Agile

I am a little wary that “agile” appears to have become a morally loaded term. Despite some unhelpful dogma, the gradual shift towards developing software by iterative collaboration has been a universal “good thing”.

3 April 2017

Architectural governance can be used to foster innovation. No, really.

Governance doesn’t have to be all about byzantine process and suffocating approval boards. It can be used to provide clear permission for teams to innovate.

28 January 2017

Why agile software architects should write code

No architect will ever admit to being out of touch with software development. However, unless you are writing code then it’s difficult to avoid becoming an ivory tower or PowerPoint architect that can only discuss systems in the abstract.

20 September 2016

What’s in a name? Three-lettered acronyms and their impact on development culture

Three-lettered acronyms can be a useful tool for providing brevity, but they can also give rise to a coded language that contributes to a cold and impersonal development culture.

22 May 2016

How do you foster technical excellence in an agile development culture?

Technical excellence is one of those slightly nebulous phrases with many different interpretations. In an agile context this means removing constraints and it is more than just a team responsibility.

5 May 2016

Managing services that don’t have clear code ownership

How do you organise code ownership for services that do not align conveniently with team or organisational boundaries?

12 March 2014

What role do architects have in agile development?

Agile principals encourage self-organising teams to take ownership of solutions. This doesn’t leave architects out in the cold, but it does require a more engaged role based on influence rather than governance.

21 February 2014

Lean development’s “last responsible moment” should address uncertainty, not justify procrastination

Deferring decisions to the “last responsible moment” can help you to adapt to the inevitable uncertainty that comes with agile development. The risk is that it can become an excuse for uncertainty that undermines development velocity.

12 August 2013

Agile velocity is not a measure of productivity

Agile does not necessarily lend itself to management reporting. The few metrics it exposes are designed to support internal planning rather than external measurement. It can be tempting to re-purpose velocity as a measure of productivity, though this will only distort team planning without saying anything meaningful.