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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 https://amzn.to/2zTEgPq  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 Noteshttps://bit.ly/2BZubSG (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…)

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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 Youhttps://bit.ly/2F7C5ag

Previous Installments: (more…)

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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…)

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SPaMCAST 470 features the return of Ben Linders. Ben and I discussed his new book, What Drives Quality.  Quality is something we all want and is required by our customers and clients BUT determining how we get quality is not easy!  We explored the definition of quality, who owns quality and what teams can do to deliver quality.  If you are into excellence in value delivery, this interview will inform and delight you.

Ben’s Bio:

Ben Linders is an Independent Consultant in Agile, Lean, Quality, and Continuous Improvement, based in The Netherlands. Author of Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives, Waardevolle Agile Retrospectives, What Drives Quality and Continuous Improvement. Ben is the creator of the Agile Self-assessment Game.

As an adviser, coach and trainer he helps organizations with deploying effective software development and management practices. He focuses on continuous improvement, collaboration and communication, and professional development, to deliver business value to customers.

Ben is an active member of networks on Agile, Lean, and Quality, and a well known speaker and author. He shares his experiences in a bilingual blog (Dutch and English), as an editor for Culture and Methods at InfoQ, and as an expert in communities like Computable, Quora, DZone, and TechTarget. Follow him on twitter: @BenLinders.

My Upcoming Appearances (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 442 features our essay on capability teams. The use of teams to deliver business value is at the core of most business models.  Capability teams are a tool to unlock the value delivery engine of teams.

Gene Hughson brings his Form Follows Function Blog to the cast this week to discuss his recent blog entry titled, Systems of Social Systems and the Software Systems They Create. We live in a complex world and just focusing on social systems or software systems misses the point!

Our third column is from the Software Sensei, Kim Pries.  The entry this week is titled, Software Quality and the Art of Skateboard Maintenance. This entry is an homage to Robert M. Pirsig the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, who recently died.

Re-Read Saturday News

And welcome back!  For those who are interested, The Frederick Half Marathon last weekend was great.  I met my goals: I crossed the finish line, collected my medal and got to hang out with my family in Frederick.  This week, we begin Part Two of Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World by Brian J. Robertson published by Henry Holt and Company in 2015.  Part Two is titled Evolution At Play: Practicing Holacracy.  In my opinion, Part Two provides readers with the nuts and bolts needed to use Holacracy.  Chapter 4, titled Governance, takes all of the building blocks from previous chapters and starts to weave them together. (more…)

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SPaMCAST 426 marks a milestone!  SPaMCAST 426 is the end of Year 10.  The Cast features our second annual round table.  Almost all of the SPaMCAST contributors gathered virtually to discuss a number of topics, including:

  1. Is software quality really one of the most important focuses in IT in 2017?
  2. Even though people are adopting agile, is agile a as principle-driven movement over?
  3. In 2017 will security trump quality and productivity?

The multiway discussion was exciting and informative! This was a great way to finish year 10 and get the motor primed for year 11!

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We will start slowly as I read ahead and give you time to find or buy a copy of the book.   I am reading the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book (I had to re-buy the book as my first copy seems to have a new home).  

I was excited that the Software Process and Measurement Blog readers selected Mindset for Re-read Saturday.  I am looking forward to refreshing my understanding of the powerful ideas Dweck identifies as growth and fixed mindsets.  Mindsets are very useful for understanding why some people grow and others don’t and why some teams excel and other less so. Also, Mindset is easily the single most quoted book  I have seen in presentations at conferences for the past few years.

Next week we start in on Chapter One of the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, buy a copy this week.

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

Next SPaMCAST

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 427 begins Year 11 with an essay on the Post-Agile Age.  It is coming and it is a bed that human nature and commercial pressures has created. (Not sure what I mean?  Tune in, stream or download )  We will also have columns from Jon Quigley, Jeremy Berriault, and Kim Pries.  SPaMCAST 427 will celebrate the new SPaMCAST year in style!

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.