I recently spoke with Susan Parente while recording an episode of her Not A Scrumdamentalist column about the idea of hybrid agile. The definition of hybridization spans a wide range of territory ranging from combining methodologies and frameworks to changing techniques. For example, Scrumban combines Scrum and Kanban.  SAFe combines many frameworks and methodologies. Prima facie evidence suggests that hybridization at the methodology level is part and parcel of agile implementations. Hybridization of techniques is characterized as changing or combining techniques so they serve other purposes.  For example, changing the daily scrum from a planning meeting to a status meeting. Hybridization has the potential to generate value or conflagrations that destroy value.  

Evaluate Hybrizations using the following simple checklist: (more…)

Birds lined up as a metaphor of lining thngs up

Lining things up!

Items on any backlog proliferate. Product backlogs used in agile and lean development approaches are no different.  Many outsiders have the mistaken notion that once on the list that that is the end of the story. Mentally the story goes something like, I told that product owner in the email that I needed “x” and that it was important to a C-level executive, therefore it is in the backlog, the team will expedite their new priority, and magically new functionality will be delivered. (more…)

October was punctuated by two significant speaking events: the webinar for The Great IT Professional on 22 October which we addressed in a previous blog entry and my appearance at the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) on 15 October. Early in my career, I was terrified of in front of audiences, in person or virtual. While I still have a wee flutter or two before I start speaking, I have conquered that fear, but enough of reflection. 

At PNSQC 2019 I gave a talk titled, Agile Where Agile Fears to Tread.  The content at the conference was marvelous. I was able to put the idea of memory castles and James Shore’s reflections on TDD to immediate use.  Learning, food, fun, and conversation — I would highly recommend attending next year! One major difference I noticed at PNSQC was the access of all of the participants to all of the speakers. I feel that conferences are best when you can have conversations with speakers that are more than just question and answer sessions. 

My talk discussed the scenarios people use to identify why agile cannot work and can’t be tested. These are typically excuses to avoid using other methods. They were not valid in the past and they are not valid now. By taking a less prescriptive definition agile has allowed teams to create hybrids of lean and agile techniques to address real-world testing work that spans the entirety of an organization’s priorities. The presentation explores five key scenarios that are cited in which agile and agile testing don’t work. The presentation provides insights into practical solutions.  

A version of  slides are available via the link below: 

Agile Fears to Tread PNSQC Final

Let me know if you would like to discuss agile transformation, continuous improvement and/or if you have comments on the slides at tcagley@tomcagley.com

The blog entries that sparked the presentation (and a paper I will share later): 

Agile Where Agile Fears to Tread http://bit.ly/340sAGZ
Agile Where Agile Fears to Tread: Large Mainframe Projects http://bit.ly/2W8JyQA
Agile Where Agile Fears to Tread: Maintenance http://bit.ly/32LkdyL
Agile Where Agile Fears to Tread: Commercial Off The Shelf Packages http://bit.ly/2JygqNV
Agile Where Agile Fears to Tread: SaaS http://bit.ly/2od2Is4
Agile Where Agile Fears to Tread: Contracts and Outsourcing http://bit.ly/2MGMVv9

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SPaMCAST 569 features our essay on the five types of meetings.  Meetings are the most important event in any organization — well that is what it seems like.  It can also be said that meetings are the bane of every human that isn’t buying or selling something (and that caveat might be an overstatement). Let’s put a name on the five most common types in software-centric organizations.

We will also have a visit from Jeremy Berriault.  In the QA Corner this month, Jeremy provides observations about the inclusion (and sometimes the lack of inclusion) of QAs in ceremonies such as the Daily Scrum.  Jeremy can be reached at Berriault and Associates Consulting Group or by email at Jeremy.Berriault@Berriaultandassociates.com.  (more…)

In a recent podcast interview (SPaMCAST 568)  Sandeep Koorse made a set of statements that are important and perhaps life-changing.  These statements were attributed to a team lead whose name he changed to protect the philosopher. Paraphrased the two statements are: (more…)

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This week in SPaMCAST 568 marks the return of Sandeep Koorse.  Sandeep brings deep insight into the Agile mindset, passion, and experimentation. All three are required for a healthy team. Sandeep last appeared as part of SPaMCAST 511.

Sandeep is an innovative leader with over 15 years of experience in helping companies achieve higher results through a careful evaluation of their processes and their technology. Known for determining the metrics and behaviors that promote consistent excellence then sharing those values with colleagues through influence and authority. Recognized by peers for exceptional problem-solving abilities, excellent communication skills, and a passion for the community. Reach out to Sandeep at sandeep@koorse.com (more…)

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This week in SPaMCAST 567  we discuss the impact of herding on work entry.  Herding in decision making effectively takes “no” off the table, leading to uncontrolled work entry. This type of behavior is response-driven and dangerous.

We will also have a visit from Gene Hughson to complete his three-part discussion of the solution architect. Today we discuss the solution architect as risk mitigation.  (more…)