I am often asked as an Agile Coach when I know that I have been effective at my job. The answer is simple- my work as a coach is done when the team in question is capable of being predictable.
And what, you may ask is predictable? For me it is a team that is capable of consistently delivering 90% or greater of points that have been planned for an iteration. I have given this capability a name. I call it the Gold Standard.
Continue reading Predictability and The Gold Standard
Back in January I stressed the need to come up with some new metaphors regarding software development because our old metaphors were causing some problems. I still believe this to be true more than ever. Developers are not just cogs, but are individuals. Research has shown that the most productive developers are up to 10 times more productive than others (see Peopleware for more). You cannot just plug any developer into a product team and expect them to perform at the average level for that team. Domain knowledge counts as well.
However, one thing that I did not do a great job of was suggesting a replacement metaphor. The one I used was the film industry. While I was correct that development is a creative art, it has recently been pointed out to me that making motion pictures usually takes a great deal of upfront planning and design – not a good analogy for an Agile advocate. This misstatement showed that I knew less about the film industry than I do software development.
Continue reading Software Development is Like 30 Rock – A New Software Development Metaphor Part 2