The Real Costs of Sub-Optimal Product Backlog Ordering

A quick post while I'm thinking about real costs (see the previous post, real costs of context-switching). The role of the Product Owner is to "maximize the value of the team". Paradoxically, she does not do that by altering the team itself. The flip side of the coin is that the team of creators do …

Cost of Exit is a Cost of Entry.

FBI SWAT teams are one of the most highly trained infiltration / exfiltration units in the world. Highly skilled, highly trained. Practice frequently. They are armed with the best gear in the world, bristling with guns, ammo, handcuffs, flash-bang grenades. In their center pocket, easiest and fastest to reach, is their most important tool. A …

“Feature” is Ambiguous.

Great joke of course. We've used the word feature to the point that it's lost specific meaning. A feature could mean, "this field will retain your data for the next time you log in". A feature could also mean "big green button".  A feature could also be almost any object or landmark. That big rock …

How Not to Get Lost

My friend and UX designer (and legendary keyboard warrior) Evan Travers writes about orienteering, something you may have done as a scout. Abstractly, two techniques to navigate in the territory of the modern software domain - Moderate Complexity and Moderate Uncertainty. While finding an exact destination requires many steps and many skills, here are two …

The Mechanics of Flow: You don’t have to be the fastest to beat the fastest.

In the past year I watched the Amazon series Patriot. From a plot perspective, the show is about an American agent who takes on a "non-official cover" with a pipe company to prevent a nuclear threat. At a deeper level, the show is about the complications of flow, mentioned several times as the simplicity of …

The iceberg in the glass: Two views of Agile, and what they say about your team.

If a team's initial response to Scrum is that it's restrictive, prescriptive, and high-overhead, consider this the tip of the iceberg floating above the water.

Counter-pitching freelance gigs as Agile engagements

A recent discussion in one of my tech forums turned to a question of how to price yourself when you've been approached about freelance development gigs. Much good information was shared on topics including new developers getting their first paying gig, race and minority status in the job market, the temptations that lead to undervaluing …

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