Feb 082012
 
Padding estimates and promises

A few days ago, we uncovered an opportunity that depended a lot on timing. If we could get it going in five days, we could exploit it… if it took longer than that, the timing was going to impact some other strategic concerns. I asked a developer for an estimate of the effort, and he said it would take ten days to complete. About my own estimates I have always been sensitive to suggest my own estimates to other developers. My estimates nearly always scared others, but I had a [read more…]

Dec 282011
 
IT - coming on tour in a city near you

For the better part of twenty years, I observed business processes with an eye toward defining, streamlining and sometimes automating them. Now that I am no longer on the consulting side of the table, I get to share greater ownership of our business processes with the other members of our management team. At the same time, I notice a stark difference between engaging clients from the outside in a process improvement effort and being part of a team that has to work politically together to make those improvements happen. I also [read more…]

Sep 122011
 
Getting started with a new agile team

Starting an agile project with a new team provides a great time to reflect on what we take for granted. It offers an opportunity to refocus on what we think is ultimately most important. We anticipate the questions new team members have. We see reservation as they engage teammates who have more experience. We’re ready for the moments they sometimes shut down or defer to others’ “leadership”, even as I hear them making sound observations and assertions, and leading the team in their own way. We watch their pensive expressions [read more…]