Proof First!

Iteration planning would be far simpler if every story was started and completed during a single iteration, if every story was independent, or deadlines did not pop up messing up carefully crafted prioritization routines.  Unfortunately, real life is a bit messier.  Having a strategy to handle variations from the best case makes life easier.  A few of the common planning glitches are: (more…)

Logistics Are Part of All Meetings

Planning Meetings are not terribly glamorous.  They are, however, an important first step in effectively delivering value for any sprint or increment.  I have developed a simple checklist for preparing for a planning meeting (we will explore a simple process in the near future).  Agile planning events couple the discipline of saying what will be done and then delivering on that promise with the need to embrace the dynamic nature of development and maintenance. (more…)

Listen Now
Subscribe on iTunes
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

SPaMCAST 450 features our essay on Product Roadmaps.  Roadmaps link an organization’s strategy to action. Product roadmaps are directional and answer the question of where we are going and why. As with any powerful tool, roadmaps giveth when used wisely and taketh away when used less wisely.

We also visit with Gene Hughson.  Gene brings his great Form Follows Function blog to the podcast.  We discussed the entry Holistic Architecture – Keeping the Gears Turning.  After you listen to our conversation remember that roadmaps are a way to avoid your products not to resemble a bunch of spare parts flying in close formation.

Re-Read Saturday News

Today we will begin the next book in the Re-read Saturday Series, The Science of Successful Organizational Change. Steven Adams (SPaMCAST 437, SPaMCAST 412 and nearly every entry in the Re-read Saturday series) will lead this re-read.   Remember to use the link to buy a copy to support the podcast and blog.

Steven begins the re-read by describing how he found the Paul Gibbon’s book “The Science of Successful Organizational Change” (get your copy) searching “Agile Change Management” on Amazon.  

A Call To Action

You can help the podcast. If you even got a single new idea this week while listening to the podcast, please give the SPaMCAST a short, honest review in iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you are listening.  If you leave a review somewhere, please send a copy to spamcastinfo@gmail.com.  Reviews help guide people to the cast!

Next SPaMCAST

SPaMCAST 451  will feature our interview with James Shore.  We began with a discussion of the Agile Fluency Model, the concepts, and ideas that led to the model and then got into topics such as whether Agile can ever be method agnostic.  

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

Map of the Fredrick Half-Marathon

A product roadmap is a powerful tool.  Roadmaps help link products and services to the strategy, objectives and key results.  Roadmaps are directional, answer the question of where we are going and why.  Roadmaps are powerful – unless they are messed up!  There are four common mistakes that will reduce the value of a roadmap. (more…)

Left and Right

 

Product roadmaps are a tool used to visually present a business strategy. Roadmaps serve multiple goals. The goals of roadmap development generally are varied, including not only the ultimate roadmap itself but also the journey to develop the roadmap.  Typical goals include: (more…)

Sign for Sheltering In Place

Sheltering Reduces Uncertainty

“Uncertainty and complexity produce anxiety we wish to escape”. – Al Pittampalli from How to Hold Meetings That Actually End With Decisions (Webinar June 8, 2017)

Much of the process of translating a user story or requirement into something that can be used is as much about managing and removing uncertainty as it is about technical transformation. Agile and legacy development (used in the broadest sense) are littered with techniques to help the team learn and to gather feedback. The techniques can be sorted into three categories: (more…)

1127131620a_1

There are many levels of estimation including budgeting, high-level estimation and task planning (detailed estimation).  We can link a more classic view of estimation to  the Agile planning onion popularized by Mike Cohn.   In the Agile planning onion, strategic planning is on the outside of the onion and the planning that occurs in the daily sprint meetings at the core of the onion. Each layer closer to the core relates more to the day-to-day activity of a team. The #NoEstimates movement eschew developing story- or task-level estimates and sometimes at higher levels of estimation. As you get closer to the core of the planning onion the case for the #NoEstimates becomes more compelling. (more…)