MikeBD Musings of a 24/6 techie (Software Architect / Technical Manager) family guy struggling to find meaning, balance and strong design / implementation supporting excellent user experiences.

23Dec/080

Links on Development Management

Some jumping off points I've encountered today and agree with on the management of software development processes and professionals:

It's all about the people and the way they communicate and interact.
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7Aug/080

Agile Software Development: an Answer to Procrastination?

A recent LinkedIn question on Software Estimation and Agile Methology included a concern that Agile could lead to Procrastination. I believe otherwise as detailed below. What has your experience been?

Software Estimation and Agile Methodology

I am new to Agile Methodology. I am working on a project which is following Agile. I have the following questions:

  1. What are the estimation techniques for Agile?
  2. Typically which type of Projects use Agile?
  3. In the name of Agile, can people procrastinate every single decision during requirements gathering? For example, we know what is expected but we don't know the most atomic level of the requirement. Say, I know I must build a webpage, but I don't know the validation of the webpage.

My Response:

I think Agile principles can be an antidote against procrastination. I would agree with the thoughts expressed in this post. If you continually drive to keep the design and implementation as simple as possible and don't get overly concerned with anticipating potential future needs, there is nothing left to do but build what you know is needed now. Continue reading...

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28Feb/080

QA Estimation: Testing hours as a function of development hours

The following question on LinkedIn caught my eye as something that is often assumed in project management and estimation efforts.

Testing hours as function of development hours.

Does it make sense to say that number of testing hours in a project should be a function of the number of development hours, such as
TestingHours = X% * DevHours? If so, what should X% be. What considerations would make it be lower or higher. Are there industry standards around this?

My Response:

In a word - no.

There are just too many variables at play of which some will include: Continue reading...

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10May/070

Daily Stand-Up / Scrum Kickoff

Today was day 3 of our adoption of Daily Stand-Up / Scrum meetings at GS1 Canada. I've chosen an open location and policy for observers (a nice crowd formed today). So far so good - lots of positive feedback on the format and value. The following is how I introduced the concept here:

Agenda:
  1. Accomplishments since the last meeting
  2. Planned activities before the next meeting
  3. Identification of any blockers that are preventing progress
The result should be the following benefits:
  • knowledge sharing / reuse scenario identification
  • quickly identify sore spots that require further deep dive follow-up meetings / actions
  • dynamic balancing of work assignments as people have availability and projects can benefit from additional resources that are not dedicated to them
  • build the team work / sense of commitment to each other
Continue reading...
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2Feb/070

Team Introduction

Welcome to the team (for me).

Taking a page from two thought leaders in the software development industry (Joel Spolsky and Reginald Braithwaite), I thought I might start posting here messages within my team that have common application. I hope you'll agree or comment otherwise :)

What follows is my introduction / team orientation message to the development team at GS1 Canada.

Day 2 dawns and I am filled with thoughts of a new business domain to master, lots of bits and bytes that need to get delivered and a new team to work with.

Please notice I said team. We all come from different backgrounds, culturally and technically, and from that diversity comes our strength - IF we behave as a team. If we do not, then we are bound to fail. It's been said many times before but bears repeating: we will succeed or fail as a team. Whether it be at an organizational or personal level, I do not consider failure an option. So here comes...

Continue reading...
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