Has Agile jumped the shark?

The Agile community is in danger.  As someone who has been around Agile for a very long time I find myself asking; Has Agile abandoned its core premise and begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery. First the punch line.  Go to Wikipedia and search for “Jumping the Shark”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark   Here’s an excerpt;…

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10 analogies for creating software (that aren't building construction)

Software has long suffered with the analogy of building construction. While it is certainly handy, and generally well accepted, I would like to propose my top 10 alternative analogies for software development.  10- Politics Creating software is like being an elected official. You get into it to do something, achieve something, and participate in something…

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Requirements are tools not weapons

Consider these requirements; · The system shall properly calculate the taxes due at the time of payment. · The system shall properly display the location and speed of inbound projectiles. · All users will only be able to change data appropriate to their role. They are a clear example of poor communication and are likely…

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Fighting the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

There are a few reoccurring themes in project recovery;  Hold Fast, Don’t Flinch, Lead calmly, and of course the old stand by … decide slowly but act quickly.  Troubled projects are ripe with Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (affectionately known as FUD).  Our job, like it or not, isn’t just creating and delivering a solution but…

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What’s your projects risk tolerance?

Risk tolerance is defined on investopedia as the degree of uncertainty that an investor can handle in regard to a negative change in the value of his or her portfolio. Sounds pretty good to me for project portfolios too.  In our case, negative change includes concrete things like expenditures that fail to return expected value…

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Introducing Project Practice Portfolios

In a recent paper, Bridge Methods: Using a Balanced Project Practice Portfolio to Integrate Agile and Formal Process Methodologies, my co-author and I dug into how nearly every methodology, be it formal or agile, allows if not requires customization to the set practices used throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC).  We call the collection of…

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Implement EXPILCIT Governance

While speaking at the Dr. Dobbs’ Architect and Design World conference last week Scott Ambler said “Like it or not you are governed!”  Genius in its directness and simplicity and extremely relevant for recovery projects. Many a challenged project struggles against the unstated and frequently invisible reins of governance.  Traditional definitions of governance speak to…

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Project Recovery MUST beat the odds

Predictions of failure rule the industry.  Any number of organizations and people look at trends and willingly, no gleefully, declare why projects will fail and, in general, I agree.  Lets face it, most projects aren’t paid on delivery.  Nope, it’s by the hour … seems like a conflict of interest to me.  Once a project…

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We can make the choices others can't

Me: Why would you do that? Them: You just don’t understand Me: Help me understand, what could have possibly driven you away from the <fill in obviously right thing> and to do <fill in obviously wrong thing> Them: Well, it’s complicated.  There are other groups, and schedules, and my boss said, and … Me: Let’s…

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It's not about you

Software development is a world full of individual accomplishment and competition.  It shouldn’t be.  Great software comes from great teams.  No one person is responsible and no one is irreplaceable.  As the industry matures we, as individuals, must also mature.  In short, it’s just not about you it’s about the successful creation and delivery of…

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