Archive for December, 2015

Agile success is to put people over process

Monday, December 21, 2015
posted by daveb

As an industry, we have tried just about every method imaginable to deliver software. For every methodology that claims higher success rates it’s easy to find counter examples where the same methodology has been a failure.

I think what The Manifesto has done well is to point out that the things successful projects have in common are not in their method, but a set of very people-centric values and principles. Basically the underlying message in The Manifesto is that people matter more than process.

We need to stop talking about people as “resources”, and see them as individuals with character, intelligence, and a desire to make a contribution. We need to collaborate, communicate, bring customers and developers together, trust one another, allow experimentation, mistakes and therefore learning to take place. Allow autonomy, mastery and purpose and great things can happen.

Kanban Release Train

Monday, December 21, 2015
posted by daveb

Kanban is an ideal candidate to use with a “Release Train”. The Release Train works like a freight train that leaves every week at the same time. The user stories that are tested and ready to ship go on the train and get delivered. If a story is not quite ready we don’t work overtime nor do we change the ‘train’ schedule, we just ship whatever is ready to ship at that time, and if something misses the train there’s another one next week. Occasionally a ‘special’ train runs between the normal scheduled times because there is something of value to deliver.

Some stakeholders/customers may want to know exactly when a particular feature will ship and the down side of this approach is we don’t really make such promises. What we do though, is to build trust – stakeholders don’t tend to hover about asking what the team is working on when quality software is shipping on a regular basis.

This approach is based on the idea of Optimizing the Flow of Value to the business/customer. If we deliver to the customer feature B instead of feature A this week, they still get to see a stream of value flowing their way, and that is something that makes customers happy.