Process

The Universal Truth of Collections

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The BBC has been running a series called Secrets of the Museum, which features a behind the scenes look at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The longer I watched this fascinating show, the more it revealed one of the universal truths of humanity; it’s propensity to collect things and it’s inability to limit […]

Process

Manager vs Individual Contributor vs Lubricator

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You can’t have been following leadership literature for very long if you haven’t heard of manager time vs individual contributor time. The general concept is that individual contributors need some big chunks of time to get stuff done, and managers (partly to protect these big chunks for their team) work in small fragments of time. […]

Process

Budgets Not Estimates

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This is an early view over a process we are experimenting with in my organisation; budgets not estimates. It represents a re-ordering of components in the planning process that generates more options and reduces single-option big bets. There are lots of different terms for how people plan software, but very often it involves someone turning […]

Process

Why Devs (Should) Understand Estimates

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Yes, this is a sub-post! A reaction to a post titled “Why Devs (Should) Like Estimates”. I try not to get involved in industry conversations about estimation (or, indeed, #NoEstimates) as it can get very dicey at a general level in ways that simply don’t occur for a specific team or organisation. I’ll briefly qualify […]

Process

The DITE Cycle: Data Insight Theory Experiment

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This is not my idea, though I’ve named it the DITE cycle in opposition to other available alternatives. There are lots of organisations and individuals doing something along these lines and they all give it different names. There are echoes of The Lean Startup, flashes of Spotify’s DIBBs, the velvety touch of Impact Mapping, and […]

Process

The Disheartening Early Phase of Cycle Times

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Whenever I implement cycle-time as a metric, I have to explain that there is a slightly disheartening early phase to the collection of this information. Over the first couple of days, your cycle time will look awesome, but then it gets progressively worse. This can sometimes shock a team, because staring at a graph sometimes […]

Process

Sociable Pomodoro Timer

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When you are using The Pomodoro Technique® there is always a bit of a choice to make about your timer. I started out with a proper mechanical Tomato timer, I tried a phone app for Pomodoro, and I tried just the standard clock app. The mechanical timer had a couple of benefits… one of the […]

Process

The Phase Precision Premise

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When I worked on the technical side of software development, I talked a great deal about #NoEstimates. I’m now on the business side of software development (in charge of all products and data for a global SaaS provider). I thought it would be a good time to revisit estimates and put them in context using […]

Process

Testing the In-Progress Chess Game

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Last October, I was asked why releases of a legacy system were so hit and miss. There were a couple of reasons for the flaky releases, which I have summarised below. When you judge the quality of the metaphors, please bear in mind that these were invented off-the-cuff. Configuration The first reason releases were unreliable […]