Friday, December 27, 2013

What if Development Were Managed using Scrum?

In a Forbes' article, Diagnosis: The Government Broke Every Rule Of Project Management, the author lists key reasons why the project failed:
  1. Unrealistic Requirements
  2. Technical Complexity
  3. Integration Responsibility
  4. Fragmented Authority
  5. Loose Metrics
  6. Inadequate Testing
  7. Aggressive Schedules
  8. Administrative Blindness

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Agile Estimating and Planning: A Book Review - Section I.

Why write a review in 2013 about a book published in 2005?

Because, Mike Cohn's book, Agile Estimating and Planning is such a book that lays out the philosophy behind agile planning very beautifully, while leading the reader through day-to-day activities.1

And, as much as I tried to keep the review short, I did not succeed: There are so many nuggets of valuable information throughout the book that I justified making an elaborate review, and decided to publish the review in multiple sections. This post is the first of those.

If your agile development environment already has a set of tools predetermined, such as Rally Software or Jira Agile for example, your day-to-day approach to managing the development may already be somewhat predetermined by the software tool. However, whether you are in such a predetermined environment, or in a pristine environment with possibly no tools other than Microsoft Office, you'll need to recall the basics crisply, and Mike Cohn's book is one excellent reference source.

Friday, July 19, 2013

On Universal Applicability of the Scrum Framework.

Meetup Announcement. (Click to go to Meetup page).
If you listened to Jeff Sutherland on the July 16 talk on "Scrum: The Future of Work", you cannot but walk away with the feeling that scrum methodology is more universally applicable than software development, but the rest of the world is yet to discover that fact. And, his enthusiasm for Scrum's applicability not just in Software Development, but in other parts of Enterprises, in Government, in non-profit organizations, etc., is contagious. Scrum and the Grameen Bank, the Nobel Prize winning microfinance organization?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On the Storage Needed to Capture Human DNA

Ever since Watson and Crick solved the DNA puzzle, in 1953, and shared a Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 with Wilkins, there has always been interest to store and retrieve DNA information.

However, it was not until the Human Genome Project concluded in 2003, that the entire human genome (of about 3 billion nucleotides) was considered fully decoded 1.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SV-ALN Meetup: Be Agile. Scale Up. Stay Lean.

Dean Leffingwell
If you are already familiar with the concepts of Agile methodology at the team level, following Dean Leffingwell when he elaborates on the scalability of the Agile framework is a breeze. Such was my experience yesterday when he presented the Scaled Agile Framework™ (SAF) at the SVALN meetup.

The primary ambition of the Scaled Agile Framework is to take the Agile principles to be effective at the enterprise level.

We have already seen several approaches to utilizing hierarchy in using the Agile methodology at the team level. This framework takes the hierarchy, from a team or a project level, to program and portfolio levels, and recognizes the need for non-functional requirements (NFRs), in addition to the user stories that a user would definitely interact with, and recognizes business epics and architectural epics.

Monday, March 11, 2013

On Managing [Complexity in] Systems Development

Modern society invariably tends to need complex1 systems. (If a system is too 'simple', there may not be any market for it). Consider, for example, some of the successful products in present times:
  1. Smartphones such as the iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy
  2. Tablets such as the iPad, Google Nexus 7
  3. Electric cars such as the Tesla
Each one of the foregoing has, in addition to software, a collection of parts, in several levels of hierarchy, in creating the end user product. (A blog post makes an interesting observation that mature products tend to have not more than 4 levels of hierarchy in their bill of materials).