Monthly Archives: February 2009

"We Don’t Have Time to Implement Scrum!"

This is a statement I hear frequently in my company from POs and managers. Ken Schwaber recommends that, when starting out with Scrum, not to implement it on a low risk, manageable project ‘cos everyone will say “So what? It was gonna work anyway!”. Much better to pick a project that is critical and is just about to fail.

Problem with that is that it’s nearly impossible to convince the PO to allocate any time to setting up even one sprint. Today I was on the receiving end of “We just need to get it done!”. “Well”, I said, “when’s that gonna be?”. “I don’t know, but we don’t have time for all this planning and stuff.”.
On one hand I do understand where the PO is coming from but at what point do you stop and make some space to implement something that should reap massive benefits?
Slightly disappointing, but how can you argue with the PO?
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Posted by on February 27, 2009 in Agile


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I hate unmanaged code!

Just tried to install yet another application that I would have loved to have used – unfortunately it’s written in unmanaged code and they haven’t developed the 64bit version yet!

Unless you are writing truly cross-platform apps or you need something that can count in billionths of a millisecond then please use a managed framework.
No-one’s impressed that you can ‘handle’ C++ and you’re not fooling anyone that your situation warrants a ‘pure’ language.
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Posted by on February 20, 2009 in Programming


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Acronyms and Abbreviations

Just a list of the common acronyms I’ll be using in posts.

Other References:
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Posted by on February 19, 2009 in Uncategorized


Separation of Responsibilities in a Scrum Team

We are now halfway through our second 2 week exploratory sprint. The team consists of 4 pigs:

  1. Team Member, Developer, Scrum Master (myself)
  2. Team Member, Tester, Product Owner
  3. Team Member, Developer
  4. Team Member, Tester
Both developers have fully embraced the methodology and the associated tools (TFS); however, the other 2 team members have greeted it with a less-than-enthusiastic attitude. Both seem to view it as an unnecessary overhead.
2 specific problems have arisen…
1. Product Ownership
The Product Owner (PO) has a very relaxed attitude to who can add items into the Scrum. To him this is sensible as we should all have an understanding of priorities. To me it makes everyone’s job harder. I think I wanted the PO to have total responsibility for this area so that the Team Members (TMs) are free to just develop what’s in front of them. This also removes any burden of ‘why did you do that?’ from the TMs.
2. Time Boxing
The PO is quite unwilling to defer tasks even though it is clear from the Scrum Burndown Chart that we are not going to finish all the work items in this sprint. Does this matter? I have tried to explain that one of the benefits of time-boxing and this trend data is that we can make decisions early and inform stakeholders and customers that certain deliverables will be delayed. This can now be done weeks in advance of the deadline (as opposed to the morning of the delivery!).
Hopefully, these issues can be addressed more fully in the retrospective.
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Posted by on February 18, 2009 in Agile


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IE8 – another triumph!?

I recently updated IE7 to IE8 Beta 2 with the hope that Microsoft had managed to improve the load performance. Unfortunately not :(. Compared with Chrome’s ability to ‘new up’ a tab IE is truly pitiful.

To make matters worse IE8 has now developed a fault. Whenever I open a link it decides to copy it to a new window… and another … and another… you get the idea! Luckily it’s so slow at creating these new entities that I have more than enough time to close my work and reboot!!!
Can the guys at Google please hurry up and make Chrome work with Sharepoint please? Then I could finally ditch the MS offering.
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Posted by on February 17, 2009 in Technology


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Hi, I’m Chris and I’m the Development Director for a small UK-based, distributed software house.

We have a suite of software products, all of which are doing very well – but there’s something missing.
I have decided to write this blog to learn, in public, a variety of subjects and disciplines that I am attempting to implement in my company. The aims of the blog are:
  1. Share my experiences with other people that might be in similar positions.
  2. Learn from others who have already made this journey via comments and contributions.
  3. Improve my own learning experience by writing about it.
Point 3 is also there in case no-one ever reads this!
So, what am I trying to do? Two things: Good Coffee and Good Code. Having made the, long overdue, move away from instance coffee to espresso and cappuccino it’s now time to make the move to better code! In order to do the latter I am implementing a number of technologies, products and methodologies with help from the following…
Hopefullly, I will be able to share the good points but also the problems and difficulties that we experience in implenting these in a small, distributed company.
I will also be taking the opportunity to rant about anything related to the two main topics.
I hope you enjoy my stream of consciousness!
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Posted by on February 15, 2009 in Uncategorized