Testing the In-Progress Chess Game

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 unreliableContinue reading “Testing the In-Progress Chess Game”

Risk Management – Materialisation vs Crystallisation

  Risk Management was first made interesting by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister in Waltzing with Bears. If you want to know more about the subject, that’s a good place to start. But what is the difference between Risk Materialisation and Crystallisation? I will answer this question shortly, but let’s start from the beginning! RiskContinue reading “Risk Management – Materialisation vs Crystallisation”

Passing Audits with Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps (previous Visual Studio Team Services, Visual Studio Online, and Team Foundation Server) has many great features. We talk about the features all the time; source control, continuous integration, release management, task boards, reports! One of my favourite features is how it helps us to pass audits. There are two ways to pass anContinue reading “Passing Audits with Azure DevOps”

Simple Ways to Improve Your Software Development Process

These are the three things I encourage people to look at when they aren’t getting what they need out of their software development process. Because I had started with these so many times, I sometimes imagine everyone knows all about them; but each time I start helping a software team turn things around I findContinue reading “Simple Ways to Improve Your Software Development Process”

Digital Video Recorders, Slack, Decisiveness, and Focus

For those reading this in the future, digital video recorders (DVRs) were quite prevalent in 2018. They allow you to record programs that are being broadcast and watch them later. Before DVRs there were other ways to record programs that involved writing them to magnetic tape based on a timer. Before that you just hadContinue reading “Digital Video Recorders, Slack, Decisiveness, and Focus”

Is DevOps a Replacement for Agile?

I saw a picture that hinted that DevOps was a substitute or successor for Agile. This made me consider the question “Is DevOps a replacement for Agile?”. It had a chart that represented time from left to right, and suggested that Agile was “waterfall with shorter iterations” and that DevOps was “agile with even shorterContinue reading “Is DevOps a Replacement for Agile?”

An Inverted View of Human Capacity

Human capacity is hard to understand, so we create metaphors to simplify things. When people talk about capacity, thought-bubbles emerge from the heads of some managers, revealing an interesting problem. They view capacity as a bucket into which you pour liquid-work until it is full. This metaphor for capacity leads to bad outcomes. Work isn’tContinue reading “An Inverted View of Human Capacity”