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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Farming as a Metaphor for Workplace Culture

Michael Wade has an interesting post considering how non-agricultural workplaces can resemble farms. Workplace cultures are in large part a reflection of the underlying metaphor driving the organization, whether by design or chance. When much younger, I used and advocated the “business is war” metaphor. I have been much more successful (and much less stressed) […]

Baseball and Systems Thinking

Or “Yet another example of why baseball is more like life than any other sport.” Matt Cain of San Francisco Giants tosses 22nd perfect game in Major League Baseball history and second of 2012 season Just 22 perfect games in the history of baseball. How rare is that? Since 1900, there have been 353,240 (±20, […]