Author Archives: Dan North

Two hours per team

Someone asked me recently for advice about consulting into multiple teams, in particular about how to make the most effective use of a number of short sessions. He will be spending two hours with each team in each visit. This will be an ongoing relationship, with a series of visits made up of these two […]

BDD by example

tl;dr: Send us your examples of real world BDD. Read on to find out why. The panel “What is BDD?” “How can I tell if I’m ‘doing BDD right’? Or wrong? Is there even such a thing?” “Where should I start?” “Is this or that practise considered part of BDD?” “What are the mandatory ”core“ […]

Capturing the narrative

A question came up on the BDD list recently, and based on feedback I thought it would be useful to post my answer to a wider audience. Someone asked: What artifacts do folks normally use to capture the “scenario-extraneous” details that come out of discussions/meetings/etc? If I’m developing a “living document” shared by me and my stakeholders, […]

The Busy Kitchen – a parable of work in process

Some software teams get stuck because their business users don’t realise they need to make time to take delivery of features they’ve requested. Over time their UAT backlog increases to the point where the team’s throughput virtually stalls. Once upon a time there was a restaurant. It was a good restaurant with a good reputation. […]

Watch this space

I’ve been taking a few weeks of semi-vacation in South Africa and I’m in a reflective mood, so please forgive the indulgent tone of this post. I’ve been thinking about what an awesome industry I work in, and some of the people who have been moving it forward over the last few years, at least […]

Six Impossible Things

I’m having fun in the most unlikely of places. I’m currently working at a Big American Bank. In fact, it’s so big it’s called Bank of America. I recently wrote an article for their internal agile magazine which probably best describes why I think it’s so much fun, and which I’ve reproduced below. There are […]

Blink Estimation

Experienced delivery folks can have surprisingly good instincts for macro-level estimation, as long as we are careful to manage blind spots and cognitive biases. This can be an important tool in early project investment discussions, and can remove roadblocks where people are uncomfortable or unwilling to provide estimates. Prologue Back in 2003 I was working […]

Are we nearly there yet?

The goal of software delivery is to minimise the lead time to business impact. Everything else is detail. The longest journey When I was young our summer holidays usually involved a drive to somewhere on the south coast of England. From where we lived in London this would be a 5 hour journey for a […]

Accelerating Agile

A curious phenomenon At the end of 2009 I left the world of agile delivery and consulting to join a small team in a trading firm. I was member number three. The team grew to five in the next few weeks. This team was the most insanely effective delivery machine I’ve ever been a part […]

Under new management

I am delighted to announce my new independent consulting company, Dan North & Associates, which has the handy abbreviation of DNA. Take a look around the new website – I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions, especially in terms of the direction I’m taking. Going independent has been on the cards for a while now, […]

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