In Defense of the Half-Assed, part 1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ed Willis   
Friday, 20 August 2010 00:20

Posted a this over at Rally.  It's an analysis of one particular form of "scrumbut" - starting with Scrum in parts of the organization besides development.  Here's an excerpt:

Can you deploy Scrum to a test team?

Half MoonScrum is at its heart a product development process.  How can you leave the part of the organization – development – that actually makes product out of any Scrum deployment? Does it even make sense for other parts of the organization to be “doing Scrum” if development is somehow doing something else? Wouldn’t you be working towards what would be, at best, a half-assed deployment of Scrum?

Craig Larman and Bas Vodde in their wonderful book Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development certainly agree: “…a so-called test team Scrum is a contradiction in terms.” Ken Schwaber in The Enterprise and Scrum doesn’t seem to admit the possibility of deploying to functional groups – it’s projects he’s envisioning deploying to. For example, consider this advice for early goers of an enterprise-wide adoption of Scrum: “Establish preconditions that must be met before a project can use Scrum.”

You can read the article in its entirety here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:48
 
Requirements Development Techniques PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ed Willis   
Thursday, 29 July 2010 04:32

This video presentation summarizes a couple of different requirements techniques - Joint Application Development (JAD) and User Story Workshops - and evaluates them against each other as well as against the common method of a closed circle of senior people developing comprehensive requirements.  I cover my experiences with all three methods and provide some guidance on how to choose and tailor a method for your own use.  These practices aren't considered in a vacuum but rather are evaluated in the context of the overall engineering lifecyle.  The focus is on providing what you need to know to understand the methods at a high level and make an informed decision on which to use.  I use real world experiences in requirements development in larger projects in larger, traditionally-structured organizations to help motivate the discussion.  Dim lights Download

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 July 2010 12:26
 
What Are We Committing to in a Sprint? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ed Willis   
Saturday, 10 July 2010 18:26

My first post on Rally's agile blog. Here's an excerpt:Commitment

Question: What are we, as Scrum team members, committing to in a sprint? The higher-level Sprint Goal or the more detailed set of selected Product Backlog? If you are a customer of the team, what is the team telling you it will do? I recall being pretty confused about what the team was committing to in Sprint planning after reading Agile Software Development with Scrum, by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle, for the first time. There seemed to be some ambiguity around whether the Scrum Team commits to the set of selected Product Backlog items or to the Sprint Goal, which is a higher level and less precise concept.

The article can be read in its entirety here.

Last Updated on Sunday, 11 July 2010 03:36
 
Requirements Development Techniques and Agile Projects PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ed Willis   
Saturday, 10 July 2010 18:25

Published this over on O'Reilly - here's an excerpt:

This article is about developing requirements for agile projects.  I've used a number of different techniques and have recently happened upon one that's been the best of the bunch for me - hopefully it will prove useful to you as well.  Along the way, I'll sketch out a couple of other techniques for comparison.

The whole article can be read here.

 
Hiring Developers: Why "Smart and Gets Things Done" is not Enough PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ed Willis   
Saturday, 10 July 2010 18:23

A piece on hiring developers - what my teams are looking for - published over on O'Reilly here.  Here's an excerpt:

Back in 2000, Joel Spolsky published the first version of his "Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing" about hiring developers. Since then, he's published revisions to that article as well as including it in a book on hiring developers. I don't know when I first read it but it certainly stayed with me. Given how frequently people around me reference these sources - especially the guidance about the people to target ("smart and gets things done") - it seems to have resonated with many others out there also. That said, over the last few years I've managed a group that's done a fair bit of hiring and, while I love the confidence of that article, it's not enough for us.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 March 2012 17:02
 
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