Be More Productive

Get the most from your processes now!


and we don't mean Niagara

Mostly when we hear the term Waterfall, it is uttered along the lines of an admonition of something to be avoided, the proverbial Titanic headed for catastrophe. How did such a terrible fate befall a word that embodies one of the most wondrous phenomena of the natural world? Have you ever stood at the foot of Niagara or Iguazu, soaked from the mist, in awe of the unceasing thunder?

In software development, Waterfall describes a somewhat less awesome process of trying to achieve predictable outcome by controlling all of the project variables.

Continue Reading


never give up ground

In days of old, enterprise software teams wandered aimlessly for many moons and even the IT chieftain knew not of a safe haven. Then Ken Schwaber came to lead the tribes out of the desert, to a new land of Milk and Scrum.

In this land of dogged persistence and incremental accomplishment, the ancient mud-and-blood ritual of Rugby was consecrated to a new era of software development dedicated to moving the ball down the field and never giving up ground.

Continue Reading


it's all about the throughput, baby

Forget about the card wall for a minute. To get at what Kanban is about, think of the development process as a pipeline, with capacity determined by the most constrained segment. Relieving pressure in the blocked segment increases maximum sustained throughput. The question is: how to find the obstructions? Kanban is a quest, and the card wall is the treasure map where increased capacity lay hidden, waiting to be discovered.

Continue Reading

Quality and Productivity

yields competitive position

“Folklore has it that quality and production are incompatible: that you can’t have both. A plant manager will usually tell you that it is either or. In his experience, if he pushes quality he falls behind in production. If he pushes production, his quality suffers. This will be his experience when he knows not what quality is nor how to achieve it.”

— W. Edwards Deming

Continue Reading

Card Wall

as a process model

We use card walls to develop the ideas that become our projects, features, and stories. Cards provide a way of abstracting independent ideas, drawing relationships and dependencies between features, and are for communicating the components of a value stream.

Continue Reading

Stop Starting

and think about what you can finish

Let’s look at the question of capacity from an agency level. It’s not uncommon for a CFO to describe capacity in terms of annual billing: “we’re a 12 million dollar agency”, which is intended to mean that they have the capacity to handle a million a month in work.

Continue Reading

Continuous Delivery

as agile successor

Agile is effective and has become the standard of practice. Embracing change, coding in short sprints, an emphasis on automated testing and short feedback loops; all these things lead to improvements in quality and productivity. A decade from now, we’ll still be improving on it, but the principle benefits are realizable today by organizations and teams that take it seriously. But you’ll have noticed that software teams today haven’t exactly run out of problems as a result.

Continue Reading