Team A, an Agile Release Train (ART), or the mythical Scrum team, has a lot of technical debt. In an effort to reduce the technical debt, management decides to create a bunch of new “container” “FEATURES” in the product backlog to address batches of defects. Because they want to understand the value of the (fixing) defects.
Except there is a problem. Defects are not new features. Well, in a sane software world we hope not? Defects are typically created while coding or configuring a new feature, right? Is it a defect yet? Not really. Fix it NOW, not later. If it makes it to production? What is the cause of defects making it to production? Poor coding, standards, quality and automation, et cetera? No DevOps? or do defects occur magically in existing features (real ones)? (not my code!!) We all know how computers have minds of their own…
I’ve seen that oddly familiar pattern of desire to package up defect fix/technical debt effort into a feature or story or a suite before. I call these “projects”, “probably to be implemented with waterfall.” That type needs project managers and factory workers, not Lean-Agile practitioners, creative knowledge workers driven by autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
Authored by Preetam De, a blogagility.com contributing author.
In the last few days several people have asked me a question about stretched targets on Scrum sprints – not sure if it was a co-incidence or an ongoing vibe. So I will take a moment to explain it.
This article will not revisit the negative consequences in detail of having a stretch target. I will assume the obvious with a quick recap, so I can focus on the solution in detail rather than discussing the problem.
Quick Recap – Why do we think we need it?
When we feel the need to manage a person rather than the work they do.
When we focus on Efficiency over Effectiveness.
When we focus more on tools and practices more than the principles behind them.
To impress stakeholders they need everything “right now”
To impress authority by over-estimating our capabilities
When we assume – “What happened last sprint won’t happen again”
When we don’t trust a team member and say “We need to keep them busy”
I started a new series of posts where I will answer some actual problems/ideas presented in an I&A problem solving workshop as part of open space facilitation. This is the second of a few dozen that I plan on covering. If you have any comments, please, let’s learn together.
“As a member of the leadership team we need to see the portfolio roadmap with early warning signals / input for potential technical or schedule issues”
Reblogged with permission from Tushar Paunikar, the original author of
this content, as a contributor to blogagility.com. Originally published
on LinkedIn, November 22, 2016.
Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives. -Viktor E. Frankl
Metrics drive behavior. I bet all would agree. We have experienced this umpteen times in our professional life. Even our personal life is abundant with examples where metrics influence people’s behavior.
If my kid has the target to score an ‘A’ in Math and that target is linked to a new bike, he will try to find insincere ways to achieve his target, if he sees his attempts to study sincerely may not be fruitful.
If a developer has the target to maintain 80% code coverage and that target is linked to a quarterly Most Valuable Player award, (s)he will try to find nasty ways to increase code coverage, if (s)he sees that all attempts to write meaningful unit tests may not meet the project deadline.
I promised a picture of the (jokingly) “super duper milestone, feature, dependency board runway” (PB) for our Agile Release Planes (ART) two weeks ago from my amazing uber client people at ESC. Well, here you go.
Kent Beck – “This Agile thing should be about the need to heal the divide between business and development.”
And here we are in 2017 with scaling framework zealots launching rockets and starting wars bashing other frameworks? Doing exactly what Mr. Beck’s vision was against.Not debating ideas in the marketplace respectfully. Outright disrespectfully bashing and promoting misinformation campaigns.
WHY? Have you lost your way illustrious thought leaders? Aren’t we supposed to be better than this as change agents for good? What happened to healing the divide between business and developers?
Why are you creating divisions in this fledgling “Agile” revolution? For money? Fame?