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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Simple Agile Defect Management Process

All software has defects of some sort – we know that. If left unresolved, some defects can have cataclysmic consequences while others are so minor that they go unnoticed by virtually everyone. Like most things in this universe there is a law of diminishing returns when it applies to the correction of software defects. Unless […]

How to Easily Prioritize Your Agile Stories

What Comes First? Index cards for Saturday morning chores (alandd from flickr) You’ve spoken to all of your stakeholders, maybe had a workshop or two, gathered all of the input, defined requirements and converted it all into stories, and now you have writer’s cramp from printing them all out onto index cards. You’ve now taken […]

How To Make Your Project Not Suck by Using an Agile Project Charter

An Agile Project Charter The Problem What the customer really needed (Click on image for full size view) Any project can fail, and any project can fail for a seemingly endless array of reasons. In particular, large complex projects sometimes fail because they are well… large and complex. High complexity means more unknowns. More unknowns […]