Category planning

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 […]

Introducing Deliberate Discovery

Last year I wrote about how we are doing planning all wrong, or rather, how we seem to focus on the wrong things when we do planning. We obsess about stories and story points and estimation, because that’s what we’ve been taught to do. It reminds me of the story about a man who comes […]

The perils of estimation

Business people want estimates. They want to know how much it’s going to cost them to get a solution, and they want to know how likely it is to come in on time and on budget. And of course quality is not negotiable. Agile teams I encounter are at best nervous about estimates and at […]

Outcomes over Features – the fifth agile value?

I’ve been having difficulty recently with a trend I’m seeing on projects. What happens is this: we (an agile development team) engage with a client for a short period – typically 2-4 weeks – to investigate how we might work with them to solve their problem. During this period, we drive out lots of stories, […]

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