Posts Tagged ‘project’

h1

The Agile Scorpion

August 16, 2013

Image

A frog approaches a stream and sees a scorpion by the bank.  The scorpion cannot cross the stream alone, so he asks the frog to carry him across the stream on its back.  The frog is wary of the scorpion and says “You might sting me and I will die.”  The scorpion assures the frog he wouldn’t do that because then they both would die.  The frog agrees.  Then halfway across the stream the scorpion stings the frog.  The frog begins to sink.  Before they both drown the frog asks “Why?”  The scorpion replies: “It’s my nature.”

This Aesop’s fable proclaims a warning for all of those who are on their agile journey.  Agile transformation is difficult enough.  You must also watch out for scorpions.  While change is hard for many people, the scorpions you may find, as in the story, have no intention of changing – but they won’t tell you that.  They could take the form of a team member, a manager, someone from another department that “supports” your team, an external business partner, and so forth.

It is truly unfortunate that the agile change “paralyzes” some people, but it does.  The level of change is significant.  So if you detect a scorpion among those on the agile journey with you, you can’t afford to tolerate their dangerous nature.  You will put your project and your agile transformation at significant risk.  Let them go be productive somewhere else.  You can’t afford to take the chance.

For more visit http://www.ProjectPragmatics.com

h1

Simplify the UML?

November 18, 2010

I am continually amazed at the serendipity of events that occurs everyday. A short time ago I was having lunch with an industry insider when he mentioned the beginnings of a movement to simplify the UML. Having read the 700+ page UML specification a number of times (Sadistic, isn’t it?) it immediately struck me as a good idea. While software modeling is an “acknowledged” technique, it still is not a “standard” practice on most software projects. From the common, repeating questions that I have been asked over the years, many people still struggle with how to do it well. Modeling has a way to go to become truly mainstream. So a simpler UML sounded like a fine idea. But…Read More.

h1

What Would You Like To See…For Free?

August 17, 2010

We are beginning a project to develop freely available online content. But first, we need your opinion on what topics this content should cover. Please take a moment to answer these five quick questions so that we can provide you the information that you need. Click here to go to the survey. Thanks for your input.

h1

The Leadership and Communication Lessons of Josey Wales – Part 1

July 21, 2010

Sometimes you can learn important lessons from unconventional sources. If you are unaware, the classic 1976 movie western The Outlaw Josey Wales, set near the end of the U.S. Civil War, was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood, who played the main character Josey Wales.  The writers may not have intended it; however this movie is replete with leadership and communication lessons that are applicable to executives, project managers, team members, or any of us especially in difficult times on our projects. You currently may not be in a leadership position but some day may need to lead.  All of us do need to effectively communicate with those that we work with.  You often hear the lament that technical people need to develop “soft skills”. So let’s see what we can learn from Josey Wales and … Read More

h1

Let the Games Begin!

June 30, 2010

I have always enjoyed games and the study of game theory.  I particularly like those games with a rich “strategy and tactics” component, whatever the genre.  Games allow you to learn so much and sometimes you can even learn about yourself and those with whom you play.  And you can do this in a safe (non-real world) environment.  This is so valuable that I always strive to include a gaming component when training / coaching people. Think about it.  Which would you prefer – spending an hour playing Planning Poker or sitting through and additional hour of slideware?

Recently in her newsletter, Donna Reed posted an interesting game to help folks learn about Kanban. Take a look and enjoy.

And for those who feel software development is a serious business where their is no place for “games”, consider the following. Games have: goals, players (or teams), rules, strategy, tactics, obstacles, random events, unknowns, and so forth. Remind you of your last project? Let the games begin!

h1

The UML Survey Results Are In

June 15, 2010

In April, I invited one and all to participate in a simple survey to see how they are actually using the UML on projects. Is it really mainstreamed? Is it still in the adoption phase? Or is it in decline? The survey is now closed. Thanks to those who participated. Here are the results. Read more…

h1

Come One, Come All!

June 1, 2010

If you’d like to enjoy some fun in the sun AND learn about pragmatic modeling techniques (those two things always go together, right?), then you are in luck. For the 11th year in a row, I have the privilege to be speaking at the IBM Rational Innovate 2010 conference (previously know as the Rational Software Development Conference and the Rational Users Conference).
On Wed. June 9th, 2010 I’ll be presenting “Practical Visual Modeling – Lessons From the Trenches”. Beginning and experienced modelers often wonder why modeling isn’t working well for them. This is because there are many snares and traps to fall into. This presentation, based on lessons learned from real-world projects, approaches visual modeling pragmatically. Visual modeling essentials are discussed augmented with practical, experiential advice, best practices, and heuristics for modelers. Common project failure points, SOA, agility, how to avoid typical modeling pitfalls, and simple risk-based planning techniques are just some of the topics covered.
We will discuss:
• Where the most costly and common project mistakes are made
• What parts of the UML to use and which to ignore
• Business modeling and system modeling via use cases and how to use them
• Avoiding common modeling pitfalls during analysis and design
• Project planning, prioritization, and risk
• Career shortening red flags that indicate when you should get out of Dodge.
• Numerous practical modeling techniques and practices.
So if you are going to be in the Orlando area for the conference, please drop into my session, say hello, sit back, and have some fun!