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 …

Creating options by slicing features – #NoEstimates technique

Each feature (or story) in a product backlog contains many undiscovered options. By taking features as they are without slicing them into thin slices of functionality we implicitly commit to an implementation strategy. However, when we slice features we create options that allow us to pro-actively manage the scope of a project. Let’s return to …

Dealing with Complexity in Software Projects – The theory that explains why Agile Project Management works

Why do projects fail? This is a question that haunts all project managers. Good and bad, experienced and beginners, Agile or non-Agile. The reason for that is simple: we believe that if we crack the code of why projects fail, we will be able to avoid failure in our own projects. After all who does …

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 …