It is possible to fail in many ways

On Twitter, Alfonso Guerra (@Huperniketes) asked me, “Okay, tell me how [software] quality will improve by prog[rammer]s taking more resp[onsibility] for quality?” My response is longer than 140 characters, so I’m replying here.

For background, my involvement in the conversation started when he caught my eye with

The problem with the Software Craftsmanship movement is its attempt to create a race of superprogrammers who can save [software] from bad [project management].

Well, I don’t know anyone promoting Software Craftsmanship who thinks that. (Continued)

So you want to make your organization Agile

When I first discovered Extreme Programming a decade ago, I was a software developer wanting to produce the best, and best fitting, software that I could. In those days, it seems that most Agile adoptions were from the bottom up.

Now I find a lot of Agile adoptions are from the top (or, at least, middle) down. Managers have heard about the improved results that companies are achieving using Agile development, and they want some of that for their organizations. That’s not surprising, and it should result in both better results for the organization and better work life for the employees.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. What is it that goes wrong with these top-down Agile transitions? More importantly, how can a well-meaning manager conduct a successful Agile transition? (Continued)

The Importance of Detailed Planning

I recently wrote on The Importance of Precise Estimates.  This is a related topic.

Mark Levison called my attention to an article by Michael Hugos subtitled ‘Agile projects require more planning and coordinating than waterfall projects‘ on  In this article he advocates answering the question, “Has the scope of any project task changed?” at every daily standup.  He uses this information to update a detailed Gantt chart to provide to senior management.  In Michael’s words,

It also gives senior managers who are not on the project (but who are still ultimately responsible for what happens) the information they need to feel comfortable. And that saves project team members from being distracted by endless management questions and misplaced advice (and nothing kills agility faster than endless management questions and misplaced advice…).

Michael, in LOLspeak, “Ur doin it wrong.” (Continued)