Agile

7 Items

Velocity – A Squishy Measure

by Kathy Iberle

What is Velocity? In our regular lives, we generally think of velocity as speed. (Except for physicists, who know velocity is speed plus direction). In the U.S., speed is usually expressed as miles per hour.  Every mile is the same length as every other mile.  When I’m hiking, the uphill miles may take longer, so […]

What is the Rapid Learning Cycles Framework?

by Kathy Iberle

The Rapid Learning Cycles Framework is a synthesis of the best ideas from Agile Development for software and from Lean Product Development methods used in hardware. The framework is tailored for teams working on physical, chemical, and biological products – which includes mixed hardware/software projects. In these domains, Rapid Learning Cycles speed up the long, […]

Why Limit Work-in-Process?

by Kathy Iberle

“Work-in-Process” is a fancy name for jobs which are started but not finished. You may have a collection of half-finished projects on your desk, or in your garage, or your sewing area.  These are all Work-in-Process or WIP. At home, we usually realize that it’s not a great idea to have a dozen carpentry projects […]

Seven Wastes of Software Development – or Not

by Kathy Iberle

The seven wastes of Lean were originally used by Taiichi Ohno to categorize common sources of waste in a manufacturing process. A manufacturing process involves regular, fairly predictable chunks of work arriving in a fairly homogenous way.  In this sort of system, the seven wastes proposed by Ohno are common sources of waste. Software development, however, […]

Cadence – Why Rhythm is Good for You

by Kathy Iberle

One of the fundamental tools in Agile and Lean is cadence.  A cadence is a regular, predictable rhythm within a process.  For instance, your staff meeting is held every Monday at 10am, or your website is refreshed every 4th Tuesday. Agile sprints are another example of cadence. A regular, predictable cadence saves time by reducing time […]

Best Practices – Not!

by Kathy Iberle

There are lots of good practices for software development and testing, and I recommend practices all the time.  However, I’m very reluctant to call anything a “best practice” (except perhaps “Do unto others…”).  Here’s why. Practices are context-dependent.  They work when they fit the particular product, the starting point, the resources available, and the people.  We bake some dishes, […]

What Makes Agile Work?

by Kathy Iberle

Agile methods work because they optimize the flow of work  through an organization while focusing on delivering value early and often.  Improvements to human communication and interaction are layered on top of the fundamental work flow, but much of the difference between agile and traditional methods is due to the way in which the flow of work is managed. […]