Scaling Software Agility

Finally got round to reading Scaling Software Agility. Worth the read.  Thoughts in the usual format.

  • Page 104 – Eliminating the functional silos.  To me this title alone says it all.  The silo’d mentality is just utter madness in the 21st century of software development.  Often testing is treated as the 3rd grade silo, with UX perceiving this are the king of all silo’s.  Stop the madness!
  • Page 107 – Testers.  Not sure I concur that testers become part of the team as soon as code starts to be laid.  I think they need to be part of the team much earlier, ensuring as part of the team what we are clear on the behaviour of the application solution we are building, and ensuring we have one set of testable behaviours and not n sets, one for each silo!
  • Page 111 – They are Led, not Managed.  Leadership! without it, game over
  • Page 129 – Iteration planning with distributed teams.  Always painful 😦  My advice is to use the available collaboration tools today such as VC, Hangouts etc to get the team “together” so that collaboration happens
  • Page 149 – Release roadmap.  My view is that theme’s are often forgotten about when considering releases – grouping of epics/stories.
  • Page 152 – Steering committee.  Another item that is often neglected, and viewed as a waste of time/space.  Unfortunately, it comes with consequences if not considered appropriately.
  • Page 160 – Acceptance testing. I’m with Dan North on this one.  Enough said!
  • Page 204 – Architectural Runway.  Not enough people consider architecture at the start of an agile project.  All to often people want to jump into the code with a “tool architecture” view.  Get real!
  • Page 230 – Story Elaboration.  If you do anything after this posting, at least remind yourself of INVEST!
  • Page 252 – Interesting read on the role-based model for distributed teams
  • Page 259 – Interesting read on Round-the-Clock development of distributed teams, again with a pairing model.
  • Page 262 – Shuttle advocacy – Think I’m on this shuttle
  • Page 263 – Communication infrastructure – companies need to wake-up and embrace this.  Crappy VC’s, and the inability to video chat from one’s desk is not acceptable in the 21st century!
  • Page 297 – Change is hard! Trying to get people to drop the baggage they are carrying is just utterly painful and time consuming.  Back to silo mentality again.
  • Page 320 – Balanced scorecard for measuring business performance.  One item that I haven’t seen considered much around measurement is looking at the life-cycle of stories, the acceptance criteria, defects etc.  Specifically around did we capture the essence of the story well at the beginning of the story discussion, or did we find there was a consider delta between when we started the discussion, and the final DONE story.  This metric in my view, the story life-cycle metric, would aid retrospectives, and improve the agility of any agile team in understanding where improvements can be gained.

Overall worth a read.  Would have preferred to see more of an agile testing mentality.  Definitely some take away thought for distributed teams!


~ by mdavey on November 8, 2013.

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