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Showing posts from September, 2013

Staffing for Scaled Agile: Retention is Better Than Acquisition

As you begin your large-scale agile transformation, you may find yourself printing out posters of The Big Picture, jack-hammering cube walls into pulp, and negotiating an awesome corporate site license for an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool.  Plus you are likely putting rigorous product management, architecture and continuous integration practices into place, along with test driven development, and automated functional testing, without the last of which you will be completely helpless under your regression load.

This is all heady and exciting stuff, and just keep doing it, but I would recommend that as you do, you put staffing at the top of your list of concerns, and put a fair amount of energy into the effort.  The Agile Founding Fathers weren't messing around when they put the words "Individuals and Interactions" at the very top of the manifesto.  Make no mistake--agile lives or dies by the quality, motivation, and communication of the people practicing it…

The Periodontal Probe: A Cautionary Metrics Case Study for Coaches

Did you visit your dentist today?  If not, perhaps it is because in modern dentist offices (at least in the US), a routine dental checkup consists of four key steps:
A hygienist grimly and repeatedly stabs your gums with a pointy stick called a periodontal probe (6 stabs per tooth!), and loudly calls out numbers from 1 to 15 with each stab, where anything over 3 means "tooth about to fall out." These numbers, they assure you, go on your permanent record. The same hygienist scrapes some stuff off of the teeth along your gum line, a painful process appropriately known as "scaling."The hygienist gives you a choice of grape, watermelon, or mint toothpaste, and uses that little round tooth cleaning widget to clean the remaining surfaces of your teeth.  They don't say it, but you know and they know that the widget is actually a disguised drill. The dentist comes in, looks things over, and gives you some summary advice and follow-up requests, like "come back in s…