Effects of Separating “New” Work vs “Maintenance” Work

Back when I was a manager, my senior management wanted to separate the “new” work from the “maintenance” work. I suggested that every new line after the first line of code was maintenance. The managers poo-poohed me. My concern: How would the “new” developers learn from their mistakes? I lost that discussion and I managed …

Say No to Mandatory Fun

I keep encountering managers and consultants who want to make work “fun” for people. As a goal, “fun” is a bunch of hooey. Before I was a consultant, I held various Director-level positions at local companies. Each organization had mandatory fun days. In one organization, we played softball. Yes, everyone—especially the managers—had to play softball …

Where I Think “Agile” is Headed, Part 4: What Does “Agile” Mean?

I started this series asking where “Agile” was headed. (I didn’t like what I saw at the Agile 2019 conference.) Part 1 was about the 4 big problems I see. Part 2 was why we need managers.  Part 3 was about how people want a recipe. This part is about what “Agile” or “agile” means. …

Where I Think “Agile” is Headed, Part 3: What Is The Recipe, The Right Answer?

I started this series asking where “Agile” was headed. Part 1 was about the 4 big problems I see. Part 2 was why we need managers. This part is about how people want a recipe, The Answer, for how to get better at “Agile.” Before we can address what an answer might be, your need …

Where I Think “Agile” is Headed, Part 2: Where Does Management Fit?

In Part 1, I wrote about how “Agile” is not a silver bullet and is not right for every team and every product. This post is about how management fits into agile approaches. Too often, managers think “agile” is for others, specifically teams of people. Teams need to figure out how to manage their WIP, …

Where I Think “Agile” is Headed, Part 1: Do You Need an Agile Approach?

I spoke at Agile 2019 last week. I had both a great time and a heart-rending realization. The great time was meeting and reconnecting with people. The heart-rending realization is our industry is in big, big trouble. Here are my thoughts and where I think the “agile” industry is headed. Problems I See with “Agile” …