The bigger picture

There’s a game I play with teams which I use as a talking point for working collaboratively. It needs no more than 12 – 15 people, and involves three brown paper bags each containing jigsaw puzzle pieces.  I get the group to split into three teams and give them each a bag. I then give them the rules of the game: Each team has the same puzzle Solve the puzzle as fast as you can There are no further instructions Within minutes of the team opening their bags and taking the usual jigsaw solving strategies, they begin to realise that they might not have all the pieces. They often confirm…

Avoiding rust or ruin by managing our energy

Last week I wrote about how some of us might feel we’re losing our mojo: In the initial scramble which enabled us to meet the challenge of Covid19, we released a lot of energy. As the initial pressure begins to ease off, we might notice that we’re starting to flag. You see, pressure is an odd thing. It’s key to our performance and there’s a pressure sweet spot where we feel highly motivated. We’re in a flow state and our productivity is high, we’re creatively solving problems and generally getting stuff done. We often describe it as being ‘in the zone’ or ‘on fire’. Sometimes the scale tips though and too…

LOST: My mojo

LAST SEEN: at the end of level 4 IF FOUND: please return “If you see my motivation, could you get it back to me please?!” was the refrain from a friend on WhatsApp. A few of us are all feeling the same we agreed, I joked back “it’s probably fallen in the crack in our reality. The worst bit is, even though I know where it is, I can’t be arsed to get it back” It’s not really a surprise that we’re coming out of level 4 and a few of us are struggling. All our energy has gone into surviving a pandemic. Some of us are full-time parenting, while…

The Agile Developer’s Handbook made it to the Best New Agile Software Development Books

I’m happy to announce that my book, “The Agile Developer’s Handbook: Get more value from your software development: get the best out of the Agile methodology”, made it to BookAuthority’s Best New Agile Software Development Books BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honor to get this kind of recognition. Thank you for all your support! The book is available for purchase on Amazon.

Technical debt is a metaphor

Extreme Programmers (XP-ers) like to use metaphors or analogies for the systems they are working on so that they can communicate with their customers without resorting to techno-babble, fostering better collaboration and co-creation. When Ward Cunningham coined the term technical debt, he was working on a financial project. He wanted to communicate to his manager why the first-cut of the software would incur an amount of rework. The metaphor Ward created was in intended to show that for any software product we develop, we increase our understanding of how it will really work as it moves through the development lifecycle. Knowing that we don’t know everything up front and that…

InfoQ interview me about my new book

It was my pleasure to be interviewed by InfoQ’s Ben Linders and Rafiq Gemmail about my new book – The Agile Developer’s Handbook. In the interview, they ask about my motivations for writing the book, what I view as today’s key practices for an Agile team and where I see things heading in the future. The full article can be found here

The Agile Developer’s Handbook

After many thousands of work units, measured in cups of tea and coffee drunk, I present The Agile Developer’s Handbook. A playbook which gives a team everything it needs to get off the ground with Agile and Lean thinking. It can be purchased here direct from the publisher and at any of the reputable online bookstores. The preface gives a glimpse of what it’s all about, hope you enjoy! Agile thinking has caused a fundamental shift in how we deliver software. The aim of this book is to offer the reader a pragmatic, easy-to-follow approach to mastering this transformative way of working. It’s roughly divided into three sections to reflect the three…

My blogging hiatus explained

I haven’t written a blog post for a while, but it isn’t because I’m not writing. Late last year my mind turned to what I’d do in 2017 to challenge myself. I’d been toying with the idea of writing a book for a while, some kind of biz fic horror appealed. Something like “Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse with Lean/Agile”. You know the kind of thing I’m talking about… “You’ve made it through the sewers with minimal damage, do you: 1. Run the Daily Survivor Standup (turn to page 23), 2. Have a Weekly Kills Review (turn to page 10), 3. Run a Headshot Retrospective (turn to page 52)”. I’d even discussed…