Learn from Successes and Failures

Brad Feld has a great post up today titled “What do you Suck At?  I love the exercise he describes that asks participants to talk about what they suck at. I was recently listening to a podcast from the Standford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar by Tina Seeling.  She has an assignment in one of her classes for students to write a failure resume.  While typical resumes focus on successes, she suggests that we learn more by understanding our failures. Why? To me, failures and shortcomings define your learning. Great failures … Continue Reading >


People Laws (part 2)

This post continues the Laws of Development Physics as related to people elements that impact development. Continue Reading >


People Laws (part 1)

“…when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in thought advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.”                                                                                                                   – Lord Kelvin “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”                                                                                                                   – Lord Kelvin While most will differ with Lord Kelvin’s second statement from 1900, I am somewhat more agreeable with him on the first quote.  As … Continue Reading >


Pay Now or Pay Later

To follow up on the fourth law, I add as reinforcement the fifth law of development physics:  If you cannot pay for variability reduction, you will pay in one or more of the following ways: Long iteration times and high story points in progress Wasted capacity or need for more resources Slower burn down rates Of course, the other option is to accept poor quality, which has an entirely different set of costs.  Either way,  the variably in a development process has real costs if not addressed.  This means that … Continue Reading >


Are you a Resultant?

I was reading through some old notes this evening and ran across this idea:    Consultant:    – Delivers Reports    – Retains skill     Resultant:     – Delivers Results     – Transfers Skills While I don’t think I want to be called a “Resultant,” I like how simply this places a focus on generating valued results and outputs. It also reminds us that it’s not just about doing for and to clients; we are most valuable when we help clients achieve results that they can successfully repeat themselves.


The Value of Values

It’s not immediately obvious why values are important to success. To me, it at first seems like the process dictates values and principles attached to them. To some extent this is true. A waterfall process, by its nature dictates that planning and control are important values. Agile dictates that adaptation is key. But neither process gives insight into how team members will interact. Will they collaborate to solve problems among themselves and with their business sponsors and customers? Can they openly raise issues? How will they even involve the customer? … Continue Reading >


Agile on a Single Page

One page summaries of the values of agile software development. Continue Reading >


Eliminate Variability

Variability is the root of all evil in development and must be eliminated. Continue Reading >


Measure Outputs for Success

If you want to ensure success, forget input measures and focus on measuring outputs. Track deliverables completed. Measure quality. Track burn down. Ensure risks are being mitigated. Measure tangible impacts to ensure value is being delivered. Measure customer and stakeholder confidence and user satisfaction. Continue Reading >


Tell Me a (Short) Story

Stories are the raw materials of development. They should stay in a raw form until needed. Or, as stated by the third “law of development physics”: The value of requirements increases as its production release becomes imminent. Or, you know what you need when you see it, until then, make up a good story. Continue Reading >