KPIs, Velocity, and Other Destructive Metrics

"It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it—a costly myth." –W. Edwards Deming The Deming quote at the top of this post is often twisted into something worthy of Frederick Taylor: "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it." Deming would disagree. You can—in fact, must—manage things…

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#NoStandups

The traditional daily stand-up meeting as generally practiced ranges from merely ineffective to a colossal waste of time. It's a band-aid that's hiding ineffective communication. First, some history. The 15-minute "stand-up meeting" is de rigueur for many Agile shops. It's been a standard practice from very early. JJ Sutherland told me the "first standup happened…

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The Wrong Questions about Agile

When it comes to Agile, people often ask the wrong questions. I’ve used the term “wrong question” before, and it brought out the trolls, so let’s start with that. The trolls usually scream: “there is no such thing as a wrong question,” and then they launch into a discourse on why I’m an idiot.

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What is Agile? The elevator pitch.

Sitting around the Thanksgiving table, somebody (very intelligent, but a lawyer, so has no experience whatever with software or manufacturing) asked “What exactly is ‘Agile’?” Given the situation, I couldn’t launch into a 30-minute lecture :-), so I was stymied. Somebody chirped in that that Agile was about short cycles etc., etc., but talking about…

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Getting Started with Agility: Essential Reading

As is the case with many of the people who actually know what they’re talking about, I’ve come to shudder when I hear the word “Agile,” at least until I can figure whether the person who uttered the word actually knows what they’ve just said. More often than not, they don’t. The word Agile has…

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