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)

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)

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server

With the release of Visual Studio 2005 in November Microsoft Visual Studio entered the enterprise development tools space with a coherent set of products targeted at the distinct roles in the software development lifecycle. On March 17 2006, Microsoft released Team Foundation Server, which finally enables users of the various editions of Visual Studio 2005 to achieve the Team System. Visual Studio 2005 Team System enables the primary stakeholders in a software development project, the architects, developers, testers, and project managers, to collaborate through a common environment provided by the Team Foundation Server. According to the Standish Group, businesses in the United States spend around $250 billion annually on software development projects with the average software development project ranging from $430,000 to $2.3 million. Today only 16% of these proje... (more)

Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width!

Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width" was the title of a British TV sitcom in the late 60's (yes, I really am that old), which has nothing to do with Java software development. Or does it? The more I talk to people about the issue of Java software quality, the more I am reminded of the name of that seemingly ridiculous TV show. It seems to me that however much we talk about the need for quality in software development, it's an issue that takes a backseat to the "width" - by which I mean the number of feature requests that get crammed into our development projects. Many years ago, I worked for a company called Data General. Anyone with more than one or two gray hairs may remember DG as a minicomputer manufacturer (guess what - before Eclipse was an open source IDE, it was the name of a minicomputer made by DG). DG finally passed away in 1999, when what was left o... (more)

The Evo-Cycle: Doing Software the Right Way - In 16 Stages

In the adventurous world of software development, we have all come to experience, criticize, and embrace many software lifecycle approaches (e.g., RUP, Agile, Scrum, XP, etc.). At their core, they intend to identify various stages in the software process and optimize their instrumentation through various iterative techniques. Through my own consulting experience on many projects, I have come to expect a slightly different discrete set of "stages" that invariably accompany software endeavors. Expanding on these traditional software stages, this evolutionary software cycle or "evo-cycle" brings with it an incredible burden for managers and developers alike, often resulting in staff attrition, process degradation, or the dreaded burnout. Knowing the evo-cycle, software professionals can prepare better mentally for its unrelenting impact. Software professionals usually... (more)

AccuRev and Rally Software Partner to Scale Agile Software Development Best Practices

AccuRev and Rally announced a technology partnership that will integrate AccuRev software change and configuration management (SCCM) with Rally's Agile lifecycle management solutions. The combined solution will provide a platform to manage multiple Agile processes and ongoing customer feedback, while improving visibility and requirements traceability between defects, issues and tasks and the actual source code changes made to address them. The results from Agile software delivery teams are clear: faster delivery of quality software, improved project visibility, and better alignment between business and IT organizations. But the ongoing challenge for many companies is taking early success – often at a team or division level – and scaling the success broadly across their companies. Impediments to success often include teams building the right skills and usi... (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)

The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year

This is one cool book. If you are starting to use Scrum, read it. If you are using Scrum, read it. If you are just wondering what Scrum is all about, read it. It gives the best insight into the workings of Scrum I have seen in a book. The chapters are laid out in a really nice to read format. Each one contains sections titled The Story, The Model (or The Practices in some chapters), Keys to Success, References, and sometimes Works Consulted (although I never figured out what the difference between these and references where?). The story is literally a story that comes from the author's field experience that introduces the topic the chapter covers and brings to light problems being solved by the next section, The Model. The Model and the Practices sections are the guidance and suggestions to help with the problems identified in the story. Keys to Success provide advice o... (more)

Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners: Agile Tactics, Tools, & Tips

The first thought that came to mind when I saw this book was, "Uhg, another Scrum book, you've got to be kidding me." Then the title of Scrum Shortcuts really gave me a sickening feeling. The majority of the Scrum teams I have watched work do nothing but take shortcuts. They sure as heck don't need a book on how to take more of them!!! Luckily, throughout the book, the rest of the title holds true - without Cutting Corners. Personally I would have titled the book "Agile Tactics, Tools, & Tips for Real Scrum Teams - No Poseurs Allowed". One of the first things the author covers is the Scrum sales pitch. He points out that it is a pretty simple sale to make. I have witnessed that personally several times. I was sitting in a meeting some time ago with a company that was embracing Scrum like a ten year old being offered a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies. They were gr... (more)