Measuring Outputs Expanded

I talked at a high level in my Measure Outputs post about the types of measures that are useful. That post stated broadly that input measures do little to help improve, control or predict performance. In this post, I will expand on that concept to cover in more depth what types of measures focus on output and help drive process improvement. Perhaps the best known framework for creating measures is the balanced score card. This sets up categories of metrics that support an organizations strategies and vision. From the Balanced … 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 >


The First Law of Development

In my post, What’s so Wrong with Pushing, I showed by analogy how Time Blocked Iterations, Story Points and Burn Down Rate enabled a superior pull mechanism over traditional management for development teams.  In this post, I’ll develop how to maximize results from that pull system. There are three, sometimes opposing objectives in maximizing the effectiveness of development teams.  We want to maximize the throughput or story points delivered from a team.  This gives us more features – an obvious benefit.  We also want to minimize the cycle time to … Continue Reading >


What’s so Wrong with Pushing

In agile development, much emphasis is rightfully placed on burn down rate, the number of story points completed within an iteration of development. I’ve never been fully satisfied with explanations for why this measure and control of it is so critical. To develop my perspective, let me step back and use analogy from manufacturing. I promise it all comes together in the end. For now, a SAT question:      Push Planning is to Traditional Management as Kanban or Pull System is to           a) Time Blocked Iterations           b) Story … Continue Reading >


Cost of Software Defects

Is the cost of software defects driven more by time than the stage of its discovery? Continue Reading >


Project Manager to Scrum Master

Many organizations looking to Agile methodologies to gain better results more quickly at lower costs are taking on the question of what is the role of a Project Manger (PM) on Agile Projects. It is common for a traditional PM to take scrum master training and then assume that role for agile development. But, how similar are these two roles?  Let’s begin with definitions: Project Manager: responsible for project success through planning and coordinating; staffing; assigning and tracking tasks; managing scope, issues and risks; tracking schedule and budget; ensuring quality, etc… … Continue Reading >