Freddie Clark Photo

Freddie Clark

At the end of most interviews on the Software Process and Measurement Cast, I ask my interviewee the following question —

If you had a magic want what two “things” would you change and why?”

I tailor the question to the topic each person is talking about. Still, it is basically the same question. Many times some of the greatest insights from the podcast happen while discussing this final question. This is my second experiment with a transcription tool. I would like your feedback on whether transcribing the interview or parts are useful.  Today I would like to share the text from how Freddie Clark answered the question during SPaMCAST 526. (more…)

Do not walk on the dunes sign

WSJF can’t go everywhere!

On March 10, 2015, I wrote an entry on Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF), in a nutshell,  WSJF allows you to prioritize units of work using the lean concept of cost of delay and duration/time to complete. The approach provides a consistent framework for prioritization. This is my favorite of the advanced quantitative approaches. Instead of rehashing an old article (go back and read it before continuing), we will examine a few of the pros and cons of this approach. (more…)

Make Eye Contact Before Crossing Sign

Connect before ranking!

Simple forced ranking prioritization techniques are often sufficient. However, as the number of stakeholders with different perspectives grows or it becomes more difficult to differentiate between the priority stories or features a more complex approach is required. The matrix approach builds on the force ranking approach by formally adding a second dimension.  For example, a matrix could be constructed using the variables urgency and value. In the example below each of the variables is broken into three levels creating a 9-box matrix. The box at the top right has the highest implied probability and the box at the bottom left the least.  (more…)

List of Features

Prioritized List of Features

Prioritization is key to getting the right work done in the right order. Prioritization would be simple if there was only one point of view involved. One person with all of their built-in biases could line work up in the order they wanted it done from the highest priority to the lowest in the blink of an eye. However, the real world is rarely that simple and even if it was, the outcome of the one perspective approach might not be great, in part due to biases. For example, Daniel Kahneman in Thinking Fast and Slow points out that entrepreneurs fall prey to optimism bias, which makes it easy to take risks. Three macro-categories of approaches to prioritization are:  (more…)

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SPaMCAST 575 features our essay on the lightning-rod issue: hybridizing agile methods and techniques. We can all agree that fitting a model to an observed reality requires the flexibility to hybridize. Why do we it so wrong so often?

We will also have a visit from Jon M Quigley and his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column. Jon and I talked about Deming and his impact on our lives and a book club we are launching early next year.

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SPaMCAST 574 features our interview with Ian Reynolds, chief Solutions Architect at Zibtek  We answered the question, What is a solution architect? The discussion coved ideas across starts-ups, medium, and large-sized businesses. Ian paints the solutions architect as an action hero whose raison d’être is to deliver business value.

Ian’s Bio:

Ian is a partner and chief Solutions Architect at Zibtek – a software development firm focused on helping businesses of all sizes in the US to solve their core problems with the software. Ian has spent his career consulting and helping different industries to empower greater profitability and efficiency. He loves to share his experiences and ideas on building the right tools through custom software. 





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Special Parking For State Police

A hybridization of parking rules!

As we complete our 2019 arc on hybridizing how teams use agile, I want to draw a distinction between messing with frameworks and messing with techniques. Less than a decade ago during a Keynote at a Scrum Gathering, Ken Swaber described user stories as barnacles on the ship of Scrum. He used the metaphor of barnacles to describe the impact of increased drag and reduced efficiency. In 2019, user stories are almost as ubiquitous as Daily Scrum meetings because they are useful and facilitate agility. Frameworks are scaffolds that by design are not complete methodologies. When context demands, the right techniques can be used to augment the framework. Most hybridization issues stem from techniques that conflict with the framework and/or agile principles. (more…)