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Process

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 unreliable […]

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Process

The Dedicated Scrum Master Role

After reading a discussion about whether having a dedicated Scrum Master is an effective way of running a team, I got to thinking about what I have experienced in the real world. This is an empirical point I’m about to make; I’ve worked with a good number of organisations, but not enough to get to […]

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Process

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! Risk […]

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Process

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 an […]

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Process

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 find […]

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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 had […]

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Process

Estimates, #NoEstimates, No Estimates

Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas I have said a thing or two about estimates in the past; and it generally leads to no good. What I do sometimes need to do is clarify my perspective, because people don’t get it. As always, definitions are important – so I’m to clarify what I think of when […]

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Process

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 shorter […]

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Process

Where’s Wally’s Estimate?

This is a balancing post to follow on from work I have done in several teams on estimates. Firstly, I’d like to confirm that in some teams, I have eliminated estimates; and in others I have improved the discipline of estimates. Both are valid approaches in different situations. What I never do is leave dysfunctional […]

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Process

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’t […]