Our weekly rhythm (iterations)

Establishing a rhythm to our weeks and days has provided our team a sustainable pattern for predictably delivering work with quality. Our performance is an outcome of executing within this pattern repeatedly over time. I learned the concept of a team rhythm from Jeff Sutherland and ours is a scrum and has the shape of a game: a short time frame (one week), an achievable goal that constitutes “winning”, alternating periods of focused team work with opportunities to regroup, strategize … Read More

Continuous Process Improvement – Doing Less

I’m wary of the cliche’, “doing more with less.” When I started in my current role, my team consisted a development manager, a product manager, a business analyst, three developers, an outsource/offshore arrangement of 6-18 developers with its own full-time relationship manager and me, a non-individual contributor tech executive. We worked with a product team of three. We built our main US and six other variations over the course of 12-16 months – which was a great success in the … Read More

Negative perceptions about software development. Do you have a solution?

Feedback on my proposed session at Agile 2012 on whether principled Agile practice is capable of creating workplaces and an industry more inviting of women software developers… I could not agree more. There are many negative perceptions about software development these day in the US (off-shoring, hostile env, long hours, …). As a result, my friends at North Carolina State University tell me that overall CS enrollment is down. There was a similar event in Japan with the creation of … Read More

The existential joy of retrospection (agile practice)


Every two weeks as part of our Scrum practice my team holds a retrospective to ask: what were our goals in the last two weeks, what did we do that helped us achieve those goals, what did we do that got in our way, and what essential set of things we should we keep doing or do differently. Retrospection is a process focused way of doing more and more of the things that are important and a less and less … Read More

Ruining it for the rest of us

A December episode of This American Life starts with an interview with Will Felps. He placed college students on teams with an actor alternately playing a “jerk, slacker, and depressive”. The “bad apple” not only wrecked the team’s performance, the other members began to think and act like him. Here’s a Google book preview of Will Felps’ paper, How, When and Why Bad Apples Spoil the Barrel: Negative Group Members and Dysfunctional Groups