Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Insight into industry leading companies Strategic Human Resource Management

Go through this quiz and rate yourself/your company as well as you can (ignore for the time being what this quiz is supposedly about!) CIO Ones To Watch Quiz. When you get to the results (only takes a handful of minutes) see how your company is doing against what the reported industry leaders are doing today.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Lean Software Development

I've been working in "officially" agile environments now since 2000, mainly influenced by Scrum. A while ago a I did a course on Lean Management amongst other topics and was struck by how some similar concepts (just in time, prioritised work queue, continuous reduction of waste, skilling people, empowering people) seem to be in agile.

The chance to get into my copy of Lean Software Development by Mary and Tom Poppendieck finally came along a few weeks ago after seeing it being referred to in high regard on the web and liking the essays I found on their web site: The Poppendiecks. Basically - "WOW"! This is just really really good stuff. For me it is the kind of jump (up or forward I am not sure) that Scrum makes from Agile fundamentals to real world tools that are completely understandable and easy to try.

The great thing is that they concentrate on fundamentals and then supply thinking tools to help you apply them in your context - ie, they KNOW the lesson that Best Practices are awful as it is the fundamental that must be understood and copied from one context to another to be successfully applied in the new context. Too many Best Practices have resulted in failure and too much waste for my liking!

They touch on some fundamental concepts that are important in modern software development:
- waste
- learning
- last responsible moment
- fast turnaround
- team empowerment
- perceptual and conceived integrity
- holistic view

Why I recommend Lean Software Development:
Reason 1: Identify the value chain from point of need to point of delivery - it is strongly argued by some that anything but coding for that need fulfilment is just a waste of time. IE - as per Agile - lighter weight documentation, lighter weight project management, focus on delivering real value to the client!
Reason 2: Collaboration is better - cross disciplinary people working together are more efficient AND enjoy their work more AND result in a better product AND it is cheaper AND AND AND!
Reason 3: Specific facts, graphs and examples that you can refer to when justifying reasons why you would want to try something different in your own environment, all with a firm basis in Lean Management Theory and which has been studied, well understood, and implemented by some very successful organisations ranging from Toyota to 3M for between 60 and 100 years!!

Monday, 12 May 2008

7 Things CIOs Should Know About Agile Development

I've been reading CIO articles for a number of years now - it is one of the sources that I find does a lot of integration for me between the domains of business, software development and IT system management - ie technology for business.

7 Things CIOs Should Know About Agile Development is an example of this integration. Often I find myself a little too focussed on my local project's agile process, and not neccessarily on what the "business drivers" are really after, or the Agile messages that might sell them on Agile more effectively. This is a little gentle reminder.

BTW, the shortcut to follow to get a glimpse of this site's value (IMHO): CIO's 50 Most Popular Articles. On this page articles that will definitely entice me back later:

- "You Used Perl/Python/Ruby/PHP to Write WHAT?!" (4 articles for the 4 languages)
- "Windows vs Linux vs OS X"
- "How to Get Real About Strategic Planning"

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Scot's Newsletter Best Firewall Recommendation Made!

After 1.5 years (!!), Scot's Newsletter has reached a conclusion on the Best [Personal] Firewall Software ... (drum roll) ... (more drum roll) ... Online Armor! Read all about it in detail at Scot's Newsletter!

This blog entry by Scot makes for very interesting reading, not just from an interested-in-firewall-software point of view, but also I believe there are some other big concepts clearly "in play":
- the power of online marketing,
- the power of a respected industry leader,
- the influence a key client has over a product's development,
- the ability and agility with which the 2 final contenders were responding to user requests
- and in the future we'll have to see what happens to both companies!

For now, I am still on the previous version of Comodo as I really have not had the time or requirement to migrate, upgrade or change anything else on my home system.

Scrum and Organisational Patterns

Jeff Sutherland has posted an excellent short entry linking some sources together about how 33 Organisational Patterns of Agile Software Delivery that James Coplien and Neil Harrison formulated actually underlie Scrum. Read Jeff's post for further details: Agility and Organisational Patterns.

agile transformation change challenge

What Is Agile For You What Is Agile For Us