Posts Tagged ‘performance’

Practicing Agile – Building Mastery One Day At A Time

Old joke: A young couple visiting New York City for the first time has lost their way. They spot a street musician, just the person to help them get reoriented. “Excuse us, but can you tell us how to get to Carnegie Hall?” The musician stopped playing and thought for a moment before replying: “Practice.” […]

That Isn’t What I Expected

Adverse surprises during a team driven project are about as welcome as whooping cough at a glassblowers convention. Minimizing the opportunity for surprises comes down to how well expectations are defined at the very beginning and how well they are managed during the course of the project. Unidentified expectations are like landmines in the project […]

The Value of “Good Enough”

Any company interested in being successful, whether offering a product or service, promises quality to its customers. Those that don’t deliver, die away. Those that do, survive. Those that deliver quality consistently, thrive. Seems like easy math. But then, 1 + 1 = 2 seems like easy math until you struggle through the 350+ pages […]

Agile Team Composition: Generalists versus Specialists

In a previous post, I described several of the shortcomings with planning poker, particularly when the tool is used in a context that includes more than just the developer’s shop. Estimating levels of effort for a set of tasks by a close knit group of individuals well qualified to complete those tasks can efficiently and […]

Parkinson’s Law of Perfection

C. Northcote Parkinson is best known for, not surprisingly, Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. But there are many more gems in “Parkinson’s Law and Other Studies in Administration.” On a re-read this past week, I discovered this: It is now  known  that  a  perfection  of  planned  […]

Accountability as a Corporate Value

My experience, and observation with clients, is that accountability doesn’t work particularly well as a corporate value. The principle reason is that it is an attribute of accusation. If I were to sit you down and open our conversation with “There is something for which you are going to be held accountable.”, would your internal […]

Innovation and Limits to Growth

In a basic growth model, some finite resource is consumed at a rate such that the resource is eventually depleted. When that happens the growth that was dependent on that resource stops and the system begins to collapse. If it happens that the resource is renewable eventually the rate of consumption matches the rate of […]

Achieving 10x

There is an interesting conversation thread on Slashdot asking “What practices impede developers’ productivity?” The conversation is in response to an excellent post by Steve McConnell from 2008 addressing productivity variations among software developers and teams and the origin of “10x” – that is, the observation noted in the wild of “10-fold differences in productivity […]

From Gamification to Simulation: Enhancing the Transfer of Learning

Each year brings to the business world a new swarm of buzzwords. Many are last year’s buzzwords, humming the same tune at a different pitch, fighting to find new life in the buzzword-eat-buzzword business world. Others are new arrivals from beyond the information horizon. I caught one of the new ones in my net earlier […]

Essential Graphics #1

The Lack of Insight Edition In 1949, John Gurden received the following biology report card from his professor at Eton College: “His other work has been equally bad, and several times he has been in trouble, because he will not listen, but will insist on doing his work in his own way.” He was 15, […]