What is Capacity in software development? – The #NoEstimates journey

I hear this a lot in the #NoEstimates discussion: you must estimate to know what you can deliver for a certain price, time or effort. Actually, you don’t. There’s a different way to look at your organization and your project. Organizations and projects have an inherent capacity, that capacity is a result of many different …

Coming out of the closet – the life and adventure of a traditional project manager turned Agilist

I’m coming out of the closet today. No, not that closet. Another closet, the tabu closet in the Agile community. Yes, I was (and to a point still am) a control freak, traditional, command and control project manager. Yes, that’s right you read it correctly. Here’s why this is important: in 2003 when I first …

Humans suck at statistics – how agile velocity leads managers astray

Humans are highly optimized for quick decision making. The so-called System 1 that Kahneman refers to in his book “Thinking fast, thinking slow“. One specific area of weakness for the average human is understanding statistics. A very simple exercise to review this is the coin-toss simulation. Humans are highly optimized for quick decision making. Get …

Real stories of how estimates destroy value in Software Development

A friend shared with me a few stories about how Estimates are destroying value in his organization. He was kind enough to allow me to share these stories anonymously. Enjoy the reading, I know I did! 🙂 The story of the customer that wanted software, but got the wrong estimates instead Once, one of our …

How Chaos Theory will influence management and management styles in the future

Managers all over the world are faced with a critical challenge to their role. They ideas about management and their management style is being challenged. And this is even more important because many managers have reached a position of in their career where they thought they could “take it easy”. Nothing could be further from …

We want to make Agile Finland even better, who wants to join? A platform for 2014-2015

The ideas below reflect the discussions we (Maaret Pyhajärvi, Martin von Weissenberg, Vasco Duarte) have had while reflecting on our Visions for Agile Finland. We hope these ideas are discussed and developed within the Agile community in Finland, and end up in a set of actions for the Agile Finland Executive Committee 2014-2015. We also …

Fractals, the solution to all of your scaling problems. Including Scaling Agile

It is no secret that I love planning. I’m not coming out of the closet now, that’s been true forever! And at some point in my life I was even “cool” with that. Additionally, I want you to know (although you will not yet understand why) that I still love planning. That’s me 🙂 Now …

Hire generalists to help your specialists shine!

Imagine you are developing a highly-specialized embedded software product. Like a radio tower for the GSM/UMTS network, or a high-frequency trading back-end for a large New York trading firm. Why would you want to have generalists in that team? After all, these are niche-niche-niche products. Maybe a few thousand people work on these projects in …

The simple recipe for disciplined organizations

One question puzzles non-Agilists more than any other question. It is the question that uncovers why Agile does not fit their view of the world. A question that makes non-Agilists feel insecure and reject Agile completely or mostly. This question is: how can less structure, and less planning deliver software more reliably, and with higher …