I am in Bangalore for an agile training for a client. I’m staying near our office in Koramangala so I went to this chinese restaurant called “Sichuan” near Raheja Residency for dinner. First of all let me say that its a really good restaurant. If I had to nitpick, it was a bit warm in there but that’s about it. Food, ambience, service, rates, everything is very nice. I had a soup and a main course that was delicious. Even the fresh lime soda was nice. So I am absolutely positive that they can serve excellent desserts as well. But… there’s a… Read More »The Sichuan Restaurant
I recently paired on an Agile Fundamentals training for an organization. Its a two day course in agile philosophy, principles and basic practices offered by ThoughtWorks Studios. Its more of an awareness programme than training that you can put to use in your daily life. This makes sense as any two-day training that promises “take-away”s that can directly be applied to your situation is probably bogus. Although the training itself is pretty much “canned” in terms of material, the discussions that happen over those two days are very important. In discussing various aspects with people from these organization, I saw… Read More »The Project Owner
I’ve recently had a lot of conversations with people who are thinking of iterations as batches. By definition that’s what they are. You sign up for a “batch” of stories, at the beginning of the iteration, and you deliver them by the end of that iteration. However, it is useful to think of requirements (stories) as units of work that flow through the value stream. Here is why I think so. What is a batch? “A batch is a group of items that will be processed at once as a single unit”. Items are usually batched to achieve “economies of scale”. This usually means… Read More »Iterations, Batches and Flow
Once upon a time in a big corporation… Mr. X (you know? the one who does all the work) : Aaaaaargh! I am fed up of watching this screen 24×7 just to let Mr. Y (the boss) know if I ever see a red dot in the top right corner Mr. Z (co-worker) : Hey we can probably get some software to do that. You should talk to Mr. Y (the boss) about it. Mr. X (to himself) : Sure! that’ll get me fired. So Mr. X doesn’t talk to the boss(Mr. Y). But Mr. Z plots an evil plot… Read More »Where do RFPs come from?
Everyone is an analyst Don’t get bound by role boundaries. Everyone needs to understand the system. Talk to the clients, ask questions, draw diagrams, make suggestions, understand problems and solve them. Make sure everyone facilitates sessions at least once Especially the BAs since they have to interact the most with the clients. Clients need to feel confident about the BAs on the team. Other members should also be actively involved. Don’t let a single person be the scribe all the time. The client might ask “why am I paying for this guy” at some point. Have an intent for each… Read More »When in a inception…
Ooooh! Ooooooh! I love it!! This is the most awesomest thing I have bought this year. There are enough reviews online for me not to write one of my own. But I’ll mention the most useful features here: Captures everything I write / draw. This is the basic promise. A very well kept one. Captures good audio. It’s not crystal clear or anything, but is it works well in a meeting setting. I recorded three interviews today, alongwith notes. After I get the headset that someone took by mistake, I’ll experiment with the more clear 3D recording capabilities. It links… Read More »Livescribe Pulse Smartpen
I am an amateur photographer while I am not not hacking project teams and building custom software at ThoughtWorks. Photographers are known to have bouts of lens lust* time and again, especially at the beginning. I realize that some managers seem to have similar urges when it comes to numbers, metrics. They suffer from acute number lust. In ThoughtWorks, we believe in and encourage self organizing teams. BAs gather requirements, developers write code, QAs test and automate and the customer signs stories off in a flow. The Project Manager role is therefore reduced to making sure that nothing obstructs this… Read More »Number Lust
This has come up in various discussions recently and I want to put down my thoughts about the role and responsibilities. For a ThoughtWorks team in India (or China) most of the work is offshore agile development. Clients are usually in the UK or the USA. The team is structured as follows: Offshore PM Offshore Devs Offshore QA(s) Offshore BA(s) Onsite BA(s) This is how the communication works. Of course there are other exchanges that take place but the Business Q & A and the Technical Q & A are the most important pieces of concrete information exchanged. Other companies,… Read More »Onsite Business Analyst
I have recently come out of a consulting assignment which has given me loads of time to read and think about processes, improvements and effectiveness. (People who follow me on google reader must have noticed). It also had me thinking about introduction of agile into a traditional IT outfit and what would make it more effective. Top -> Down The Top -> Down approach is where someone in the top management realizes (or is convinced) that agile is the solution to all their problems and goes on to “mandate” agile. This is not necessarily bad. If the organization hires the… Read More »Metrics
@silvercatalyst posted on twitter a few days back that one of the trainees in his session counted testing as waste. I retweeted with a #funny but @silvercatalyst said he actually agreed with it. So we twiscussed it for a while. (By the way twitter is just the wrong tool for discussing interesting things). Back to the story. Here’s what we ended with after a few emails had been exchanged: Testing is not wasteful. But testing as an activity after development (especially after a time gap) is wasteful Some types of testing can be done upfront but other types still have… Read More »Testing considered wasteful??