Agile Development is so Old Fashioned

The functioning principles of Agile (and process improvement more broadly) can be found in lean manufacturing and six sigma. These concepts date back to just after World War II and include error proofing, eliminating waste, creating flow, adding customer value, and empowering workers. If you are interested in deeper understanding I suggest reading the above links and: 14 principles of the Toyota Way 2 pillars of the Toyota Production System (Just-in-time and smart automation) 5S methodology Total Quality Management Deming’s 14 points While more comprehensive, notice how similar these ideas are to … Continue Reading >


Agile Development on Wikipedia

The great thing about Wikipedia is that you can make it say anything you want (at least for awhile.) So, I did it. Their definition of Agile Development now matches mine. As I’ve commented before, given the reach of this page, the content on it was disappointing. I gave the page a pretty good scrub. Please check my work. Leave a comment here if you see anything you object to, or edit the page yourself.


Development Kanban

I was recently reviewing a presentation from David Anderson on Kanban from Agile 2007. I love some of his ideas on sizing work, especially in separating work in process (WIP/story point) management from the release cycle. He summarizes his approach in 4 bullet points for success: Focus on Quality (fourth law of development) Reduce or Limit Work in Progress (what’s wrong with pushing) Balance Demand against Throughput (first law of development) Prioritize I think these simple statements help focus on how the principles of lean six sigma guide success. They … Continue Reading >


Defining Agile Development (continued)

As I prepared to discuss Agile with a client recently, I found that I was missing an important element of the definition in my last post. Here is what we settled on: Agile is: A project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation A leadership philosophy that encourages team work, self-organization and accountability A set of engineering best practices that allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software A business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals


How To Excel at Anything

I’m certainly late to the band wagon, but I really enjoyed this post from Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users about the mindset to become an expert. Her intro chart alone is worth the click. And if the brain scientists are right, all the aspiring expert needs is a strong dedication to continuous improvement: “That dedication to mastery drives the potential expert to focus on the most subtle aspects of performance, and to never be satisfied. There is always more to improve on and they’re willing to work on the … Continue Reading >