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Showing posts from July, 2012

How To Build an Agile Executive Dashboard

You get a lot of woo-woo hand-waving when you ask a typical large-scale organizational change manager what they would put on the executive dashboard to show that their program is effective.

"That's going to vary a lot from one company to the next," they may hedge.  Or "it depends" is a popular answer, also provided in long form: "it depends on what your executives want to see."  Right.  Like, executives who like Baroque Art want to see more Rubens.  That's helpful.  Not.
The dashboard is often "delayed," sometimes delayed until after the change management is over!  Why?

One reason a change manager may have for hedging on the topic of the dashboard is that change is difficult.  A truthful dashboard is likely to show the standard change curve, reflecting the morale of the change-ees:
Change itself is difficult, prompting the Rule of Thumb blogger to compare organizational change to Elizabeth Kubler Ross's Five Stages of Grief.  Okay, …

Why I Ditched My iPhone 4S for the Samsung Galaxy S3

From the first, I had been a pretty avid Android person, partly just because I wanted to be nonconformist.  But after starting out strong with the original Motorola "Droid," I fell prey to two Samsung Galaxy II phones in a row that had poor call quality.  (Yes, I sailed right from "shame on you" to "shame on me" in that little transaction).  I returned the first one FIVE times to AT&T before they decided it was a "lemon" and let me upgrade to the next phone up.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that the Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket II had the same problem.  I spent hours getting software upgrades in various AT&T stores across America, and after a replacement or two, I finally checked out the interweb and found numerous geek-oriented sites that documented something I would have loved to have known a while ago:
Samsung phones are not known for call quality and some Galaxies II have a specific problem in which the speaker's voice is muffl…

Requirements Traceability in Agile Software Development

One of the grim proving grounds for the would-be agile business analyst (henceforth "WBABA")  is the "traceability conversation."  Eventually, you will have to have one.  You may have seen one already.  If you haven't, you may want to half-avert your eyes as you read further.  It gets a little brutal.  But if you close them all the way, you can't read.
Dialogue:
WBABA:   ...so in summary, we complete analysis on each story card, and then we support the developers as they build it that same iteration!Corporate Standards Guy:  but how do you do traceability in agile?  You have to have traceability.  It's broadly recognized as an important factor in building rigorous software systems. These software systems permeate our society and we must entrust them with lives of everyday people on a daily basis. [The last two sentences are an actual quotation from the Center of Excellence for Software Traceability website!] WBABA: [cowed silence]Corporate Standards …

How To Set Up an Escalation Path

Many agilists do not deal well with corporate hierarchy.  "In the agile world," they say smugly, "we will all be equal."  Quick quiz:  although the venerable "pigs and chickens" metaphor is now sliding out of favor among the agile cool kids, which of the following are agile transformation coaches still very likely to do:
Characterize the direct line managers of team members as "people to keep out of the room at all costs, and if they must be there, to be tolerated only if they maintain a respectful silence."Describe the entire group between CEO and the team doing the work as "middle managers--the people I wish didn't exist."Make cruel and dismissive comments about "command and control."Wear jeans to work every day, not just on Fridays, in violation of the corporate summer dress code. Yes, sadly, the correct answer is "all of the above," although item 4 is just a passive-aggressive manifestation of the first thre…