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Showing posts from February, 2012

Keep Calm and Test First

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(yes, I confess I found the Keep-Calm-o-matic for this and the previous article graphic )

Post CALM-Alpha ponderings

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Well, the CALM-Alpha event has come and gone, and some people have already been voicing their views on the conference. From my point of view, it was a bit of a curate's egg - good in places, not so great in others, although we simply got back what we as delegates put in. So what did I take away from the unconference?
This is only the beginning
There was a reason for it being called CALM-Alpha. This was the first attempt at pinning down common ground between complexity theory (in this case, the work being done by Cognitive Edge with the Cynefin framework). The organisers had no real idea where it would lead, and this was a 'fail safe probe' to test out the possibilities. So no wonder it was at times a little confused. We are only just starting down this path. Hell, I don't think we even know if there is a path there yet! So yes, it was a somewhat painful experience at times. Too much jungle, not enough machetes. But worth it? Definitely.
The software industry is painfull…

The power of caring and smarts

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Just recently I have been thinking a lot about what really makes a good agile team member. The reason is that over the years I have seen some teams become incredibly successful in terms of delivering products, and other teams crash and burn even though they have the same superficial traits and abilities. I have also seen teams go from zeroes to heroes (and back again), while others remain at whichever end of that spectrum they started at and never change. There is obviously some "secret sauce" (as Jeff Sutherland calls it) that needs to be mixed in. 
Well, I think I have identified one piece of this particular puzzle that I had underestimated previously.
Recently, one of my tweets resonated with quite a few people: "Realised that agile has one fatal flaw. It still requires motivated, smart people who care for it to succeed, same as its predecessors." (actually I was fibbing slightly - I have suspected this for quite a while now. I haven't only just realised th…

How many holes are you falling into?

There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk– by Portia NelsonChapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out. 
Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out. 
Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault… I get out immediately. 
Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it. 
Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

So which chapter is your team at? Be honest now.