In my last post, I described a process for keeping a large Agile team focused on getting work ready for developers. The process includes a few crucial check-in meetings: product backlog refinement, design refinement, and technical refinement. Because the check-ins are so few, it’s very important to keep that time focused on the work at […]
Building a new system from scratch is hard. There is research and experimentation to do and hurdles that can blow apart the feedback loop you use to measure velocity and fuel progress toward your first release. This can be frustrating for project managers who want to convey progress, as well as developers who are trying […]
Taking care of your clients is, as everyone knows, vital for a service-based organization. You were hired to do a job for one or both of these reasons: The client doesn’t have the expertise to do it. The client doesn’t have the time to do it. Reason 1 requires some targeted education and consulting from […]
Managing a long-term client relationship, or any relationship for that matter, takes work. You have two organizations, each with its own business goals, attempting to interact with one another through two or more people. Those people also each have their own personal goals and their own way of interpreting and applying all of these goals […]
Consulting is an abstract term and open to interpretation. My interpretation is that, at its core, consulting is about listening, identifying options, identifying tradeoffs, and making a recommendation.
Sometimes, the problem is that things are just fine. I love to ask the question, “What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?” It encourages us to frame the problem better or to seek clarity that will lead to a productive conversation. But sometimes, trying to answer that question has stumped me because it forces me […]
I’m busy closing two long-running projects because we met the terms in the contractual agreement. Both have been active projects for over two years. Both are the types of projects that are “rewrites of existing software.” I’ve been trying to assess the value of these projects to their respective organizations throughout their lifecycles. The project […]
Most people think that they tend to make rational, logical decisions. However, often, we don’t! I’d like to provide you with an overview of cognitive bias and how a well-known bias, loss aversion, can affect the consultant-client relationship.
Every project falls somewhere on a spectrum between extremes of short-term, get-it-done-ism and eternal, future-proofed longevity. Unfortunately, while you may have a ballpark sense for where a project fits on this spectrum at the outset, each user story needs its own consideration. Working out the right tradeoffs for each of these stories is the project.
Every Agile project needs user stories. But where do stories come from? I’m not asking who types the description into your backlog, I’m really asking how a team works together to create the definition of features that developers should complete.