Technical Debt Explained

This will be first in a series of blogs. Technical debt is an interesting term that has been formed in the IT industry in order to have non technical businesses understand the cost of building code in a manner that causes higher maintenance and increased barriers to changing. Technical debt is intended to have aContinue reading “Technical Debt Explained”

Weatherman and Forecaster

Good project managers (and Scrum Masters) consider themselves like project “weathermen” — they report the current project conditions and forecast the future as accurately as possible. One important aspect of a weatherman (or weatherwoman) is to escalate quickly and effectively.  The project manager should have a “sixth sense” or intuition when a project is going downContinue reading “Weatherman and Forecaster”

Does Empathy Matter in the Workplace?

It’s very common in software engineering to recognize there is a right way to do things and then there is everything else.  Often, that “everything else” is the wrong way to do it. For instance, using no design pattern or an incorrect design pattern (i.e. a behavior pattern for a concurrency problem) would be “everythingContinue reading “Does Empathy Matter in the Workplace?”

The Importance of Visibility

At one of my former employers, they were implementing a huge engineering project (estimated costs in the billions) and brought me in to lead the IT project oversight for the adoption of software to support the Reliability and Maintenance (R&M) of specialized oil tankers once placed into commission.​ At the onset, the overall R&M Project Manager believed this extra levelContinue reading “The Importance of Visibility”

Building Good User Stories

In developing accurate requirements and derive accurate estimates from client engagements, user stories are increasingly becoming the de facto standard for documenting. Simple in concept, but difficult to master, user stories have this basic format: As a <actor/user>, I can/want <what> so that <why> The “how” is kept out, since that is what the deliveryContinue reading “Building Good User Stories”

Teams Today and In the Past

Modern day development teams can learn a lot from our history.  For instance, the Three (or Four) Musketeers:  One for all and all for one! ​This brings the scrum model of a unified team into principle that everyone is here together and the team in indivisible, i.e. together in one unit.  Teams should practice “gemba” or swarming whenContinue reading “Teams Today and In the Past”