Esoterica

There is a practice in many agile conversations known as having a “Definition of Ready” for a Product Backlog item. That is, a given User Story (or other PBI) must meet the Team’s “Definition of Ready” to be considered actionable or even worthy to estimate. This can be desirable from the team’s perspective when they are not getting enough information about the work they are being asked to do by the Product Owner. While I

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Esoterica

You know that new way of wielding JavaScript you’ve been using? Or that container deployment model your company is building? Or the way you’ve integrated UX design with the workflow of a Scrum team? Yeah, we want to hear about that. It’s that time of year again. Time to submit proposals to the Agile Alliance’s annual conference. This year’s event will take place in July in Atlanta and promises to be a full week of

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Esoterica

I’ve had some great opportunities working with teams applying lean and agile techniques to domains beyond software development. Along with other areas, I’m having lots of conversations around applying Scrum in HR teams. This is fairly unique because the core usage model for Scrum is to apply it when the work is fairly unknown and complex, and the team is working together to create a shared product. Many knowledge worker teams simply aren’t like this.

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Esoterica

Several teams I’ve worked with wonder why it is important to finish work within the Sprint timebox. “This is an artificial container for my work,” they explain. “Why can’t our work just take the time it takes? Why must it be get all the way done in one Sprint?” In my experience, these frustrated teams are likely looking to move away from poorly implemented Scrum toward what will be disastrously implemented Kanban and just-in-time work

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Esoterica

Many software development teams, especially those creating or supporting a shared platform or infrastructure, find themselves overwhelmed by ad-hoc work requests. A frequent response to this situation is to move from an iterative, incremental practice to Kanban or some other flow-based model. In many situations, this is the exact opposite of what should happen. When a team finds itself foundering under the weight of system support or ad-hoc work requests, it may be time to

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F#

Back in 2008, Jeremy Miller introduced the Thunderdome Principle, a technique he used for building maintainable ASP.NET MVC applications which later led to the FubuMVC open-source project. The basic premise of the Thunderdome Principle is to have all controller methods take in one ViewModel object (or none in some cases), and also return a single ViewModel object. One object enters, one object leaves! What I like about F# is that the language designers took a

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F#

One of the first issues I faced when learning F# was finding out how to specify multiple parameters to a function. While this might sound obvious when learning a functional programming language, I had a few confronting moments that forced me to unlearn things before I could make any progress. I wanted to create a function that wrapped the Contains method of the String class. In C#, it would be implemented like this: public class

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Architecture

I’ve been removing a couple of dead features this week. You know, those features that senior people in organisations like to tell epic war stories about. Those mighty conversations at dinner parties, where a person involved talks about all the pain and sorrow, about how a particular capability ended up in the software, how (crappy) it got implemented, etc … . Everyone at the table is laughing. Some of them who were also there, adding

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