published August 31, 2010
published August 20, 2010
Say you are a product owner and you are building up a solution using Scrum. You have decided that sprint length is 3 weeks and team will show you the results after each sprint. Unfortunately, after each sprint the results are not quite what you have expected, but you think that maybe it will work out in the end just like you have visioned. Stop right there, it won’t.
The final results you are getting at the end are those you see in the sprint demo. If demos are buggy, you will get a buggy solution. If demos feel “not quite right”, you are not building the software you are seeing in your dreams. If this sounds familiar to your current situation, you will be needing x “finalization sprints” after you are “ready”.
The key is to stop immediately when you get the smell and trust your gut feeling. Increase your definition of done and start building production ready software, that is how you will succeed.
published August 12, 2010
So you got an application. You have analyzed business requirements and coded a domain model that represents business domain from some perspective. You start building features on that model and it all seems to work out pretty well. Then you get the first requirement that does not fit into the domain model and you will have to make a special rule for this case. You decide to solve this by writing logic for it into your UI layer. And so it begins, your code starts to rot.
These “special cases” are very nasty. Root cause for them is usually a mismatch between domain model and business requirement. Building a domain model that can handle beautifully all special rules is very, very hard and will require multiple iterations. However, when you notice a feature that needs a special rule, it is wise to inform your product owner about it and try to come up with a solution that works with current domain model and does not cause your code to rot.
published August 11, 2010
“We are now also in Facebook! Case closed. It is a good thing that we got that social media taken care of”. Trend today seems to be that every company has to have a facebook page and that page equals to company’s social media strategy. Of course there is nothing interesting on that page but that is not important. How are best online presences built? This one is clear: it is not a job for summer trainee nor it is a one-time-job.
Companies are spending more and more money on Facebook advertisement now that site has more than half-billion users. I predict that online presence for company and the quality of online community it can build around its brand is very important in the future. I also believe that personal brands will increase their importance. We will see companies emerging around strong personal brands and your CV will be (at least partly) replaced by your online presence. Companies are already googling applicants, what are results that come up with your name? Hopefully you did not submit that photo of yourself with a funny hat and a beer bong?
Building company’s online presence is not a easy task and takes a lot of effort but it must start from social media strategy. What are things that you want to accomplish? What are your social media policies for employees? How are you connecting to your audience? These are just few questions you will be asking yourself. Anyways, you will not want to miss this opportunity, get started with your strategy today!
published August 3, 2010
In small teams it is common for Scrum Master to work as a team member and work with code by developing new features. Does it work? Well, it depends, but it can easily lead to problematic situations. I feel that one person can work as a Scrum Master for max. 7-9 people and these people can be divided into multiple teams or work in a same team (although 9 team members might be too much). When there is not enough work for Scrum Master and he also works with new features, there is a possibility that:
- He will concentrate too much on code and neglect real Scrum Master work
- Dual role will hinder team self-management
- Scrum Master can become a bottleneck if he is working with architecturally key components
- Dual role can cause role conflict
Unfortunately, having non-coding Scrum Master is not always possible but if you can, you should try to fully utilize Scrum Master, so that he works with multiple small teams simultaneously.
However there are clear benefits if Scrum Master is very familiar with used technology, knows codebase, and understands architecture. This way he can coach younger developers and help team to avoid pitfalls.
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