t need the infrastructure to host the software and you don’t have to worry about dealing with the code. The organization using SaaS solutions needs to configure the software, manage the data, code and integrate organization-specific solutions outside of the SaaS package and manage internal uses. Significant SaaS solutions rarely are “plug and play”. Even straightforward SaaS solutions, such as Slack, often need administration and support inside the organization. Large SaaS packages, such as Workday, need teams to support, configure and administer the implementation. Some organizations using SaaS solutions to meet their information technology needs find it difficult to leverage agile, however with an agile mindset and a flexible approach agile is extremely useful in a SaaS environment.  (more…)


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SPaMCAST 483 will feature our essay on measuring the value delivered by agile. The essay begins: “Organizations and teams come to agile—for that matter, any concept, framework or technique—for a wide variety of reasons.  Even if we are just the keeping up with the neighbors, we need feedback to know if we have met our goal.  We need feedback because—to quote Paul Gibbons, author of The Science of Successful Organizational Change (Re-read Saturday)—“we confuse what we think ought to work” with what does work (quote from SPaMCAST 480).”

Four Agile Value Entries:

Does Agile Deliver Measurable Value?

Measuring the Value of Agile

Does Agile Deliver Value? You Can Prove it!

Measuring The Impact of Change: An Example

Our second column features Steve Tendon who brings his Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban  (buy a copy here) to the cast.  Today we complete our discussion of Chapter 21.  We have spent extra time on chapters 20 and 21 to get to the heart of the important concepts in these chapters.

In our final column, Jon Quigley brings his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column to the cast.  In this segment, we discuss Agile Culture.  Agile is often crippled when organizations don’t spend the time and effort needed to adopt a culture and mindset that incents innovation and productivity.

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we are taking a break to remind you to vote in the poll to pick the next book!  Many Bothans died to bring us this poll (Star Wars reference in case you missed the movie)! We will be back next week in full force!


Previous Installments
Introduction and Game Plan

Week 2: Flow, Flow Metrics, and Predictability

Week 3: The Basics of Flow Metrics

Week 4: An Introduction to Little’s Law

Week 5: Introduction to CFDs

Week 6: Workflow Metrics and CFDs

Week 7: Flow Metrics and CFSs

Week 8: Conservation of Flow, Part I

Week 9: Conservation of Flow, Part II

Week 10: Flow Debt

Week 11: Introduction to Cycle Time Scatterplots

Week 12: Cycle Time Histograms

Week 13: Interpreting Cycle Time Scatterplots

Week 14: Service Level Agreements

Week 15: Pull Policies

Week 16: Introduction to Forecasting

Week 17: Monte Carlo Method Introduction


Dead Tree Book


Get your copy and begin reading (or re-reading)!


Upcoming Webinars and Conferences

Using Size to Drive Testing in Agile
Tom Cagley & Associates and Sealights Webinar
Tue, Mar 13, 2018 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM EDT

QAI Quest 2018
The Three Amigo’s Role in Agile
May 21-25, 2018,
San Antonio, Texas

May 11
Rome, Italy

I will also be at Agile West.  More information next week!


SPaMCAST 484 will our interview with Andriy  Bas of UPTech.  Andriy and his partner have created a firm that has truly embraced the ideas of agile and holacracy to create a highly productive, collaborative and safe environment.





Packages come in all shapes and sizes!


Buying a package to perform a major function in an organization is rarely as easy as buying and implementing an app on your smartphone.  Package implementations often include: (more…)