Software Development Best Practices Blog

Agile Transformation - Keys to Success

I wanted to let you know that I've posted a two-part series on Construx's experience with Agile Transformations, pitfalls, keys to success, and so on.  The videos focus on two models that describe the transformation issues we have seen on the ground. You might have seen one or both of the models before, but they aren't often applied specifically to Agile adoption work. The focus of the videos is on showing how these general models specifically apply to Agile transformations. We have...

  1. Posted on March 9, 2016 2:44:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Agile, Scrum, software development, 10x software development, software engineering, 10x

Estimation Types

When I get asked for an estimate, my first response is not a cost, a date, or a functionality number. It is not even #NoEstimates. My first response is a question: "What type of 'estimate' do you want?" What I need to know is what will the questioner do with my estimate. I usually see six action types: They need to make a high probability (practically guaranteed) commitment to somebody else They need to make a go/no-go decision They need...

  1. Posted on August 26, 2013 12:41:PM by Earl Beede to Practicing Earl
  2. Agile, humor, estimation

The Best of All Possible Worlds

I just finished reading the Scrum Alliance’s 2013 ‘State of Scrum’ report , and was reminded of the joke about how the pessimist and the optimist both believe we live in the best of all possible worlds....

  1. Posted on July 2, 2013 5:46:PM by John Clifford to Retrospectives
  2. Agile, Scrum

User Stories Ain't Requirements

Ain't isn't really a word but people use it, so does that make it de facto a word? The gurus tell us user stories are not requirements but people keep using them that way so do we need to treat them as requirements? Actually, why don't we have requirements on agile projects? I think it is because Agile is making two bets at the beginning of a project. Given the desire for a fixed schedule, the scope-what we will build-will flex so you don't want to call...

  1. Posted on May 9, 2013 12:12:PM by Earl Beede to Practicing Earl
  2. user_story, Agile, humor, requirements

New White Papers Now Available

We've recently posted more new white papers on our website. These are free to members (and membership is free). 5 Things Every Software Executive Should Know About Scrum The success (or failure) of Scrum is all in how’s it’s adopted. This white paper explores five key things software executives should understand when considering a Scrum adoption. It summarizes what Scrum can and cannot do and provides advice to software executives on how they can support the adoption...

  1. Posted on December 21, 2012 5:29:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Innovation, Agile, Scrum, requirements, white paper, white papers, Articles

I’ll be Giving a Keynote at the Scrum Alliance’s Scrum Gathering May 17, 2011

The Scrum Alliance Scrum Gathering conference is in Seattle this year, May 16-18, 2011. I’ll be giving the morning keynote on the second day. I’m excited to be able to share some of the details of Construx’s experiences helping organizations move to organization-wide Scrum. Here are the details about my talk: KEYNOTE: THE JOURNEY TO ORGANIZATION-WIDE SCRUM Scrum practitioners know what a successful...

  1. Posted on March 30, 2011 6:55:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Presentation, Methods & Processes, Agile, events

Origins of 10X – How Valid is the Underlying Research?

I recently contributed a chapter to Making Software (Oram and Wilson, eds., O'Reilly, 2011). The purpose of this edited collection of essays is to pull together research-based writing on software engineering. In essence, the purpose is to say, "What do we really know (quantitatively based), and what do we only kind of think we know (subjectively based)?" My chapter, "What Does 10X Mean" is an edited version of my 2008 blog entry "

  1. Posted on January 9, 2011 6:15:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, Technique, Agile, estimation, requirements, productivity, Management, Design, Maintenance, 10x, research, programmer productivity, Articles, Books, Construction

It’s Effort, Not Duration

A discussion on the LinkedIn Certified Scrum Master board led me to read an article on Mike Cohn’s blog titled, “It’s Effort, Not Complexity.” Mike argues that stakeholders don’t care about how hard it is to do something,...

  1. Posted on August 24, 2010 8:29:PM by Application Administrator to Retrospectives
  2. Methods & Processes, Technique, Agile, planning, estimation, Management

Dear Construx: Story Point Inflation Causes Ever-Expanding Project!

Dear Construx:   How do you deal with the risk of Story Point inflation throughout a Scrum project? My team goes through release planning, ending up with a backlog where each item has been estimated using story points. Based upon our estimates of story points and team velocity, we predict, and commit to, a release date. So far, so good. As our project progresses, the Product Owner breaks larger ‘epics’ into...

  1. Posted on August 9, 2010 6:22:PM by John Clifford to Retrospectives
  2. Methods & Processes, Technique, Agile, Scrum, planning, estimation, Management, practices

Determining Duration on Scrum Projects

One thing I’m often asked is, how do you come up with valid project estimates in Scrum? After all, Scrum doesn’t want you to worry about more than the current sprint, does it? The basic rule of estimation is, estimate size/effort/complexity and then derive duration. For Scrum, we follow the industry best practice of using story points, an arbitrary measure of relative effort/size/complexity that is not time-based. Let me explain by using one of the analogies from my training. It’s...

  1. Posted on August 6, 2010 5:41:PM by John Clifford to Retrospectives
  2. Methods & Processes, Technique, project management, Agile, Scrum, planning, estimation, Management