Play Now!

This week the Cast features our essay titled, “Collaboration – Disconnected.” The improvement imperative is driven by the need to stay competitive at a holistic level. One would expect that continuous process improvement or continuous improvement would be discussed earnestly at every staff meetings at every level of an organization, and at every meeting. It isn’t.

Jon M. Quigley returns with an installment of the Alpha and Omega of Product Development.  Jon and I completed an arc on product quality with a discussion of the cost of poor quality. 


The Software Process and Measurement Cast 627 features our essay on collaboration.  Collaboration is a word that gets thrown around A LOT in team-oriented environments. I am not sure everyone means the same thing when they use the term.

This week we also have a visit from Jon M Quigley and his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column. Jon and I talked about the idea of fit for use and its connection to quality.


Direct Playback

Subscribe: Apple Podcast
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music
Listen on Spotify!

SPaMCAST 552 features our essay on the idea of “fit for purpose” and its impact on the definition of quality.  Even if you don’t deliver any defects, not being fit for purpose wipes quality off the board. BOOM! (Rather read the essay?

In the second spot this week, Jon M Quigley delivers with his Alpha and Omega of Product Development!  In this installment, Jon discusses the need to say no. A simple straight forward word that is nearly impossible to use in polite company. (more…)

Being late is not an option!

In Quality: Fit For Purpose, we wrote that there are four major categories of quality: delivered defects, fit for purpose, cost, and timing. Several readers wrote to me directly to point out that all of these categories were interrelated (the word covariant was even used). In addition to the covariance comments, they pointed out that cost and timing are often viewed as capricious. I would like to point out that as soon as a team or leader accepts the work, says “yes” it doesn’t matter if the agreed-upon cost and timing is stone cold crazy.  I like the saying, “you bought it, you own it.” All customers measure quality based on their needs and what they think has been agreed upon. (more…)


Fit for purpose?

A discussion of quality and how it is defined always seems to engender a passionate discussion. There are several seemingly easy definitions that are often quoted. I heard a product manager at a conference define quality as a product that is good enough that customers will consistently buy it (the product). The definition sounded a bit cavalier to me but it does have a bit of simplistic charm. Boiling down a number of definitions of quality exposes four common attributes. Quality is partly about: (more…)

On a scale of fist to five, I’m at a ten.

(This is lightly re-edited version of a post from 2016 — I have been on planes for two days going hither and yon, therefore, we are revisiting quality.)

Quality is partly about the number of defects delivered in a piece of software and partly about how the stakeholders and customers experience the software.  Experience is typically measured as customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectations. Customer satisfaction is impacted by all three aspects of software quality: functional (what the software does), structural (whether the software meets standards) and process (how the code was built). (more…)

Listen Now
Subscribe: Apple Podcast

Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

SPaMCAST 515 features our essay on transformation and agile metrics. Whether you like the word transformation or not, many in the process improvement and agile communities help to facilitate change. Involvement in any non-trivial change effort requires resources, people, support and the expenditure of political capital. Metrics are a tool for getting the people and resources you need.

We also feature a visit from the Software Sensi.  Mr. Pries weights in on defining “what is quality”.  Kim mixes theory and practice to make a profound statement.

Anchoring the cast this week is Gene Hughson.  Gene writes at the Form Follows Function blog. This week we talk about a piece titled, Dependency Management – Anti-Patterns as Art from The Daily WTF.  It really is art —  but really a visualization of anti-patterns at the same time.

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we conclude our re-read of The Checklist Manifesto with a few final thoughts and notes and a restatement of a checklist for a checklist that Stephen Adams contributed in the comments for Chapter 9 – they deserve more exposure.  

This is an excellent book that is very useful for anyone involved in worrying about whether work is done consistently.  My punchline, “try using a checklist because they make sure our actions matter.” I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do.  

Next week we will lay out the plan for our read of Bad Blood (buy your copy today  and support the blog and the author).  Bad Blood is a new book for me, therefore a “read” rather than a re-read.

All of the entries for our re-read of the Checklist Manifesto:

Week 11 – Concluding Notes (more…)

A count of the Pokemon in my local park yesterday!

In today’s complex software development environment, it is easy to see every data collection issue as a complex automation problem. For example, I recently had a discussion with a team that is trying to determine how they would know whether a coding standard change they were contemplating would be effective. The team proposed capturing defects the coder/developer pairs found in TFS. The plan was to enter each defect found into the tool. After a discussion, the team decided to adopt a much simpler data collection solution with very low overhead. One of the classic quality tools is a tally sheet or check sheet. A check sheet is a form that used to collect information as it happens as a set of checkmarks or tally marks on the form. Check sheets are a very simple data collection tool. They are often a great way to pilot data collection before spending time and effort on automation or adding overhead to work. A check sheet is a form of the histogram where data where data collection and categorization occurs at the same time as visualization. (more…)

Listen Now
Subscribe: Apple Podcast
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

Software Process and Measurement Cast 491 features our essay titled, Can “Done” Be Allowed To Break Production?  The most succinct answer to the question is always no, the story is not done. The reason is that the story is not implementable, and unless the goal of the story is to blow up production and anger customers it can’t be considered to be done.

Susan Parente brings her Not a Scrumdamentalist column to the cast this week.  Susan discusses Kanban for You and Me.  The discussion focuses on personal Kanban and how to use it to guide your day to day activities effectively and efficiently.

Kim Pries, the Software Sensi, anchors the cast this week.  Kim’s essay is titled Real Software Quality.  In this column, Kim warns us of the dangers of interventionism on quality.

Re-Read Saturday News

In week six of the re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! we tackle chapter 7, titled I Relieve You. I am breaking the two chapter pattern to layup so that we can have a clean start the second part of the book next week Chapter Seven completes Part One of the book.  Part one serves tells the story of how Captain Marquet came to be in command of the USSN Santa Fe rather than the Olympia. Much of Marquet’s leadership model was emergent (like design in agile). Change may occur even without a shock like Marquet’s reassignment, but adding energy will hasten change. In this case, the shock made the development of Marquet’s leadership model inevitable.

Current Installment:

Week 6: I Relieve You

Previous Installments: (more…)

Listen Now
Subscribe: Apple Podcast
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

SPaMCAST 488 features our interview with Prem Ranganath. Prem and I discussed why organizations need to focus on innovation and excellence.  The topic might sound trite; however, making innovation and excellence happen is hard. Prem provides examples and advice from the real world.

Prem is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive quality strategy for product engineering covering people, process, tools and an enabling culture at Trilliant Networks.  Prem takes an intrapreneurial approach to empowering Trilliant’s customers by enabling lean, agile solution delivery and a culture of quality. He enjoys working with teams to solve problems using design thinking and experimentation.

In 2017, Prem was the Capability Challenge champion and is a member of ASQ’s Influential Voices program. (more…)