Resilience

September 22, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Quality, Teamwork 

Particularly in these challenging times, over and above the uncertainty that is usually associated with technology projects, there is one attribute that should guide us in building our teams, and support us in weathering the current storm: resilience. Read more

Attacking Technical Debt

August 26, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Agility, Process 

Two of the artifacts of incremental or iterative development are that you tend to use scaffolding as you go to prop up the product, and you tend to build similar capabilities in several different locations. Over time these can add up to quite a bit of cruft, or technical debt. Read more

Insourcing

July 5, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

I received an e-mail recently from someone that had taken a requirements course with me in the past. He was looking for wording to use for an RFP to bring in some external consultant to wrangle the requirements of one of their systems together. Expectations were in the 2-6 person-months range, likely a contract that would entice some of the big players to bid on the proposal. I had no suggestions that directly addressed his needs, but did have some thoughts on what could be more effective. Read more

Real Assurance

April 19, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Process 

In almost any field you can imagine, there has been a concerted effort to improve quality by proactively managing the process and systematically eliminating the errors that one would otherwise encounter again and again. I say almost, because even though there is no rocket science behind these techniques, most software organizations still don’t get it, and continue to waste gobs of money and work with massive risks. Read more

Fatigue

January 23, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, People, Teamwork 

 In many shops, big or small, software or otherwise, agile or traditional (as if that were a true dichotomy) we see fabulous energy in projects where people are committed to delivery. Unfortunately, in too many shops, we also see the down side of fatigue. Sometimes after the project completed (if you’re lucky), but often while the project is trying to progress to completion, the many symptoms of fatigue can have tremendous costs. Read more

Quality Specification

August 26, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Process 

This is the last of a 4-part series on determining reasonable quality attributes for your projects. In the first three parts, we identified that overall quality can be expressed in a wide range of areas, and it is better to start with this wide range rather than to start with a shorter list that was devised before your project was born. Read more

Quality Translation

August 19, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Process 

Thus far in this journey to determine reasonable quality requirements for our project, we have taken steps to determine which areas of quality are most important for us to focus on. Starting with a thorough landscape for quality, we are now at a point where we can reasonably identify our specific project needs. Read more

Quality Prioritization

August 12, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Process 

Recall that last week, we identified a broad range of areas to consider when we describe overall software quality. It is valuable to appreciate that correctness (or functionality) is just one of perhaps a dozen different attributes to look at for quality, even though in most projects this is the only perspective considered. Finally, we noted that it is important to start with a broad range of attributes (there are several similar ones to choose from) to avoid the possibility of missing an entire perspective of quality. Read more

Quality Taxonomies

August 5, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Process 

This is the first of a 4-part series on Software Quality Attributes, where we focus on the Taxonomy of Quality. Read more

Erosion

May 13, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Process, Project management 

It seems to be pretty rare for people to consciously undermine any established system that has been put in place to develop software. At least, few will admit doing so. What usually happens is more subtle, an erosion over time of the good practices that make the software development machine tick. Read more

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  • What’s Happening

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    Jim frequently travels across Western Canada for engagements, and welcomes opportunities to meet, run a workshop, Diagnostic or Lunch and Learn session.


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