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The Software Process and Measurement Cast features four columns.  We begin with our essay on recognizing risk and risk tolerance.  Any discussion of risk begins with acknowledging that risk exists and then recognizing specific risks.  Once we know risks exist we need to determine which risks we care about. Risk tolerance affects how everyone in an organization behaves.

Kim Pries the Software Sensei discussers change models, focusing on the Kotter model of change.  Kim discusses how change models can be used for hardware, software, processes and procedures.  

Gene Hughson brings his wonderful Form Follows Function Blog the podcast.  In this installment, Gene and I discuss All Aboard the Innovation Band Wagon. We talked a lot about how to define innovation AND why innovation and change is powerful.

Jon Quigley anchors the cast with the third installment in a three-part arc on requirements in his  “The Alpha-Omega of Product Development” column. This week Jon discusses managing requirements.

Re-Read Saturday News

We continue the read/re-read of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (published by Jossey-Bass).  We seem to be moving from cliffhanger to cliffhanger over the past few weeks, and we shall do so again today. Lencioni uses crises to illustrate common problems that make teams into dysfunctional collections of individuals. This week we tackle the the sections from Entering the Danger to Rebound.

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 416 will feature our interview with Kirk Botula.  Kirk is the CEO of the CMMI Institute.  Kirk and I talked about organizational capability and why capability is crucial for organizational health and agility!

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.

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 407 includes four separate columns.  We begin with a short essay refreshing the pros and cons of Test Driven Development. Test Driven Development promises a lot of benefits but all is not light, kittens and puppies. Still, TDD is well worth doing if you go into it with your eyes open.

Our second column features Kim Pries, the Software Sensei.  Kim discusses what makes software “good.” The Software Sensei puts the “good” in quotes because it is actually a difficult word to define but Kim is willing to give the discussion a go!

In our third column, we return to Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban published J Ross (buy a copy here). We tackle Chapter 10 which is titled The Thinking Processes. Thinking processes are key to effectively using  Agile, lean and kanban processes.  

Gene Hughson anchors the cast with an entry from his Form Follows Function Blog.  In this installment, we discuss the blog entry titled “Learning to Deal with the Inevitable.”  Gene and I discussed change which is inevitable and innovation which is not quite as inevitable.

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we continue our re-read of Kent Beck’s XP Explained, Second Edition with a discussion of Chapters 16 and 17.   Chapter 16 ends Section One with an interview with Brad Jensen.  Section Two addresses the philosophies of XP.  Chapter 17 tells the creation story of XP from Beck’s point of view.

We are going to read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Jossey-Bass .  This will be a new book for me, therefore, an initial read (I have not read this book yet), not a re-read!  Steven Adams suggested the book and it has been on my list for a few years! Click the link (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team), buy a copy and in a few weeks, we will begin to read the book together.

Use the link to XP Explained in the show notes when you buy your copy to read along to support both the blog and podcast. Visit the Software Process and Measurement Blog (www.tcagley.wordpress.com) to catch up on past installments of Re-Read Saturday.

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In the next Software Process and Measurement Cast, we will feature our interview with Kupe Kupersmith. Kupe brings his refreshing take on the role of the business analyst in today’s dynamic environment.  This interview was informative, provocative and entertaining.     

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.

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

Software Process and Measurement Cast 405 is a cornucopia of topics!  We begin by exploring a bit of the psychology of change in four short essays. These topics are important for any change agent at any level to understand. Change at any scale is not an easy task. Change requires establishing a goal, recruiting a sponsor, acquiring a budget, developing a set of plans and then there is the part where the miracle happens and people change. The last step is always the hardest and is often akin to herding cats. Psychology and sociology have identified many of the reasons why people embrace change and innovation in different ways.  

Our second column is from Jon M. Quigley.  We have settled on a name for the column, “The Alpha-Omega of Product Development.” In this month’s column, we discuss using metrics to dispel assumptions. Metrics don’t have to add to overhead, for example, one item we discussed was using planning poker to expose assumptions and then to find tactics to address them.

Anchoring the cast, Jeremy Berriault brings the QA Corner to the Software Process and Measurement Cast.  In this installment of the QA Corner, Jeremy talks about whether test automation scripting for new functions should be tackled or not.  Jeremy has an opinion and provides advice for testing professionals on a sticky topic.  

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we continue our re-read of Kent Beck’s XP Explained, Second Edition with a discussion of Chapters 12 and 13.  This week we tackle two concepts central to XP: planning and testing both done the XP way.   (more…)

Detroit Tigers

I like baseball.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have spent the afternoon listening to a game and hearing the announcers expound on batting averages and on-base percentages as I puttered around the house. As someone with a background in quantitative analysis, I understand that the chances of a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning by a player that has not hit a home run in the major league are small.  However, in my mind’s eye, I can see the event happening and even believe that because I am listening that it will occur. This example is one form of magical thinking.  Magical thinking occurs when we attribute a causal or synchronistic relationship between actions or events that can’t be justified by reason and observation.  The current business environment means that innovation and magical thinking are often intertwined. Innovation without the ground game of implementation and continuous improvement is magical thinking. (more…)

Innovations are limited!

Innovations are limited!

Innovation is a word that has seen heavy use for a long time.  In the many uses of the word innovation, the term has been ascribed an equally wide range of meanings.  At one end of the spectrum are definitions that suggest that anything that deviates from the norm can be construed as an innovation.  One adage holds, “if it’s new to me, it is new.”  However, definitions of this sort conflate the terms “change” and “innovation”.  At the other end of the spectrum, some definitions provide a clear separation between evolutionary and discontinuous change. In narrower definitions, innovation is a subset of change.  In software development, business or even–more broadly–life, change is inevitable and continuous while innovation is not inevitable and far more abrupt. In practical terms, change and innovation often differ in a number of critical attributes. (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 395 features our essay on productivity.  While productivity might not be the coolest subject, understanding the concept is critical to every company’s and every worker’s financial well-being.

Gene Hughson brings another entry from his Form Follows Function blog to the Software Process and Measurement Cast. Gene discusses the idea of accidental innovation.  Gene suggests that innovation is not a happy accident, but is a result of a process, structure, and technology that can enhance innovation. However, it can just as easily get in the way.

In our third column this week, Kim Pries, the Software Sensei, brings us a discussion of how software developers leverage assimilation and accommodation in the acquisition of knowledge.

(more…)

Rarely do I come to the Software Process and Measurement readers (blog) and listeners (podcast) with a call to action . . . now is one of those times.

Phil McKinney’s podcast on innovation is one the reasons I started the Software Process and Measurement Cast.  Phil has written a phenomenal book, Beyond The Obvious.  Phil is doing something extraordinary, Phil is donating all of his royalties for purchases made until the end of the year to charity.  Got to his site and buy the book  . . .

Use the SPaMCAST Associate link to buy the book  http://ow.ly/rypBf

or go to Phil’s site:

http://philmckinney.com/pay-it-forward

His Announcement:

The Pay It Forward Project

I began my tech career in a factory in Evansville, IN as the sole “geek” living in a condemned (yes – it actually was condemned) apartment building with my wife who was finishing her nursing degree. How things have changed from that humble beginning.

Pay-It-Forward

When I look back on my career and where it has brought us, there is no way we can pay back the time and support I received from my mentors.  Therefore, we have committed ourselves to find ways to take what we’ve been blessed with and to pay it forward.

So my wife and I will donate 100% of the royalties from my book, Beyond The Obvious, that is purchased before the end of the year to charity.

100% of All Author Royalties To Charity

So what do you need to do? Purchase the book (hardcover, digital or audio version) before the end of the year.  That’s it!  Whatever author royalties I receive will go to charity. If you are interested in purchasing bulk copies of the book to give away (e.g. to your employees, customers, friends, etc) Amazon and Barnes & Noble are able to accommodate.

Stay updated on the project ….