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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Should You Replace Your MVP with a RAT?

According to Senior Product Manager Rik Higham, the minimum viable product’s (MVP’s) problem is that “it’s not a product. It’s a way of testing whether you’ve found a problem worth solving.” In response, he has created the RAT: “riskiest assumption test.” Does your office need a RAT? RATical Thinking The utility of the RAT is that it is completely straightforward: You only build what is needed to test the biggest assumption. MVP meanwhile has been …

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5 Steps to Facilitate Organizational Transformation

Agile does not just happen, though some deeply misinformed people might think that. Rather, the organization transforms to become agile through deliberate actions. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Samarjit Mishra shares five steps to reliably make the agile transition: Raise awareness about the need for improvement. Set a goal for value creation. Implement the transformation for value realization. Learn to adapt. Enhance by continuous improvement. Plotting Change As Mishra astutely observes, people find time …

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Writing Changeable Code in Test-Driven Development

Studies have shown that making changes to software is expensive, no matter how small the changes. The reason is typically that the underlying code was not written to be changeable without breaking other systems. In an article for AgileConnection, David Bernstein insists that changeable code does not take longer to write than static code. But it does require that you think with a different perspective. Change Your Mind Bernstein says this about the mindset to …

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One Reason Why Your Software Doesn’t Work

Everyone has seen the discouraging numbers on how many software projects fail, and countless fingers have been pointed in countless directions for it. In a post at Hacker Noon, Jez Halford cites one specific reason that casts no blame: “unconscious assumptions.” The Phantom Mistake Halford illustrates the idea of unconscious assumptions with this short narrative: I got married a while ago, and my wife, Jodie, took my surname. That meant she had to spend ages …

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Avoid ROI as a Basis for Prioritization

Business is all about ROI, and rightfully so, but ROI is not always a clear, concrete thing. More often—and especially before work has begun—ROI is a fuzzy, shifting thing. That makes it a difficult thing to use as a basis for feature or even project prioritization. In a post at her blog, Johanna Rothman discusses how ROI and also earned value (EV) as a basis is not right in an agile setting. Bet on a …

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What Agile Can and Cannot Do

Consistently, one of the greatest challenges of agile transformation is simply understanding what it is. Agile cannot do everything, but it can do quite a lot. The lines of division are unclear to outsiders looking in, or to those new to the methodology. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Pratik Kothari gets specific about what agile can and cannot do. The Division In scheduling, agile enables better feature development prioritization in projects, and when paired …

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7 Actions State Government IT Leaders Must Take

The government dares to dream of a day when it is hailed for its efficiency. That day is far, far off, perhaps in a quintuple-digit year, but nevertheless! In an article for StateTech, Juliet Van Wagenen shares seven actions government IT leaders can take to make for more effective agile implementations: Get CIOs to fight for agile development. Focus on building a more agile culture. Engage businesses in IT transformation. Design digital government with users …

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Your Strategic Planning Should Be Agile, Too

Agile was borne out of desire to get away from the problems that plague waterfall development, and agile is now very successful. The problem is that strategic planning at the highest levels still often resembles something akin to waterfall planning. A multi-year plan is made up front based on research examined and discussions had by a choice few people, and then everyone hopes reality ultimately lines up with the plan. However, those hopes are often …

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Recognizing the Five Symptoms of a Poor Backlog

Is your backlog a beautiful thing to behold, or does it have a face only a mother could love? Well, if you get used to ugly and disorganized, you may not be able to tell the difference anymore. So in an article for Scrum Alliance, Pratik Kothari shares five symptoms of a poor backlog incited by a struggling product owner: Poor planning Not enough detail More than 20 percent churn in objectives Features dissatisfying the …

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