Reading Martin’s ConversationalStories renewed my confidence in this draft post from about an year ago. I just couldn’t put it in the right words and gave up on it. I keep talking about deterministic universes over randomness and stuff like that but the gist of the matter is simple. Writing stories is not the JOB of a Business Analyst in agile development. Writing stories is a collaborative effort in which Customer, BA, Dev, QA should all take part. This is the N in the INVEST principle. And here’s the post ============== I have been talking about tracking and trends and… Read More »Back to the Basics – 1 – The problem
Software Development – Art OR Science? A seemingly clichéd question. Never passed my mind all these years. But let me tell you how I got thinking about this and maybe it’ll interest you a bit. Like I said earlier, I have been following a lot of Lean-Kanban discussions, articles, etc lately. Some such material is Little’s Law & WIP limits. Now the moment I saw an equation, I couldn’t resist the temptation of trying out some math to see if the size and composition of my current team is optimal. Furthermore, I thought, given a few specifications of the project… Read More »The Revolution
Although I am not in the thick of things right now (because I am onsite, alone, so far away from my team) I follow the very active kanbandev yahoo group. It’s a great resource for thoughts and questions on lean and kanban software engineering. David Joyce, a group member, posted about a presentation he gave and I found it really good. So here’s the presentation for anyone else interested. It’s definitely a long one but take some time to go through it. Good stuff David.
As I mentioned in this post, I am pretty annoyed with myself because of the way I structured stories in the first release of my current project. Here are a few things that I learnt. First of all when we say that Story A is dependent on Story B, it means that Story B development cannot start until Story A development is complete There are different situations where one story is dependent on another. Each situation needs to be dealt with in a different manner. Types and Approaches Situation 1 – The wrong splitThis is the classic vertical split. Many… Read More »Story Dependencies
Here’s a post that talks about business more than business analysis. I have been researching what it means to process level 3 data for credit cards. For quite a while now. Finally today I had that “Oh!” moment and I want to share it because I have had trouble finding data. BasicsCredit Card processing is simple. I am assuming e-commerce here. 1. Customer enters credit card information (Number, expiry date, billing address, CVV)2. Site (Merchant) sends the information to a CC processor.3. CC processor talks to the issuing bank and authorizes the card4. Site (Merchant) gets paid by issuing bank5.… Read More »Credit Cards, PCards and Level 3 data
No? Neither can I and I am not happy about it. So I got my new iPod Touch. One thing I find slightly annoying is the fact that when you select an album it gives you the list of songs. But the first option is “Shuffle”. Being used to LPs and Cassettes and CDs I don’t really like to shuffle songs. I have listened to my favorite albums in a given order of songs for so long, that I want to listen to them in that order. So I started wondering about the requirement for a shuffle option itself. And… Read More »Can you shuffle your stories?
Get Down!!! Take Cover!!! A bunker buster on it’s way here guys……been a long time since I wrote one of those 😀 But then again, as Nassim Taleb says in The Black Swan What you know can’t hurt you (much) More on the book later. I still got to finish it.And by the way, have a wonderful New Year guys.
Usefulness of software:Letting the user do what s(he) wants easily and fast. Features:Number of activities a user can perform with the software. Sophistication:Software intelligence which simplifies user interactions. Software, like anything else follows the laws of Diminishing Marginal Utility. Here are the graphs as per my experience with software (Not as a software professional but as a simple user) FeaturesI think the marginal utility of adding more “features” to the software diminishes at a much higher rate. Firstly because individual users don’t use all the features but have to pay the price, in terms of money as well as processing… Read More »Features V/s Sophistication
Once you have your wall in place, it’s time to start monitoring your progress through the project. Best done on a daily basis and best done with a “Finger Chart”. Here’s an example. A finger chart is basically your wall turned sideways so that your swim lanes are horizontal rather than vertical. Now what you track is the number of stories in each state (finger). This chart may not make sense to you immediately but there’s a lot of useful data hidden in here. Here are the different inferences you can make by looking at a finger chart. 1) BottlenecksThe… Read More »Cumulative Flow Diagrams
Starting a new project is always fun. For Agile/Lean teams setting up the story wall is a part of the fun. Some would say you are defining the process that you want to follow. The life-cycle of the user stories from being analyzed to delivered. But there’s more to a wall than defining the story lifecycle. In its wall the team chooses what it wants to monitor. The lanes on the story wall are statuses in which the story can be. An agile team wants to track these statuses to quickly find problems that are slowing the team down. These… Read More »Choose your lanes