How To Build A High Performance Agile Team

Agile software development places more responsibility on individual programmers to make key decisions. How to recognize, hire and keep the top performers who improve your chances of success.

Occam’s Razor and the Art of Software Design

Occam’s Razor is a principle of simplicity that eliminates assumptions in support of a conclusion. The principle is valuable in virtually every aspect of life, but it essential to the success of software projects – in particular large complex ones. One of the guiding principles of Agile Methods it that we focus most on the things that provided the greatest value and Occam’s Razor is a valuable tool that helps maintain that focus.

Estimate How Long It Will Take To Complete Your Agile Project

Are We There Yet? Are we there yet? – Donkey from Shrek 2 If you are a parent with kids any older than three or four years of age you’ve heard it: “Are we there yet – How much farther is it?” If you’ve ever developed software, you’ve heard the same questions, but this time, […]

Calculating the Velocity of Your Agile Projects

A Simple Way to Calculate the Velocity of Your Agile Teams and Projects Whenever the work is itself light, it becomes necessary, in order to economize time, to increase the velocity. Charles Babbage What is Agile Velocity? The calculation of Velocity in physics is pretty straightforward, and if memory serves me correctly, it is the […]

Estimate Story Size by Playing Agile Planning Poker

Over the years that I’ve been leading software development projects, I’ve used a number of methods including comparison of projects of similar size and complexity, Microsoft Project, Function Point Analysis or even simply guessing. There have been a few other trendy and perhaps oddball approaches thrown in for good measure. Curiously, regardless of method, the results have tended to be pretty much the same. There has, however, been one exception. I’ve gotten noticeably better results with Agile methods using Agile Planning Poker.

Estimating Effort For Your Agile Stories

Wrong Way – Go Back (flickr – naz’s stuff) The best we can do is size up the chances, calculate the risks involved, estimate our ability to deal with them, and then make our plans with confidence. (Henry Ford) The greatest of all gifts is the power to estimate things at their true worth. (François […]

Agile Coach Camp Canada 2010

An Open Space Conference for Agile Coaches Background On June 11th and 12th I was fortunate to be able to attend Agile Coach Camp Canada 2010 in Waterloo Ontario. The event was held in the William G. Davis Computer Research Centre (“DC” building) at the University of Waterloo. I was invited to the camp by […]

Agile Program Risk Management

In many organizations, there are monthly or quarterly reviews of a portfolio or program by senior management to ascertain the progress. Risk assessment is an important facet of project management, and assessing and reporting on the Risks of projects is thus an essential part of this regular review.

Five Simple Steps to Agile Risk Management

(flickr: Sven Hein) This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.  (Winston Churchill) Background In my post on Agile Project Charters I outlined the embarrassingly high failure rate of software projects. Success rates today are only marginally better than they were when the Standish Group released its first Chaos […]