Apr 7, 2013
Welcome to the Software Process and Measurement Cast 232
The Software Process and Measurement Cast 232 features a column for Kim Pries titled "Introduction To Scrum Planning." The column is based on Kim's experience in both hardware and software.
Contact Kim at http://ow.ly/jOzvK
I have also included audio versions of three Daily Process Thoughts on planning. The format of the Software Process and Measurement Cast will be a little different through show 236. My intent is to provide a bit of new content combined with some special highlights from years one through six. I will be on vacation in China or recovering. SPaMCAST listeners in China shoot me an email and perhaps we can have a listeners meet up.
Daily Process Thoughts: Birthdays, March 27, 2013
Every project has a birthday, whether it is every two weeks or every month. It is an opportunity to remember that we are one step closer to our final goal. The calendar is the most important measuring stick used to gauge progress on any project. Regardless of whether the it is really the most important measure, it is the measure everyone understands and can keep track of.
Pay attention to the markers that show that time is passing (sprint reviews, demonstrations or milestones), and let everyone know what has been accomplished since the last important date. Everyone likes a celebration whether it is because of a piece of cake or the demonstration of some tasty bit of promised functionality.
Daily Process Thoughts: Feedback and Planning, March 16, 2013
Hand Drawn Chart Saturday
The word ‘plan’ evokes many emotions, not all of them pleasant. The root of the problem is a nearly racial memory (I have been reading Jung again) of an intricate project schedule developed before the first requirement was ever collected. The plan even went so far as to promise a delivery date. The knee jerk reaction to what is perceived as over-planning has always been to avoid planning altogether and to trust that feedback loops will guide you to the goal.
The problem is that without even the most rudimentary planning, you are just reacting you are guilty of tampering. Paraphrasing a bit, tampering is defined by Dr. W. Edward Deming as changes to the system based on feedback without at least some knowledge of the path you want to take and the capacity of the system. Deming’s Funnel Experiment (changes are made to the system based on single observations of an outcome – see http://www.spcforexcel.com/over-controlling-process-funnel-experiment) proves that tampering with a system without a bigger picture will cause greater variance than if you do nothing at all, and we know how well that works. Having enough of a plan, for example a release plan in Agile, can provide the context needed to reduce variability, or at least saving the variability for the real surprises.
Our goal in any project is to deliver value as fast and as well as possible. The right kind of plan and feedback will help stop you from wandering aimlessly.
Daily Process Thoughts: Check With Your Carrier, March 13, 2013
You can have a plan, a destination and a ticket and still not get where you want to go. In the end it all comes down to execution. Disasters, big or small, can lay waste to the best plans unless you stay observant and ready to react (some planning and muscle memory also helps). Remember to check with your carrier before you travel to the airport to begin your trip and also, it never hurts to have a clean pair of socks just in case you are delayed.
The Daily Process Thoughts is my project designed to deliver a quick daily idea, thought or simple smile to help you become a better change agent. Each day you will get piece of thought provoking text and a picture or hand drawn chart to illustrate the idea being presented. The goal is to deliver every day; rain or shine, in sickness or in health or for better or worse! Check it out at www.tcagley.wordpress.com.
Shameless Ad for my book!
Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: "This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, neither for you or your team."
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The next few Software Process and Measurement Casts will continue swtch thing around just a bit with a combination of new content and highlights from years past! I hope that until I get back from vacation that the content in the feed will provide a bit of pleasant surprise!