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 …

How injecting randomness into your project can help it succeed

Success and failure differ, very often, by very little. Take nature as an example. A small change in our DNA (a few mutated genes) can have catastrophic consequences. On the other hand, without these mutations humans would never have come into existence. Humans and other species in the planet evolved because of chance (although not …

The most valuable question for your software project

Every time a software project is started, a dance starts: the dance of project approval. Decision makers and project delivery team take different positions at a table, some ask questions, others do their best to respond, given that these questions are typically about the future. Some of the questions are so much into the future …

Using #NoEstimates when deciding which projects to take on

One of the questions (Part I, Part II) that emerged from the #NoEstimatesQuestions discussion on twitter was: “How do I choose between options or opportunities (without having estimates regarding the cost)?” The thinking goes: I can spend some time doing A or B, but which should I do first? To answer this question we can …

Story Points Considered Harmful – Or why the future of estimation is really in our past…

This article is the companion to a talk that myself and @josephpelrine gave at OOP 2012. We have a lot to learn from our ancestors. One that I want to focus on for this post is Galileo.Galileo was what we would call today a techie. He loved all things tech and was presented an interesting …

Kanban vs Scrum, the ultimate fight? Don’t think so, here’s why:…

Wow, what a week! A BIG post (Link removed at the request of the author) on Kanban by Scrum evangelist [unammed at the requset of author] litterally put the blogosphere (and twittersphere on fire!). It is good to have these family fights in the Agile family once in a while. As a life-philosopher once said: “These …