An iterative incremental software development process

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I'm told that it has been 21 years since Scrum became public when Jeff Sutherland and I presented it at an Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages & Applications (OOPSLA) workshop in Austin, TX, in October of 1995. Time sure does fly. Things mature. I'm still in the same building and at the same company where I first formulated Scrum.[1] Initially nobody knew of Scrum, yet it is now an open source body of knowledge translated into more than 30 languages.[2] People use Scrum worldwide for developing software and other uses I never anticipated.[3] Scrum was born and initially used by Jeff and me to meet market demand at our respective companies. After we made Scrum public in 1996 and writing my paper SCRUM Development Process, we started trying Scrum publicly, in companies with critical needs that were willing to try anything. The first organization where we e... (more)

[session] @Scrumdotorg to Present at @DevOpsSummit | #Scrum #AI #DevOps

Freeze the Pond vs Take the Hill: Two Metaphors for Enterprise Agile Transformation It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to change their culture and cultures are very hard to change. To paraphrase Peter Drucker, "culture eats Agile for breakfast." Successful approaches are opportunistic and leverage the power of self-organization to achieve lasting change. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kurt Bittner, Vice President... (more)

Making a Difference in Tech: #YesWeCode | @DevOpsSummit @CollabNet

InformationWeek recently ran an article I wrote that describes CollabNet's work with non-profit #YesWeCode. This Dream Corps initiative aims to help young adults find careers and success in the tech industry. In the article, I address the growing need for new talent in the tech industry: "The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that there will be one million more IT jobs than computer science students in the U.S. by 2020. The software development field in particular is expected to see a much higher than average growth rate of 17 percent." As a software executive, I see how taking responsibility to solve this challenge rests partially on the shoulders of the organizations that are hiring technology professionals. In other words, we need to look for ways to train and inspire the right individuals to fill our job openings. However, the best talent doesn't al... (more)

The Odd Couple: Marrying Agile and Waterfall

This article depicts the best practice approach for integrating Agile approaches and specifically Scrum development with traditional overarching linear approaches, specifically waterfall methodology. The agile PMO, properly defined, can be positioned to secure Agile-Scrum benefits while maintaining the necessary overarching control. The challenge Over the last two decades, various Agile approaches have been introduced and practiced. Of these, in last 5 to 7 years, Scrum has gained the most popularity resulting from a combination of simplicity, ease of use, and effective public relations. Scrum success in software development organizations has been a powerful driver for roll outs across products, industries and businesses. As described, this was exacerbated by a focused marketing effort from Scrum evangelists. Unfortunately, most of these organizations were not stru... (more)

Agile SOA Across the Lifecycle - Part Five: IT and SOA Governance

This is the fifth of a six part series of posts on the Agile SOA life cycle. Here we will at look at IT and SOA Governance. With the introduction of agile, spiral, and scrum development methodologies, the traditional waterfall development approach of testing a near-finished app at the end of many Agile development cycles won't be agile at all, as the elements of the application are constantly changing.  Traditional models of IT governance will also not work. To aggravate testing, the service-oriented architecture (SOA) design pattern is used to make IT  more responsive to changes requested by business. New process tooling has been introduced to specifically assist in the cataloging of service assets, and organization of policies governing SOA. This new set of tooling created to support SOA revolves around governance platforms like HP Systinet / S2, SAG Centrasite, S... (more)

Why Is Scrum So Widely Adopted and So Very Dangerously Deceptive

I was sitting in a meeting sometime ago with a company that was embracing Scrum like a ten year old being offered a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies. They were grabbing at it as fast as they're little hands could reach out and grab the goodies. Watching this made me wonder what is was about Scrum that made them embrace it so emphatically. They had claimed to be an Agile shop for years, but were still failing to deliver quality software on time with in budget. Over the past years they refused every single proposed process improvement recommendation made by dozens of consultants. They literally went from zero process (using the name Agile to execute no process at all) to zealot Scrumbots overnight. After spending some time pondering this and interviewing a few people I found the answers I was looking for. Scrum was allowing them to preform the magic trick of perce... (more)

Fanning the Flames of Agile

Knowledge creation is a major source of value creation. And great companies -and their employees - know that continuous learning is a key to generating knowledge, and thus value. The agile mindset, particularly in development, is gaining popularity, with credit to a suite of powerful ideas and practices commonly known as the agile methodology - defined by Wikipedia as "software development methods based on iterative and incremental development." Agile on Paper In February 2001, a group of 17 software developers wrote the Agile Manifesto, the Magna Carta of the agile movement. At just 68 words, it was elegant, but at that point just words on paper. Early attempts to apply it came by adapting existing techniques such as lean manufacturing (adapted from Toyota's methodologies), Crystal, Scrum and XP (Extreme Programming). Admittedly, we were still learning. Buying into ... (more)

Alignment vs Autonomy | @DevOpsSummit #Agile #Scrum #DevOps #Monitoring

Alignment vs Autonomy and The Purpose Alignment Model By Chris Lukassen When scaling agile / Scrum, we invariable run into the alignment vs autonomy problem. In short: you cannot have autonomous self directing teams if they have no clue in what direction they should go, or even shorter: Alignment breeds autonomy. But how do we create alignment? and what tools can we use to quickly evaluate if what we want to do is part of the mission or better left out? Niel Nickolaisen created the Purpose Alignment model and I use it with innovation labs in large enterprises to decide what should be part of our innovation and what should be left to others. Why So if you struggle with aligning your development approaches with the market strategy on how their product is going to be successful in the marketplace, grab a whiteboard. To be successful, a product must do solves a particu... (more)

Serena Software's Agile On Demand Solution Helps Developers Be Agile

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- To meet the increasing demand for Agile adoption in the enterprise, Serena Software today announced it will deliver a pure Agile solution based on best practices via Software as a Service (SaaS) later this year. Serena(R) Agile On Demand will enable software development groups to add Agile to their development portfolio and support global teams working on multiple projects. Serena Agile On Demand offers a new approach to adopting Agile practices by coupling the developer tool with Agile adoption and training services from Valtech, an industry-leading Agile services provider and Serena partner. The combined tool and services offering is designed to meet the needs of the 21st century development environment, which includes multiple projects running in multiple languages across multiple continents. "Traditionally, Agile pr... (more)

Cloud Computing Turns Virtual Teams Into a Competitive Advantage

Collaboration in the cloud is the future of business. Web 2.0 and cloud computing make it possible to solve the final challenge of coordination and management. If you're inside a larger enterprise, you can use collaboration in the cloud to compete with lean, nimble startups, or to better coordinate across different groups, offices, and divisions. We've heard all the buzzwords before. Virtual companies. Offshoring. Free agent nation. But this time, it's for real. The future of business is no longer enormous, vertically integrated titans (anyone check Ford's stock price recently?), but rather small, nimble, federations. Historically, the cost of coordination has outweighed the benefits of agility, which is why the virtual corporation had a hard time breaking through. But today's cloud technologies, with their ability to bridge the gaps between firms, and between busine... (more)

Agile Development != Chaos

The most agile project teams I have seen are those that do not claim to be agile or lean. They have a solid well-documented architecture in place as well as designs of the modules being built. They have separated the responsibilities amongst the team members according to the team member's skill set. They don't try to pretend everyone has the experience levels that would allow them to contribute to all aspects of the development process. Requirements, Architecture, Analysis and design, and Proof of Concepts take up 80% of the projects resources of time and money, and coding takes up 20%. As the team's process becomes repeatable and reuse starts to be capitalized on, the project's time to production is shortened, estimates are actually accurate, and budgets are met. In my career I have come across approximately 20 teams claiming to be agile, one actually was. The rest... (more)