Thursday, 30 December 2010
To deliver the project at hand, or deliver improved project-delivering capability for the future? by Bob Marshal
The Definition of Ready by Roman Pichler
Assange, Argyris and Aristotle
by LORNE MITCHELL
How to Fix Misunderstandings at Work and in Life by Dan Pallotta
ACHIEVING AGILITY: MEANS TO AN END, OR END IN ITSELF
By Esther Derby
Fourth Generation Management: Brian L. Joiner. Book Review by Stephen Parry
Happy New Year ;)
Monday, 13 December 2010
We are becoming more and more aware of our behaviour and how it affects the results of our efforts. Organisations are becoming increasingly aware of how individual and group behaviour is a major factor of their success or failure.
The way we have behaved in the past is no longer appropriate to sustain our improvement. The operation model used by organizations in the past is no longer appropriate for continuous improvement and this is backed up by real production data.
Those who understood the problem early and pioneered appropriate change efforts are already way ahead. Many of them failed and learned and some of them only failed – if they learn to learn they still have a chance. Those who ignore the need to change may survive temporarily but soon enough new businesses, built from the ground and with new ideas will replace them.
This post is not a warning – it is just stating what I believe is now a fact. I wrote it because I felt like writing it and I understand that it might be stating the obvious for some or be too extreme for others. Everyone is welcome to challenge or comment.
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
The Scrum Compliance Who except Tobias could have put it in better words? Must read for anyone interested in Scrum.
David J Andreson's Back to Basics with Kanban David re-visits the list of the minimum requirements for implementing the Kanban approach - short and worth reading.
How to Teach Lean Thinking and Acting - by Mike Rother - Author of Toyota Kata and co-author of Learning to See. I'm so gonna read this one during my first pomodoro tomorrow morning - sounds promising.
Adding Sanity to Your Agility David Hussman shares successful coaching techniques he uses to grow sustainable agility that lasts beyond the early iterations...
Agile Is More Than a Set of Methods — It’s a Leadership Mindset Can't agree more with Christopher Avery's post although I recognise that few organisations nowadays are able to do it to that level...
Start your presentation with PUNCH Some tips on how to grab your audience's attention to help your presentation go well.
Kanban for Agile Teams Whitepaper A good read (by Mike Cottmeyer) Version one need you to register in order to download it though :(
Monday, 4 October 2010
error ASPNET: Make sure that the class defined in this code file matches the 'inherits' attribute, and that it extends the correct base class
I found out that this (undoubtedly) very descriptive error could be down to another reason.. in my case I needed to extend the base class from which my pages and controls inherit to keep some information that I needed.
Well the key is in pages and controls - I only had one base class and obviously controls can't inherit from a class that inherits from page and vice versa. So if none of the other suggestions have helped .. check your base classes, what they inherit from and is it suitable for your page/controls.
Monday, 27 September 2010
Where to Begin Your Transition to Lean-Agile
Alan Shalloway & James R. Trott give us a more practical guide to making a lean/agile transition work.
Common Myths of Kanban This is in context of software.. Kanban now popular enough to have myths!
Managers New to Agile May Not Know What to Do Johanna Rothman explains some of the problems with adopting agile..
How to be happy (but not too much) Dan Jones explains how being happy means you're more open to learning,etc.etc.
Defining What Done Means Another great article by Rachel D.
Six Key Things For Managing Agile Teams Derek Neighbors lists a number of the characteristics of collaborative teams (but not all).
A Root Cause Analysis of Agile Practices Regularly link to Karl Scotland and he does not disappoint again with a summary of a recent open space session with the above topic. Also congratulations to Karl on getting the opportunity to write a book about Kanban!
Monday, 20 September 2010
Estimation and Release Planning with Fruit Salad An interesting game to learn estimation and planning on Lyssa Adkins' blog.
Podcast interview with @davegray on How Games at Work Inspire Creativity Podcast on how interactivity will make your meetings and your ideas even better.
The Quest for High Performance Tom Reynolds CSM, CSP on getting there..
The Ultimatum Game and article by Cedric B. that mainly talks about traditional organizational behaviour and how to deal with it while implementing agile/scrum.
Are Job Descriptions Illegal? Here Are 9 Reasons Why They Should Be Lou Adler challengers traditional job descriptions.
THE PROBLEMS WITH ESTIMATING BUSINESS VALUE Mike Cohn on how to estimate business value - e.g. use themes/epics not small items.
Risk Innovation or Be Beaten by Those Who Do An article about innovation not just for products but for process & leadership. By Lea Strickland.
People Help Agile Adoptions An article about change, how people cope with it and how we could go about it .. by Scott Dunn.
Mood Board Shows some process innovation in the form of 'different' kanban boards as well as explains the use of the mood board.
Performance Reviews Shift Blame, Prevent Partnership On Esther Derby's blog although it looks like it is from HBR. Explains a lot of things we seem to just accept as given.
Building a Transition Backlog Another great post by Rachel Davies based on experience with agile transitions.
John Seddon Keynote Great summary of a John Seddon's key note (by Patrick Kua). Couldn't quite get which conference was that but this does not reduce it's value. Thanks Patrick.
Agile 2010 Booklist
Yves Hanoulle went through the trouble to ask attendees for the one book they would recommend - makes a great reading list.
Slides from the Deming's Red Bead Experiment by David Joyce and as presented at Agile Australia 2010.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Well this is not really the full post that the title suggests but a "Bare Talk" (as they call it) which I suggested for Scrum Gathering 2010 in Amsterdam.
If it gets into top 6 then I might get the chance to (write &) present the actual talk/article.
So the link is here: "Scrum is great! .. but what is wrong with it?" and I'll need your votes to make it happen!
Thanks for your support!
Friday, 10 September 2010
Lean Bicycle Factory Demonstration Game This is a great Lean Game that you can play alone or with your team. I found it was really great in showing some lean principles.
STEAL THIS PRESENTATION! Some tips on making your presentation less boring. I'm would also suggest splitting your presentation parts in 10 minutes blocks and have activities in between.
Slicing and Dicing Epic User Stories Some tips from Rachel Davis on splitting big user stories.
How BA uses Agile An explanation from BA of how the Agile has helped IT projects to deliver more value, sooner.
The Joy of Craftsmanship Matt Wynne explains why for him craftsmanship is about finding joy in your work.
GAMING INCENTIVES via Esther Derby. Mainly talks about toddlers but I am pretty sure it would work exactly the same way with adults (not that I have seen it anywhere!)
Speaking is a Team Sport: 3 Ways to be Responsive to Your Audience The same message keeps coming back to me whether it is in books, articles or tweets. so time to remember and learn ;)
Social-Technical Systems The slides from Mary Poppendieck's seminar "Social-Technical Systems" at Crisp published by Henrik Kinberg. Also has a link to Dan Pink's amazing talk on motivation.
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Article: Lean And Agile — Roommates, Married Or Twins? Very interesting post by Gil Broza briefly describing a panel discussion with this title at Agile 2010.
Agile is Ready for the Enterprise Michael Hugos explains how mature has agile become in the last 20 years or so.
JOB is a four-letter word Harold Jarche on the inadequacy between the way we structure jobs and the current networked reality.
Agile2010 Bag Packing with Kanban Karl Scotland presents an exciting real world kanban experiment + video.
Is “Agile Methodology” an Oxymoron and Counterintuitive to Agile-Lean Product Development and Craftsmanship? by Russel Pannone. Perhaps worth reading if I could place it higher than all of my other tasks (unlikely).
Reading The Toyota Way Matteo Vaccari with some thoughts on how this book changes his view.
BUT /MY/ TEAM NEEDS A LEADER Can teams function without a leader? Check this Esther Derby article for the answer.
An interview with Jerry Weinberg Thanks to Jon Jagger
The Thinking Tool called Agile Henrik Kniberg's slides from his keynote @ Lean/Agile/Scrum conference in Zurich - "The Thinking Tool Called Agile"
Collaboration Game: Where Are Your Keys? This got me interested in the game so I am reading a bit more about it here
Simplicity: A New Model A nice long post by Jurgen Appelo on simple and complex systems and rules.
10 Tips on Presenting at Conferences Thanks to Cory Foy
How do I know if my PEOPLE are being fully utilized? by Richard Cheng. I changed the word resource to people as this is what this article is about.
Agile Ruined My Life Some interesting agile implementation horror stories by Daniel Markham and some thoughts on the reasons why such things are common.
Success with Agile Managers Here's a great extract from a book I am currently reading. The article is by Clinton Keith and explains why we need the role of Agile Manager.
Solution Focused FAQ Got interested in the solution focused approach (thanks to Dadi) during acg-uk this year and this FAQ comes handy to help me learn more.
Friday, 20 August 2010
Agile release pattern: Feature-on/off-switch Nice suggestion by Johannes Brodwall - would be very useful to have it for every feature!
Motivation from the Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd Blog. Mainly discusses Dan Pink's talk
Middleware Management pitfalls 8. Application immaturity by Sander Hautvast
Using the Class of Service Concept To Optimize Flow, Manage Risk, and Increase Predictability Nice guide to Class of service by Jeff Anderson
The Fallacy Of ReUse Udi Dahan explains why 'getting things done faster' is not aid too much by code reuse.
Seth Godin Gives Up on Traditional Book Publishing Some Lean Thinking applied by Seth Godin...
The Benefits of Making the Shift to Student-Centered Teaching Training from the back of the room applied to colleges and unis... yes, it does make sense!
5 Danger Signs of Frozen Thinking Tim Berry explains it in simple words... yeah read carefully and think again..
The One With The Fifty Percent Resources Geoff Watts on multi-tasking and treating people as resources.
Creating and Sustaining Agile Culture Janet Gregory presenting @ Skillsmatter.
Don’t Call Me a Guru, Dammit! Rick Ladd republishes a few years old article/interview with Mr. Ackoff from the telegraph - Anti-guru of joined-up management
Khan Academy deserves a link purely for the great collection of training videos it is. Thanks for sharing.
Some thoughts on Senior management by Seth Godin
The Hole in the Soul of Business Every organization is “values-driven.” The only question is, what values are in the driver’s seat? - this is an article about business and values and a must read one.
Watching “agile” move from a common-sense philosophy to an organized, detailed practice A very long and intriguing article by Edward Yourdon on the eveolution of agile.
Re-imagining Agile part 1: Why it shouldn't be done, and how to do it This one seems to be discussing the principles of Agile software development - have not read it yet though.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Agile Coaches Dojo workshop presentation by Rachel Davis
A reminder: Deming's 14 points or guide to transforming into a lean company - invaluable.
On Improv, Agile, and Fear at Agile Coach Camp Canada 2010 report by Todd Charron
Four Team Self Awareness Discussion Activities This goes straight to my favourite links. Seems like a good collection of activities that can be used on many occasions.
Project Communication Plan - How to prepare for it? Could be useful in not so Agile environments or can simply serve as reminder of what useful information might be required.
3 Project Recovery Methods This has some PMI stuff in it but again could be useful at some point.
Setting the Record Straight: I Love Scrum Alan Shalloway, CEO Net Objectives about Scrum and other methods. Interesting read.
Small Changes – Small Improvements Ketil Jensen with some ideas about Kanban and the move from Scrum.
Agile Brushstrokes: The Art of Choosing an Agile Transition Style - Joshua Kerievsky on transition options.
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Should we adjust the time box in Scrum? Some reasoning to help explaining why the answer is no.
Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model A step by step guide to J. Kotter's change model (from his book 'leading change')
Little's Law explained and with examples. good find.
Facilitation activities A list of facilitation methods. Perhaps more than you can read in a year!
The World of Work Will Witness 10 Changes During the Next 10 Years according to Gartner “Work will become less routine, characterized by increased volatility, hyperconnectedness, 'swarming' and more”.. very agile-ish, collaborative culture-ish as well
Output-Based Agreements: assuring the customer that agile delivers Grant Rule's notes from his 5 min talk at NonAgile2010
Why Not to Focus on a Company’s Culture Alan Shalloway with some thoughts based on the book Creating A Lean Culture: Tools To Sustain Lean Conversions by David Mann
That’s the trouble with targets Glyn Lumley has not featured for some time but here he is again with some useful explanation about the issues with targets.
Becoming an Effective Coach I recently found this wiki and am posting a link to one of the first articles I've read there.
Monday, 2 August 2010
I hope you find something useful - Happy reading!
Leading from behind A short one, more like advice.. similar idea to training from the back of the room.
We’re not Japanese and we don’t build cars I couldn't help citing Konosuke Matsushita: “We are going to win and the industrial west is going to lose: there’s nothing much you can do about it, because the reasons for your failure are within yourselves. Your firms are built on the Taylor model; even worse, so are your heads. For you, the essence of management is getting the ideas out of the heads of the bosses and into the hands of labour. We are beyond the Taylor model.”. Read this article - and try to understand it.
Building Trust on Agile Teams by Rachel Davis - useful thoughts on building trust - again a mention of Patrick Lencioni's excellent book
The economics of value and localism Another article by professor John Seddon. I wish more people who make public sector decisions read & understand it.
The System Behind the behaviour I love these kind of stories .. this time it is by Ester Derby and published in Better Software
5 CMMI misconceptions in the agile community Assumptions, misconceptions.. they usually are at the bottom of every conflict.. Looks interesting though not sure how relevant is CMMI in todays world.
Stop starting and start finishing Jason Yip gives some tips on how to start doing large and complicated tasks.
Forget Brainstorming I have recently said that in front of a friend and he questioned why? I think Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman give far better answer than I did.. I just happened to have experienced great results with a modification of the traditional brainstorming. This article goes further than that- very interesting read.
Friday, 23 July 2010
I do apologize about the white space. I made the mistake to type this in word and use a table and then failed to figure out how to get it into blogger nicer than what you see below. Hopefully the content is in there and that is the important bit ;)
This was a session led by Benjamin Mitchell. He got me
interested in the topic because this were the first 3 words he said when he
arrived ;) There were a lot of people in this session and I was late so I do
not have the names instead I focused on trying to capture as much as I could.
The main idea as far as I understood is that there are a
couple of behaviour models when talking to people and based on which you choose
you get different value in the response. The goal is to choose a strategy/model
that allows you to generate learning (double loop learning) rather than to
close the communication loop and generate... Nothing?!
So this is how it looked like:
Everything above characterizes single loop
We revert to this mode when we feel threatened or
Defensive routines are: easing in, requesting help,
delivering bad news, saving face. Bypass routines are covered up: inventing
motives – e.g. if I explain harder or overwhelm them with my logic they will
get it; holding others accountable; casual explanations; story telling.
It is apparently all explained by Chris Argyris’a and I have
made notes of 2 books – “59 seconds” and “Discussing the undiscussable”.
The last thing I have looks like this ( which presumably
represents a system or organization)
Thinking -> System -> Performance
We need to change the thinking to move to double loop
The first session was “Game-sense approach to coaching” and was initiated by Steve Tooke. Also present were Matt Wynne, Patrick Kua, Enrique, Dave Harvey and The Bus – the latter being the main reason I changed sessions because I could hardly hear what people were saying.
The idea behind this session as far as I understood it was to link the coaching approach in for example coaching a Rugby team to working the same way with software development teams. Developing people’s skills while playing a game and developing a situational awareness. We tend to do coaching as part of the game in software development but in rugby for example you coach prior to the game. So we do not get opportunities to coach – we’re expected to help the team improve while they deliver. One suggestion to introduce practices is to start with a simple games and add more rules as you go.
At this point I left unfortunately even though the topic was very interesting..
And I joined Dadi’s session on Solutions Focused (Agile) Coaching. I believe it was inspired by a book “The Solution Focus – making coaching & change simple” by Paul Jackson & Mark McKergow
What is wanted?
What is lacking?
We’re here to help teams improve. Not sharing info for solutions you know about is negligent – e.g. If the team identifies that there is not enough testing they may decide that the solution is to introduce more test engineers while you may know that TDD/BDD approach is an alternative solution.
Once again the issue about retro items becoming sprint backlog items came up. Makes you (and the team) think how much needs/can change.
Somebody asked if there really is one approach to everything? A tool perhaps is not always applicable. But this approach can be used for the definition of Done- e.g. What will satisfy you that you’ve done a good job?
This approach is also good for solving a problem perhaps not generally making the team better.
I made a reference to a book “Discussing the Undiscussable” by William R. Noonan
It was attended by Dadi, Liz, Marc L, Patrick Kua, Mack Adams, Racha H, Petra Skapa, Gordon Barrs, Rachel D and perhaps a few others who joined in later on.
I thought it is an interesting one because as a change agent it is inevitable to consider giving up especially when you’re introducing a considerable change and people usually resist changing and even if you find your way around getting them to define their own change it does take time and can be frustrating.
We started by discussing if giving up is a failure. Xavier posed his questions – at what point it is not worth it? What does it mean to give up?
It was pointed out that if teams or individuals don’t want to be coached then we should look for underlying problems. We could try understanding how to game agile(the change) in people’s favour.
For some teams it might be necessary to ask the question – is Agile right? Is Coaching right?
The problem could be in product strategy as well. Teams might be asked to deliver the wrong thing or with less quality which is why they could be de-motivated.
Most of the time finding the problems within the team can be crucial to understanding what is wrong elsewhere in the organization.
Xavier pointed out that as a non technical coach it might be difficult to teach technical practices in which case you only suggest but cannot really mentor.
Do you estimate impediments or organizational changes – for example introducing TDD?
The group said yes of course – they take time.
Sometimes giving up can be useful so we should always have exit criteria- if you have to leave when you do then give them the feedback. They may not understand it at that point in time but when/if their organization moves in the right direction they eventually will and they will call you back. Being honest could be good even if it means you have to leave.
Coaching people on the team to be coaches can be useful for you exit criteria - what happens when you leave?
Someone mentioned the situational leadership model- with 4 phases – telling, selling participating, delegating.
Are we able to coach executive level managers? Must be a very good coach, must be able to help them discover things.
Transformational backlog is important – you have something to start with and it shows that you do work. For reference - Leading change – Richard Durnall’s blog
Monday, 19 July 2010
The session was inspired by a book I am currently reading – Training from the back of the room which is one of the two reasons I decided to join this session. The other reason is that last year I learned a lot from one of Tobias’ sessions.
It began with Tobias setting the scene and explaining a little bit about what he meant by this title. Learning should be a shared experience and slides are a prescription. Slides effectively are anti-agile, they often are corrupt and wrong.
People come with knowledge so we should not stand as experts. As a trainer or presenter – leave your ego at the door. The experience should be learner centric. For example: don’t put the slides first up. Use a flipchart for the topic (flipchart could still be about me – but helps build some trust in your ability – as you do stuff – e.g. write on the flipchart not just flick slides)
Someone mentioned a useful training “Think on your feed” which resembles the same practices. We then split into groups of 4. Smaller groups mean more people are likely to contribute. We discussed “why do we have slides?” Someone say they are the equivalent of the Gantt charts. We have charts because the business sees them as the product (training) that they sell/buy.
We then talked about how we teach Scrum. People seem to teach Scrum as a process, not its values and this is why it often fails. Most people learn by doing or discovering for themselves. We don’t have to talk about values – instead demonstrate them..
Training must be seen as a holistic process. People walk out with about 10% of the training – however value changes stick.
Tobias said that he has removed his Q&A sections. How would you do that? When training from the front of the room people resist and argue with trainings and this usually goes nowhere.
People’s brain is most open at the start and at the end of the sessions. For example use 5 flipcharts with different questions. The moment someone walks in ask them to go to a flipchart, find a partner and start answering questions to each other.
Tobias also said that he printed his slides and put the around the room rather than showing a slideshow.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’
How to engage people at the beginnings and endings?
- Game straight away? E.g. lego pieces
- Ask people to explain to each other – they’ll remember more.
Overall it was a good discussion. I perhaps expected a little more based on my experience from the year before but still a good value and some excellent ideas.
Programme Level Kanban David Joyce with a different approach to scaling agile - program level kanban board to replace Scrum of scrums. They look pretty similar approaches, don't they?
Coaching Agile Teams Podcast Lyssa Adkins talks about her new book.
The Flow Experiment based on maths example. Good illustration.
Ester Derby's Coaching Toolkit 'As a coach, your job is not to solve or do—it’s to support other people as they develop skills and capabilities ' looking forward to reading this one ;)
The Core Protocols an Experience Report by Yves Hanoulle (Part 1)
An interview with Russell L. Ackoff It is a pdf and very long. My experience tells me I should find time to read it ;)
The System Behind The Behaviour by Esther Derby (Better Software) - this helped me with an approach to a problem recently. Very good.
The Limits of Agile Alan Kelly talks about common frustrations when applying agile. Very thue. Not sure about the Is it worth it section - Coming from the point of view where I was not replacing a process with Agile I can't argue with how successful other approaches can be.
Scrum is a Silver WHAT and you want to put it WHERE? By: Mike Dwyer. I like this answer - Silver mirror ;)
Re-thinking Lean Service I am pretty sure I've had this John Seddon video before but it is so good that I am including it again.
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
We all agreed that coaching must start with something interesting especially in the initial phases where you’re most likely in the teaching stage. I immediately noticed that we’re really very focused on coaching Agile teams because I am sure the coaching discipline does have a specific understanding of how much directing should be used. (e.g. none)
It was suggested to break down the information we want to present and build it into a larger practice slowly. It helps if the teams want to learn but we need to make sure they understand it is ok ‘not to swim’ from day one – analogy was made based on someone’s experience being coached to swim.
It is important to start with a clear goal and help them define a goal- why do they want to learn?
Don’t come in with a pre-conceded plan – find out what people want to learn first.
Dave Harvey suggested the EPIC acronym.. e.g We coach for:
I thought this can perhaps be called “The lifecycle of agile coaching”? e.g. we train then we mentor then we coach?!
The coach is not necessarily better at the skill – something that came up immediately in other sessions as well and also last year. For example 90% of swimming coaches have never been professionals.
Analogy with Rugby coaching: the coach is a facilitator – the players are the experts.
A definition was made: The (agile) coach is a facilitator that created the environment for the team to excel. We would start driving, then observing and then looking for opportunities. Long term learning comes from discovering solutions not from being guided to them.
Don’t guide people to your outcome but facilitate them to the best outcome for them.
First come principles-> then values -> then manifesto – and then practices. (Evolution of learning/knowledge?)
Find positives? Things people would engage for –e.g. find tools. For example: coaching a skilled tennis player – little point to instruct him but rather focus on the positive aspects.
Sometimes however it is about expressing ideas. For example a team might resolve testing shortage by dedicating more time to testing and not by automating the tests which we might have already seen working well.
Difficult people – e.g. “mortgage driven development” is when people only come to work for the money. And that could be ok! Ask: what do you personally get from being on this team? Sometimes the goals could be – I’d like it to be less frustrating? Can always ask – how did that feel for you?
There are different goals in the organization:
- The Coach’s goals
- The Sponsor’s goals
- The team goals
- The individual goals
Our job is to align these goals. It is important to do 1:1s. You could point out that we spend 2/3 of our awake time at work – so why not put some extra effort in making it as pleasant as possible?
Monday, 12 July 2010
LeanSSC 2010 UK The link to all published presentations from this year's event @ Bletchely Park
How To Succeed With Scrum When Your Company Is Anti-Agile by Rob Diana. Good article that highlights the issues with the way we sell agile (and the way we've been taught to do it) and why it does not work. I agree the approach will have its benefits and it will be event better if we find ways to illustrate how good this is not by facts but by making people realise it themselves.. and then perhaps at some point they'll realize that there is a bigger problem to solve because it is a common experience that development adopts agile well.. the issue lies elsewhere..
Leaving a Legacy, How Do You Leave an Environment in Which a Team Can Continue to Grow Dan Rough's notes from the open space session with this title at Agile Coaches Gathering in UK 2010.
Kanban - how software people get it wrong Thad Scheer pointing out the mis-understanding and mis-use of Kanban. Pretty good and explains well why most companies would move a team to Kanban only after they've mastered Scrum/XP for the benefits of JIT delivery.
The Essence of Agile Henrik Kinberg's slides from his keynote "The Essence of Agile" at Agile Spain 2010, Madrid.
Millennials and Scrum, made for each another What Lyssa Adkins talks about here is exactly the place I'd choose to be. Just look at that: “Well, that’s just stupid. Who would ever choose to work that way in the world we live in?” When was the last time you heard someone who is not an agile proponent to say something like this about waterfall?!
Paul Dyson's On Estimation article says the things pretty much the way I think about them. Easy to say do not estimate, not so easy to avoid it - yes I do want to know how much it costs before I make a decision to buy it.
The Secret Sauce Recipe to Agile Coaching I am going to read ROB MYERS in detail and compare with my notes from ACGUK 2010.. the topic is hot hot hot for me right now.
Metrics Used In Testing Lots of suggestions.. pick & mix.. but remember Demming's quote: "The most important things cannot be measured."
5 Tips to Build a Real Project Dream Team Ty Kiisel on my favourite topic - building dream teams.Simple & effective.
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Looking forward to a great event and for those who cannot attend follow the twitter updates - tag #acg.
Enjoy this week's links ;)
Steps In Performing a Project Risk Audit One topic that is hot at the minute, at least according my impression..
New Maxim: If You Can’t Change the People . . . Change the System! From Tripp Babbitt's Blog
The History and Simplicity of Lean Process Improvement Brian Hunt explains a lot of the reasons behind lean and why things are the way they are.
How to Project Manage Just About Anything My busy week means I can't read this one now but the title sounds intriguing enough so I am including it.
The globally connected project team This might as well have been titled practicla advice on how to work in a distributed team. Looks good.
How Agile Projects Measure Up, and What This Means to You Executive report by Michael Mah, Senior Consultant of Cutter Consortium.
How To Tell Your PM His Leadership Skills Are Terrible? Send him to a IMPROV course? No, seriously I suck and I am proud of it!
Test Driven development with MVC and MSpec 52 minutes video, must watch for me ;)
HICSS 2011 Agile Papers - Need Reviewers! Jeff Sutherland posted this call for reviewer recently.. I wanted to do it but then considered my schedule and gave up.. any takers?
THE LEAN PRODUCT BACKLOG – ELIMINATE WASTE Roman Pichler usually has very useful things to say so worth readin..
LOOKING FOR A NEW SCRUM MASTER I am not looking for a ScrumMaster. this is just the title of the article by Thomas Karsten. Once I had to make similar choice and who knows when it might happen again?
Monday, 28 June 2010
Guidelines for Group Collaboration and Emergence Trust, Respect, Participation, Comittment.. A brilliant article by Venessa Miemis.. for me it created a lot broader understanding of something I've already read about elsewhere. Thanks.
12 Things the Best Bosses Believe I believe in certain things about being a great leader so this one naturally caught my attention. I find this to be a Great list with very useful reminders.
Identifying Waste Lean Thinker says “Make less, buy less, use less, throw away less.”. Sounds reasonable to me :)
Kate Oneal: Productivity 2 years old and still very relevant. From XProgramming.
Cultivate Informal Leadership Jurgen Appelo's article gives some practical advice about leadership that is worth having.
Understand Technical Debt by Playing a Game - Packing Peanuts This game sounds great fun and looks like it will demonstrate technical debt. Thanks for sharing Masa!
Risk Management Methodology Ray W. Frohnhoefer provides some useful guidance that can be used to do risk management in agile (I know, I know "agile is risk management" yet I am regularly asked how do you do it?)
A MANAGER’S GUIDE TO GETTING FEEDBACK A new article by Esther Derby. Incidentally I participated in a similar discussion on one of the agile user group boards.
How can we encourage active participation in groups after the original excitement of forming has died down? an article on Collective Self by lori which suggests that self-organizing work groups don’t live on indefinitely. I'd agree with that. Useful ideas about what options are available once you're in this situation.
Making TDD Stick: Problems and Solutions for AdoptersMark Levison's article about TDD is not about 18 months old. Still plenty of relevant ideas, some not always practical. I'd add BDD at the top of the list.
The Estimate Goat The only bad thing about this site is that I have not discovered it earlier. Great tool to give you estimates!
Your Project Needs Business Rules, Not Meetings To be honest I cannot be bothered to read this one right now and hence I will not comment on it. I am including the link as I might need it later and it does sound controversial which usually means there might be some good ideas in it.
Monday, 21 June 2010
Then I came across this article which suggests a great solution for searching within a single database, however I had a fair amount of databases to look through so instead I wanted to see if with a little bit of tweaking I could make it work for multiple databases. It turned out I can and I thought I'd share the result.
So below is a stored procedure that you need somewhere on the server (db not important) that will search through all the tables in each of the databases you supply as a comma delimited string. You could also rework this to be a simple script rather than a stored procedure if that suits you better.
I hope it does come useful ;)
/****** Object: StoredProcedure [dbo].[SearchAllTables] Script Date: 06/18/2010 11:17:56 ******/
IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.objects WHERE object_id = OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[SearchAllTablesMultipleDbs]') AND type in (N'P', N'PC'))
DROP PROCEDURE [dbo].[SearchAllTablesMultipleDbs]
CREATE PROC SearchAllTablesMultipleDbs
-- Copyright © 2010 Plamen Balkanski. All rights reserved.
-- Uses SearchAllTables procedure written by Narayana as a basis for searching data in multiple dbs & tables .
-- Copyright © 2002 Narayana Vyas Kondreddi. All rights reserved.
-- This procedure uses the modified SearchAllTables to allow searching through a list of DBs
-- Note: there is almost no validation so if you use it then ensure you pass existing DB names otherwise it will fail.
SET NOCOUNT ON
DECLARE @idx int
DECLARE @slice nvarchar(1000)
DECLARE @ResultsTable varchar(100)
DECLARE @SqlExec nvarchar(2000)
DECLARE @Delimiter char(1)
-- You can parameterise this one if you want.
SET @Delimiter = ','
SET @ResultsTable = '##MultipleDBSearchResultsTable'
-- drop/recreate the global temp table - note: must be global as otherwise it is not available in the EXECs
EXEC( 'IF (OBJECT_ID(''tempdb..' + @ResultsTable +''') IS NOT NULL) DROP TABLE ['+ @ResultsTable + ']')
EXEC ('CREATE TABLE ' + @ResultsTable + ' (DbName nvarchar(370),ColumnName nvarchar(370), ColumnValue nvarchar(3630))')
-- Split the database names and Run SearchAllTables for each
SELECT @idx = 1
IF len(@DBListCSV)>1 AND @DBListCSV is NOT null
WHILE @idx!= 0
SET @idx = charindex(@Delimiter,@DBListCSV)
SET @slice = left(@DBListCSV,@idx - 1)
SET @slice = @DBListCSV
SELECT @SqlExec =
' USE ' + @slice +
DECLARE @SearchStr nvarchar(256)
SET @SearchStr = ''' + @SearchStr + '''
DECLARE @TableName nvarchar(256)
DECLARE @SearchStr2 nvarchar(110)
SET @TableName = ''''
SET @SearchStr2 =''%'' + @SearchStr + ''%''
WHILE @TableName IS NOT NULL
SET @ColumnName = ''''
-- In here make sure we reference each database
SELECT DISTINCT @TableName = MIN(QUOTENAME(TABLE_SCHEMA) + ''.'' + QUOTENAME(TABLE_NAME)),
@DbName = MIN(QUOTENAME(TABLE_CATALOG))
FROM ' + @slice +'.INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES
WHERE TABLE_TYPE = ''BASE TABLE''
AND QUOTENAME(TABLE_SCHEMA) + ''.'' + QUOTENAME(TABLE_NAME) > @TableName
QUOTENAME(TABLE_SCHEMA) + ''.'' + QUOTENAME(TABLE_NAME)
) = 0
WHILE (@TableName IS NOT NULL) AND (@ColumnName IS NOT NULL)
SET @ColumnName =
FROM ' + @slice +'.INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = PARSENAME(@TableName, 2)
AND TABLE_NAME = PARSENAME(@TableName, 1)
AND DATA_TYPE IN (''char'', ''varchar'', ''nchar'', ''nvarchar'')
AND QUOTENAME(COLUMN_NAME) > @ColumnName
IF @ColumnName IS NOT NULL
SELECT @SqlExec2 =
''INSERT INTO ' + @ResultsTable + ' SELECT '''''' + @DbName + '''''','''''' + @TableName + ''.'' + @ColumnName + '''''', LEFT('' + @ColumnName + '', 3630)
FROM '' + @TableName + '' (NOLOCK) ' +
' WHERE '' + @ColumnName + '' LIKE '''''' + @SearchStr2 + ''''''''
SET @DBListCSV = right(@DBListCSV,len(@DBListCSV) - @idx)
IF len(@DBListCSV) = 0 BREAK
-- show results
EXEC (' SELECT DISTINCT DbName, ColumnName, ColumnValue FROM ' + @ResultsTable)
EXEC SearchAllTablesMultipleDbs 'SearchString', 'DbName1,DbName2'
Project Failure Modes Root causes of project failure and plenty of other interesting posts on the herding cats blog
Check this out - What a transparency in reporting an issue - lovely:)
WHY PRODUCT OWNERS SHOULD CARE ABOUT QUALITY Roman Pichler has reworked his article that already featured in Weekly Agile Links before.
Kanban case study Financial Services Kanban case study by John Dunion
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Lean-agile dogs: Are we chasing the right car? One more Scrum/Kanban article by Pascal Pinck.. some interesting thoughts on what is important.
Business Intelligence Requires Thinking . . . Not Technology Tripp Babbitt talks about business intelligence and maturity levels.
How to read a book in an hour I'm sure it is possible, just haven't quite yet mastered the tricks Jamie Flinchbaugh shares with us...
The Dolt's Guide To Self-Organization Interesting presentation on self organization by Jurgen Apello.
Kanban and Scrum – Intention and Implementation Karl Scotland finally gives the explanation why Scrum and Kanban are like apples and oranges!
AGILE PRINCIPLES REVISITED This is results from a survey asking respondents to rate how important is each of the original agile manifesto principles along with other stuff like what is essential to be considered agile. Interesting idea but they all are .. no really, they are.. Also no mention that being agile based on these results may simply mean nothing.
Animating a Blockbuster: How Pixar Built Toy Story 3 A very Scrum/Agile like process although does not mention the words.. according to e very reliable source who has actually read it ;)
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Using an Agile Software Process with Offshore Development Martin Fowler writes about his experience with off-shore development in Bangalore. Always interesting to read what he has to say..
A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software See, this article is 5 years old and I feel I should have read it a while back.. it is worth a bit of time ;)
June 8, 1637: Descartes Codifies Scientific Method very interesting read by Lisa Grossman
Maximum Viable Product Bradford Cross on product management, looking at some successful products & companies, looks a good read.
Belts and Tools Not Needed to Improve Service Article by Tripp Babbitt related to Systems Thinking Concepts. Generally I like the system thinking ideas.
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
just one more week of madness and should be able to provide better quality comments ;)
Discovering the DNA of Apple’s Innovation Engine Very interesting research about the relative values of investment in R&D, advertisement, profit per employee and how successful a company is.
New People On Your Project Mark Levison explains why adding more people to a project is a way of slowing your project down
Right.. here's another manifesto suggestion Next step of the Agile Manifesto? What is it? the Manifestos year? Otherwise this one has sensible suggestions.. I agree.
What Motivates People? No huge secrets revealed in this one. PAWEL BRODZINSKI states a truth everyone would sooner or later establish. Once you step on that road of course.. might be better staying off it longer term tbh.
Jeff Bezos and Root Cause Analysis Real 5 whys example (apparently).
SHIFTING THE PATTERN: A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO CHANGE The title kind of explains it.. Esther Derby talks about change and systems thinking..
The "Command and Control" Military Gets Agile Interesting article by Dan Mezick about what happens when the usually inflexible military 'gets' agile
Strategies for Scaling Agile Software Development Scott Ambler explains why Lean thinking is important when looking to scale agile. Perhaps also proves that agile is local optimization?!
Lean Quote of the Day Tim McMahon' lean quote is by John Kotter who reminds us that the root of success involves a sense of urgency
Monday, 24 May 2010
All of my links from last week below. Enjoy;)
Transparency – Crucial to Engagement Surprise, surprise.. Good read though ;)
What's Agile? Individuals and Interactions or Processes and Tools? Nice reminder by Jared Richardson - Thanks! I think we should employ the practice to spend 10 minutes a day re-reading the manifesto and discussing in depth one of the points.
TDD at the System Scale Adam Whittingham on Nat Pryce and Steve Freeman's TDD session at Spa2010
On the relationship between projects and organisations And article by Kailash Awati on how projects are not isolated.
Maverick By Ricardo Semler Heard good things about this book and this is the highlighted summary. I found it by googling so hopefully it is legal.
Goals Gone WildThe Systematic Side Effects of Over-Prescribing Goal Setting (Lisa D. Ordóñez, Maurice E. Schweitzer, Adam D. Galinsky, and Max H. Bazerman) This is a 28 page explanation why performance reviews should be avoided.
Truly Agile CMMI A post by Hillel showing an example (with a video) of a team that is Agile and conforms to CMMI level 2
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Enjoy also the rest of my links.;)
The Rise And Fall Of Waterfall The true history of software development methodology called Waterfall... In memory of Winston Royce
Agile antipattern: Target fixation Agile Bob explains the anti pattern of fixing the target and not seeing anything else.
Why Lean is a Wicked Disease John Seddon on re-thinking industrialised processes (Enjoyed reading it)
Single-Piece Flow in Kanban Video - talk by Arlo Belshee and James Shore.
Kevin Rutherford's session on Flow Slides & links. The session is from agilenorth 2010
RETURN ON HUMAN INVESTMENT Raising our View of People and Their Possibilities By Jim Lucas
The Ten Most Common Failures of Bad Leaders Paul Sloane brings us the result of a large survey highlighting the most common failure of leaders.
Getting RE-TRAINED to be a ScrumMaster My friend Geoff Watts has published another great article to help Scrum masters understanding their role.
WHEN SCRUM IS NOT A GOOD FIT Here's another article by the CST who certified me several years ago. Roman suggests using Kanban when Scrum is not a good fit.
The Three Manifestos Nice pictures of the 3 most important manifestos of our time ;)
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
The Problem with the World? "Dear Sirs,I am.Sincerely yours,G.K. Chesterton"
And the rest of my links:
Can I Do Perfect Scrum and Still Fail? Yes. Read more if you want to find out Mike Cottmeyer's somewhat longer answer.
One Team: Replay initially published in July of 2001 by Kent Beck. Classic read.
Dee Hock’s four priorities for managers How obvious isn't it? And how well misunderstood .. manage what?
Scrum or Kanban? YES! You have seen these questions I am sure.. which one is best, when to use each, and so on.. Every process has a sweet spot says Michael Sahota and concludes - We need to know both Scrum/XP and Kanban
Agile and Lean Product Development – Yesteryear, Today and into the Future Rally dev post including opinions of their own gurus Ryan Martens and Jean Tabaka.
Scrum to Kanban transition Case study published by Mattias Skarin
Word to the Wise Someone finally has defined wisdom.. apparently
Approaches to Organizational Change a post by Michael Sahota which is mainly about Mary Poppendieck talk “What’s wrong with targets?” whose goal is to 'trash Management by Objectives'
The Missing Link To Lean Six Sigma - Emotional Intelligence ANKIT PATEL explains why lean and six sigma should be viewed as more than just tools.
Career paths for technical folks Bob Marshall on the always interesting topic of career paths and why developers should not move into management if they do not want to..
Monday, 26 April 2010
So my link over the last few weeks.. I am sure there's plenty of interesting stuff that I need to catch up ..
It’s All The Same – Leadership Challenges and Organizational Dynamics by Mark Graban
What is Kanban? Agile Denver meet on Kanban lean software development methodology, presented by Frank Vega and Brad Swanson.
Saving your job or speaking the truth No comment really.. I need to keep saving my job..
Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action Sounds intriguing and on my favourite subject- leadership
Real Developers Don't Need Unit Tests Interesting point of view in the era of TDD, BDD, EDD and ?DD..
Why You Shouldn’t Hire the Best and the Brightest Candidate By Michelle Malay Carter
The Role of the Agile Coach Allan Kelly summarizes it for the benefit of everyone who needs the extra explanation.
How One Leads Others: The Tone at the TopBy Dr. Jeffrey Magee, PDM, CSP, CMC.. this is part 7 so perhaps best to start from the beginning (only if it was easy to find it)
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT LEADERSHIP AND DELEGATION and TWO POSTURES TOWARD CHANGE Two interesting posts by Michael Hyatt on leadership and change
2 ideal cases for continuous flow another post about why choose Kanban over Scrum .. got the mesage
Building an Agile Environment this looks very interesting to me, especially we as a team have had the chance to change our environment to suit us..
How to give a talk One to check later. could be useful. these days it is very likely that at some point you will be required to give a talk..
Friday, 23 April 2010
I also have a Quote of the week this time and it is about a hot topic in the recent weeks - effectiveness or efficiency? - "You're efficient when you do something with minimum waste. And you're effective when you're doing the right thing" ~ Slack
All of my links below:
Good collection of Rachel Davis' Tips on organizing an Agile Open Space I've actually seen Rachel in action and would highly recommend her tips - Rachel and Mike Sutton did a brilliant job at Agile Coaches Gathering last year.
It is that time of the year again and here're two posts on retaining people and performance evaluations. Retaining Employees through Respect and Development by Mark Graban and Want to improve performance? Cancel reviews By Erin Conroy
A Kanban Multiverse – not from LeanSSC Atlanta Karl Scotland's presentation that he was going to do at LeanSSC but couldn't due to the Volcano air travel disruption.
Learning the Basics of Agile Alan Dayley has created a nice introduction - will recommend to newbies from now on.
A couple of posts on Scrum Masters and what could go wrong with Daily scrums- quite enjoyed them as they serve as good reminders..
Paul Goddard's Top 5 ScrumMaster Bloopers
and Mark Levison's Pathologies of the Daily Standup
Doing the wrong things righter?
An article in System Thinking Review on Lean
The story BCG offered me $16,000 not to tell - A stunning true story revealing a very much non-unique corporate culture and what it does to people
Why I withdrew from SEMAT After publishing a link to SEMAT's overview last week, here's now Alistair Cockburn's reasons not to participate.
Using Product Portfolio Management to Improve the Efficiency of Teams ALAN SHALLOWAY explains why you should not start an agile transition ignoring the portfolio of products.
Kanban Systems While this article by James Shore is 2 years old I really like the way it presents Kanban - I finally feel like I understand it!
Yes, Everyone Really Does Hate Performance Reviews by Samuel A. Culbert ... one for me to read..
Scrum doesnʼt work in China! ? Bas Vodde's presentation on cultural differences and Scrum. Liked it.
The Art of Agile Development: Estimating Another piece from James Shore's book. Looks very useful for explaining the problems with traditional estimation.