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Technical Debt

The notion of technical debt is not well understood, so let’s start there. Agile is all about fast feedback loops—hours or, at most, a couple days. Deliberately lengthening your feedback loop in pursuit of the chimera of perfection destroys your agility. The cost of that delay is a real cost. It usually exceeds development costs…Read More

Individual Performance Appraisals, Just Say No!

For some reason, the notion of individual performance reviews comes up a lot. My general feeling is that we should dump them entirely. I’m actually in good company. Almost a third of U.S. companies are dropping individual reviews, including stodgy places like General Electric. (See this HBR article. There are books written on the subject,…Read More

The Problem With Design

Somehow, some people have gotten the idea that design is somehow inimical to Agile. That’s not true. It’s always helpful to think about things before you do them. The question is not whether or not you should think in advance, it’s how far in advance should the thinking occur. Hours? Days? Months? The problem with…Read More

Waste (and production efficiency)

Why is it that, when I bring up concerns surrounding production efficiency, some people react as if I’m suggesting we return to the abuses 19th century factories? Agile is, of course, focused on delivering value. However, no business can succeed if it squanders money on inefficiency. That is, outcome is critical, and that’s where our…Read More