Monthly Archives: April 2014

Commitments and Quantified Self

I came across a posting on that I thought would be very interesting to those who think about agile principles. In an eight-minute talk with about seven minutes of Q&A, Michael Cohn describes his own experiments with tracking personal commitment and progress.

If you’re like me, when you listen to his talk, you’ll hear “planning meeting,” “commitment,” “daily standup” and “review.” He also talks about the value each of these things has in keeping him on track. I’m not going to do a detailed analysis here, just a recommendation that you might find these an interesting 15 minutes.

Cohn is talking at a personal level, but the things he says make a lot of sense applied to teams, as well.

The talk was just posted today, April 17, on quantified self. It hasn’t generated any comments there yet. If you like what you hear there, please leave them some comments … and if you want to tie your thoughts more closely to agile principles, I’d love to hear from you here as well!


Lowering Risk

I’ve written a post titled “Lowering Risk Using Agile and Lean Methodologies” for the blog at Pathfinder Software. Here, I’ll post a summary, and invite you to link on over to Pathfinder’s blog for the full version. Leave a comment in either place.

I’m interested in three kinds of risk that are mitigated by using agile and lean processes:

  • building the wrong features or the wrong design (“UX”)
  • changing market conditions
  • the unknown

Even the best market research is more theoretical than the empirical test of building a small product and releasing it to actual users. This is true of features and of a chosen design (interaction design or visual design). It’s even true of your application architecture or production environment.

By building in small iterations that are individually complete, your ability to react to changing market conditions is enhanced.

Open communication in an accessible way, as suggested by agile principles, leverages the knowledge of the whole team to anticipate and solve problems however they arise.

The topic was suggested to me by folks at Pathfinder, who also provided some editing. So I invite you to read the entire post at the Pathfinder Software blog.