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??
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