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Рейтинг надежных брокеров бинарных опционов 2020:
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64bit and x64 — Start64!

Award Keylogger 64bit version

Award Keylogger 64bit version

New version! — Award Keylogger is fast, invisible and easy-to-use surveillance tool that allows you to find out what other users do on your computer in your absence. It records every keystroke to a log file. The log file can be sent secretly with email or FTP to a specified receiver.

Watch Dogs PC Game to Require 64-bit OS

Watch Dogs PC Game to Require 64-bit OS

Although the information appears to have been pulled, the Uplay download page for the PC version of Watch Dogs supposedly provided the system requirements. Luckily the specs were snatched up and posted over on NeoGAF before they disappeared, revealing that Watch Dogs on PC only supports 64-bit operating systems: Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7 (SP1) or Windows 8.

RyuJIT: Microsoft’s new 64-bit .Net compiler

RyuJIT: Microsoft’s new 64-bit .Net compiler

Microsoft made available this week for public testing a build of a new 64-bit .Net compiler built by the company’s .Net runtime code-generation team. The new just-in-time compiler is codenamed «RyuJIT.»(«Ryujin» is the deity of the sea in Japanese mythology.)

AMD Prepares 64-Bit ARM Consumer Application Processor

AMD Prepares 64-Bit ARM Consumer Application Processor

AMD is going to be a key player on the ARM server market, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t designing ARM-based chips for other things. If recent rumors are true, we may soon have something competing with NVIDIA’s Tegra processor.

Ubisoft Confirms Assassin’s Creed 4 PC Minimum Requirements: Quad-Core CPU, 64-Bit OSes

Ubisoft Confirms Assassin’s Creed 4 PC Minimum Requirements: Quad-Core CPU, 64-Bit OSes

Ubisoft recently unveiled details on its upcoming titles’ PC requirements. We previously reported on Watch Dogs’ list of minimum configuration required to run the game and now we have new info regarding Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag PC requirements.

Ubisoft Reveals Watch Dogs PC Minimum Requirements: Quad-Core CPU, 64-Bit OSs

Ubisoft Reveals Watch Dogs PC Minimum Requirements: Quad-Core CPU, 64-Bit OSs

With just a month left until Ubisoft is expected to release Watch Dogs, new details on the game’s PC requirements have just been unveiled. Not sure if these were added on purpose or they’ve been inadvertently on the publisher’s official online store, but here it goes.

PESpin 64bit version

PESpin 64bit version

Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip a ‘marketing gimmick’, Qualcomm exec says

Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip a ‘marketing gimmick’, Qualcomm exec says

Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor in the iPhone 5s is more a marketing stunt than a technical enhancement and though it will not deliver any immediate benefits to smartphone users, there are other reasons to move to 64-bit, a Qualcomm executive said on Tuesday.

Лучшие русскоязычные платформы для торговли бинарными опционами:
  • Бинариум

    1 место! Самый лучший брокер бинарных опционов с контролем честности!
    Идеальное место для новичков — дают бесплатное обучение и демо-счет!
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Linux x64 (AMD64/EM64T) Display Driver

Linux x64 (AMD64/EM64T) Display Driver

Version: 319.60 Certified
Release Date: 2020.10.01
Operating System: Linux 64-bit
File Size: 46.7 MB

64-bit Windows and old Canon Printers

64-bit Windows and old Canon Printers

I still use old MP600 and IP4200 printers because they and older Canon printers are refilling friendly. Because they do not have WiFi, so I use Airlink101 multi-function printer servers to make them network printers without losing USB features.

Zoner Photo Studio 64bit version

Zoner Photo Studio 64bit version

Zoner Photo Studio is renowned software that makes your work with photos easy from start to finish: download, organize, make basic and advanced edits, and share online. No matter whether you’re a beginner or an advanced photographer, in Zoner Photo Studio you’ll find everything you need.

Vendetta Online 1.8.262 — Added experimental texture loading to Linux 64 version

Vendetta Online 1.8.262 — Added experimental texture loading to Linux 64 version

Vendetta Online is a 3D space combat MMORPG for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. This MMO permits thousands of players to interact as the pilots of spaceships in a vast universe. Users may build their characters in any direction they desire, becoming rich captains of industry, military heroes, or outlaws. A fast-paced, realtime «twitch» style combat model gives intense action, coupled with the backdrop of RPG gameplay in a massive online galaxy.

Dropbox — 64bit support

Dropbox — 64bit support

New version! — Put your files into your Dropbox on one computer, and they’ll be instantly available on any of your other computers that you’ve installed Dropbox on (Windows, Mac, and Linux too!) Because a copy of your files are stored on Dropbox’s secure servers, you can also access them from any computer or mobile device using the Dropbox website.

MacPractice Releases 64 bit MacPractice 4.4 with New Services and Features

MacPractice Releases 64 bit MacPractice 4.4 with New Services and Features

September 26, 2020, Lincoln, NE — MacPractice, the leading Apple developer of Mac OS and iOS native software for doctors for use on Apple computers, iPads and iPhones, announced the immediate release of 64 bit MacPractice 4.4 to all new purchasers of MacPractice MD, DDS, DC and 20/20. Among the new capabilities of 4.4, MacPractice is introducing Time Clock and Inventory tracking. Inventory works with bar code readers and integrates with the practice’s fee schedules and patient ledgers.

Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC Supports DirectX 11, x64, New Leaked Config Files Say

Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC Supports DirectX 11, x64, New Leaked Config Files Say

Grand Theft Auto 5 will get a PC version that supports technologies like DirectX 11 or x64 processors, according to a configuration file that was found within the PlayStation 3 edition of the game.

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[email protected]: Strategies for Scaling Agile Software Development

What Three-Year Olds Can Teach Us About Software Development

I have a young daughter and she’s at the age where she wants to dress herself. The problem is that if we pick a single outfit and try to get her to wear it she refuses (I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard «I don’t want that»). At the other extreme if we let her pick her own outfit from the closet she’ll be there for hours trying everything on. As experienced parents advise what we need to do is present her with two or three choices and ask her to pick what she wants.

So how does this relate to software development? Once again, let’s look at extremes. First, consider Scrum’s approach of prescribing a single way of doing things. For example, Scrum prescribes that you hold a daily meeting, called a Scrum, where everyone stands up and answers the same 3 questions. Scrum also prescribes a single change management strategy where you have a stack of requirements prioritized by business value. Scrum prescribes three roles — ScrumMaster, Product Owner, and Team Member — as well as other things. Don’t get me wrong, these strategies are all great in certain circumstances but not for all. Prescribing one way of doing things is an extreme, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised when people refuse to do it that way or struggle to make it work given the situation that they face.

Scrum Alliance 2.0

  1. Adopt respectful language on the site. We’ve begun a review of the SA web site to identify potentially disrespectful language. For example, on the About page we indicate that Scrum trainers pay for your first two years of SA membership fees. Who do we think we’re kidding? Those fees are clearly coming out of the money that you paid to take the training and we shouldn’t hide this fact. I believe that our improved clarity strategy, see below, will go a long way to increasing our respectfulness towards others.
  2. Tone down the rhetoric. There’s been a lot of rhetoric espoused over the years regarding Scrum, which is true of many other issues within the IT industry and not just Scrum. From now on any rhetoric that we do promote we’re going to actually live by. For example, not only are we going to claim that Scrum increases visibility (which it can in fact do) we’re going to be an examplar of that by being open ourselves. More on this below.
  3. Deprecate the chicken and pig analogy. Calling people chickens and pigs may be fun at first, and to be fair the analogy helps to cut through some of the politics surrounding many project teams, but the terminology is in fact disrespectful. We can and should do better.
  1. Be crystal clear about what «not-for-profit» actually means. This is a wonderfully deceptive term from the US tax system which can make organizations appear far more virtuous than they actually are, which is particularly easy in situations where the audience doesn’t have a sophisticated knowledge of finance. Not that I’m implying anything. Although we have taken some steps to explain the implications of what being a «not-for-profit» organization means, we could do a lot more by being less self-serving. Yes, the SA isn’t a for-profit organization. The implication of this being that we need to spend the money we rake in, but it doesn’t imply that as individuals we can’t make a lot of money via our SA work. I’m not taking on the position of Managing Director for free after all, and I’m sure that previous MDs have found the position lucrative.
  2. Publish our salaries. To live the high standards which we espouse through our rhetoric, we’re going to be very clear about the way that we operate. This includes publishing the salaries of the employees of the SA and the revenue derived from Scrum training of all of our certified trainers. Part of being respectful to our membership is to be clear about how we spend their hard-earned money.
  3. Publish how we spend the rest of the money. After we pay ourselves, how much do we really spend on supporting user groups, education, and research as we claim? Don’t you think you deserve to know? I certainly do, which is why we’re going to ensure our finances are no longer opaque. With tens of thousands of members and/or «certified masters» running around out there, it’s pretty clear that we making a lot of money. To guarantee that money is being spent appropriately we’re going to share with our membership where it’s coming from and going to.
  4. Publish our meeting minutes. This will be both in written form, e.g. traditional meeting minutes, as well as recorded form (ideally video but at least audio). The only way that our membership can be assured that we’re working in an ethical and integral manner is through complete visibility into our operations.

The fundamental idea here is that the Scrum Alliance should have nothing to hide from our membership. We’ve preached open and honest communication for years, now we’re going to start actually living by those words. Yes, it may be a bit painful to work to this level of clarity, but we feel that you deserve this.

  1. Increase investment in research. Although we’ve big claims about support Scrum research over the years, very little has actually come of this due to lack of funding (see discussion of salaries above) which can be seen in the serious lack of research results posted at the SA site. Of the six publications at the site tagged as research results, three were performed by Carnigie Mellon University, the home of the Software Engineering Institute, producers of the CMMI. Although I personally respect the work surrounding the CMMI, not that I agree with all of it, I’m concerned about relying on CMU for half of our Scrum research results. We can and should do a lot better, and the first step is to divert some funds away from our own pockets into research. Having actual empirical results, as opposed to espousing rhetoric about empiricism, will go a long way towards more respectful behavior via actual fact-based discussions. Until then, you may find my IT Survey Results page to be a valuable resource.
  2. Deprecate the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification. Although I would prefer to end this embarrassment immediately, we need to be respectful of the fact that CSM courses have been scheduled several months in advance and some people have already paid for seats in them. So, as of June 30th 2020 the CSM certification will be deprecated. This should give our Certified Scrum Trainers time to rework their business models and focus on more respectable activities.
  3. Existing CSMs must clarify the certification. People who have previously «earned» the CSM designation will be grandfathered in until December 21st, 2020 in accordance with the Mayan Calendar. However, until that time all CSMs who choose to indicate their designation publicly (many CSMs choose not to) in email signatures, business cards and so on must now use the following wording — «Certified ScrumMaster (earned by staying awake during a two/three day training course)». This wording reflects our new desire for clear and open communication as well as for being respectful. Far too many people are fooled by the terms «certified» and «master» and we’re going to do our best to reduce this problem through greater clarity.

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) Lifecycles

This blog posting has been replaced by the more detailed article: Full Agile Delivery Lifecycles.

Thank you for your patience.

Modified on by ScottAmbler 120000HESD

A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum

I’m happy to announce that A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum by Elizabeth Woodward, Steffan Surdek, and Matthew Ganis is now in print. I’ve been talking this book up in presentations and with customers the past few months and promised that I would let everyone know once it was available. I was one of several people who wrote forewords for the book, Ken Schwaber, Roman Pichler, and Matthew Wang also did so, and I’ve modified my foreword below to help you to understand a bit better what the book is about.

If you’re thinking about buying this book, you’re probably trying to answer one or more of the following questions: “What will I learn?”, “Should I spend my hard earned money on this book?”, “Will it be worth my valuable time to read it?”, and “Is this a book that I’ll refer to again and again?” To help you answer these questions, I thought I’d list a few user stories which I believe this book clearly fulfills:
As a reader I want:

  • a book that is well-written and understandable real-world examples that I can relate to
  • quotes from actual people doing this in the field
  • to understand the challenges that I’ll face with distributed agile development

As someone new to agile I want to:

  • learn the fundamentals of Scrum
  • understand the fundamentals of agile delivery
  • learn about what actually works in practice
  • discover how extend Scrum into an agile delivery process

As an experienced agile practitioner I want to learn:

  • how to scale agile approaches for distributed teams
  • how to overcome the challenges faced by distributed teams
  • how to tailor existing agile practices to reflect the realities of distribution
  • bout “new” agile practices which we might need to adopt
  • techniques so that distributed team members can communicate effectively
  • how to extend Scrum with proven techniques from Extreme Programming, Agile Modeling, and other agile methods
  • how to address architectural issues on a distributed agile team
  • how agile teams address documentation
  • how agile teams can interact effectively with non-agile teams

As a Scrum Master I want to learn how to:

  • lead a distributed agile team
  • facilitate a distributed “Scrum of Scrums”
  • facilitate the successful initiation of a distributed agile project
  • facilitate communication and collaboration between distributed team members

As a Product Owner I want to learn:

  • how to manage a product backlog on a distributed team
  • about different categories of stakeholders whom I will need to represent
  • about techniques to understand and capture the goals of those stakeholders
  • how to manage requirements with other product owners on other sub-teams
  • what to do during an end-of-sprint review
  • how I can streamline things for the delivery team that I’m working with

As an agile skeptic I want to:

  • see examples of how agile works in practice
  • hear about the challenges faced by agile teams
  • hear about where agile strategies don’t work well and what to do about it

I work with organizations around the world helping them to scale agile strategies to meet their real-world needs. Although this book is focused on providing strategies for dealing with geographical distribution, it also covers many of the issues that you’ll run into with large teams, complex problem domains and complex technical domains. An important aspect of scaling agile techniques is to first recognize that’s there’s more to scalability than dealing with large teams, something which this book clearly demonstrates.

At the risk of sounding a bit corny, I’ve eagerly awaited the publication of this book for some time. I’ve known two of the authors, Elizabeth and Matt, for several years and have had the pleasure of working with them and learning from them as a result. Along with hundreds of other IBMers I watched this book get written and provided input where I could. The reason why I’m so excited about it is that I’ve wanted something that I could refer the customers to that I work with and honestly say, “yes, we know that this works because this is what we do in practice”.

IBM is doing some very interesting work when it comes to scaling agile. We haven’t published enough externally, in my opinion, due to a preference for actively sharing our experiences internally. This book collects many of our experiences into a coherent whole and more importantly shares them outside the IBM process ecosystem. Bottom line is that I think that you’ll get a lot out of this book.

Related Reading:

Modified on by ScottAmbler 120000HESD

Our integrity debt continues to grow

Recently I spent some time in the UK with Julian Holmes of Unified Process Mentors. In one of our conversations we deplored what we were seeing in the agile community around certification, in particular what the Scrum community was doing, and he coined the term “integrity debt” to describe the impact it was having on us as IT professionals. Integrity debt is similar to technical debt which refers to the concept that poor quality (either in your code, your user interface, or your data) is a debt that must eventually be paid off through rework. Integrity debt refers to the concept that questionable or unprofessional behavior builds up a debt which must eventually be paid off through the rebuilding of trust with the people that we interact with.
The agile community has been actively increasing their integrity debt through the continuing popularity of Scrum Certification, in particular the program around becoming a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). To become a CSM you currently need to attend, and hopefully pay attention during, a two-day Scrum Master Certification workshop taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). That’s it. Granted, some CSTs will hold one or more quizzes which you need to pass, an optional practice which isn’t done consistently, to ensure that you pay attention in the workshop.
Scrum Masters, as you know, take the leadership position on a Scrum team. The idea that someone can master team leadership skills after two entire days of training is absurd. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm supporter of people increasing their skillset and have no doubt that many of the CSTs deliver really valuable training. However, there is no possible way that you can master a topic, unless it is truly trivial, in only two days of training. From what I can tell the only thing that is being certified here is that your check didn’t bounce.
The CSM scheme increases the integrity debt of the IT industry by undermining the value of certification. When someone claims that they’re certified there’s an assumption that they had to do something meaningful to earn that certification. Attending a two-day course, and perhaps taking a few quizzes where you parrot back what you’ve heard, clearly isn’t very meaningful. The problem with the term Certified Scrum Master is two-fold: not only does the term Certified imply that the holder of the certification did something to earn it, the term Master implies that they have significant knowledge and expertise gained over years of work. It is very clear that people are falling for the Scrum certification scheme.
A quick search of the web will find job ads requiring that candidates be CSMs, undoubtedly because they don’t realize that there’s no substance behind the certification. Whenever I run into an organization that requires people to be CSMs I walk them through the onerous process of earning the designation and suggest that they investigate the situation themselves. Invariably, once they recognize the level of deception, the customer drops the requirement that people be CSMs.
Another quick search of the web will find people bragging about being a CSM, presumably being motivated by the employment opportunities within the organizations gullible enough to accept Scrum certification at face value. My experience is that the people claiming to be CSMs are for the most part decent, intelligent people who 99.99% of the time have far more impressive credentials to brag about than taking a two-day course. Yet, for some reason they choose to park their integrity at the door when it comes to Scrum certification. I suspect that this happens in part because they see so many other people doing it, in part because they’re a bit desperate to obtain or retain employment in these tough economic times, and in part because the IT industry doesn’t have a widely accepted code of ethical conduct. These people not only embarrass themselves when they indicate on their business cards or in their email signatures that they’re Certified Scrum Masters they also increase the integrity debt of the agile community as a whole.
Yet another search of the web will find people bragging about being Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs), the people whom have been blessed by the Scrum Alliance to deliver Scrum master certification courses. Once again, my experience is that these are intelligent, skilled people, albeit ones who have also parked their integrity at the door in the pursuit of a quick buck. Surely these people could make a decent living via more ethical means? I know that many of them have done so in the past, so I would presume that they could do so in the future. The actions of the CSTs increase our integrity debt even further.
The group of people who have most embarrassed themselves, in my opinion, are those whom we consider thought leaders within the agile community. Leaving aside the handful who are directly involved with the Scrum certification industry, the real problem lies with those who have turned a blind eye to all of this. The Scrum certification scheme was allowed to fester within our community because few of our thought leaders had the courage to stand up and publicly state what they were talking about in private. This of course is all the more galling when you consider how much rhetoric there is around the importance of courage on software development projects. As Edmund Burke once observed, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

There are several things that we can do today to start paying off some of our integrity debt:

  1. Be discerning, not deceptive. If you’re going to list credentials on your email signature or business card then only choose to list the ones that actually mean something.
  2. Educate human resources people. Make them aware of what “Certified Scrum Master” really means and let them think for themselves. I highly suspect that if HR people realized what was going on the demand for CSMs would plummet, and in turn people wouldn’t be tempted by Scrum certification.
  3. Act professional, don’t just claim to be certified. Instead of signing up for every easy certification that comes your way why not simply do a good job and let the people you work with be your claim to fame? The good news is that for the past few years the agile community has tried to pay down some of the IT industry’s integrity debt that we have with our stakeholders by providing better return on investment (ROI), delivering systems which are more effective at addressing the needs of your stakeholders, by working in a more timely manner, and by producing greater quality work. All of these claims are borne out by the 2008 Software Development Project Success Rate Survey by the way.
  4. Recognize that adding a test doesn’t address the underlying problems. For the past year there’s been a move afoot to have people pass a test as part of earning their CSM (apparently it’s been a challenge to create a non-trivial test to validate your understanding of a topic that you can master by taking a two-day training course). This is something that should have been done from the very beginning, along with some sort of peer review, not years later when the damage has been done. Adding a test at this late date isn’t going to remove the stink that’s built up over the years, but sadly it will fool a few people into believing that they’ve covered it up.
  5. Recognize that there is a demand for certification. The agile community needs to put together a decent certification program, something that the Scrum Alliance has clearly failed at doing. My article Coming Soon: Agile Certification provides some thoughts as to what we need to do. The good news is that people such as Ron Jeffries and Chet Hendrickson, and others, are putting together a developer certification program. The really good news is that these are the right people to do this. The really bad news is that they’re doing it under the aegis of the Scrum Alliance, so whatever they accomplish will unfortunately be tainted by the fallout of the CSM debacle.

If we’re going to scale agile software development strategies to meet the range of challenges faced by modern organizations, we need to be trustworthy. Is claiming to be a certified master after taking a two-day course an act which engenders trust? I don’t think so. As individuals we can choose to do better. As a community we need to.

Suggested Reading

  1. Agile Certification — A humorous look at certification.
  2. IT Surveys — A great resource for statistics about what IT people are actually doing in practice.

Mapping Scrum Terms to Standard Terms

The Scrum community has adopted a different set of terms than the other agile methodologies. This is done on purpose to help people realize that Agile approaches are different than traditional approaches, which can help in their adoption, but it can also hinder people’s understanding because some of the terminology is not only non-standard it really doesn’t make much sense. Because of this I’m often asked by people that I’m coaching to convert back and forth between terms, and recently wrote a detailed article on the subject. The following summarizes the mapping:

  • Daily Scrum Meeting ==> Daily Stand-up Meeting
  • Product Backlog ==> Work Item List
  • Scrum Master ==> Team Lead or Team Coach
  • Sprint ==> Iteration or Time Box

For more details read my article Translating Scrum Terminology which includes explanations of a wider range of Scrum terms and discussions of why some of them really are questionable.

Scaling Daily Stand Up Meetings

Recently I visited a customer who had adopted Scrum. They were a few sprints, what Scrum calls iterations, into the project and were running into some difficulties. Although I was primarily brought in to educate senior management on disciplined agile software development, I was also asked to sit in on the team’s daily stand-up meeting so that I could hopefully provide some suggestions as to how to address the problems they were running into.

Their work area was fairly typical. They had some whiteboards which they were using for project planning and tracking, with sticky notes to indicate what work had been taken on by each team member. The current status of the task (not yet started, in progress, and completed) was indicated by putting each sticky note in a corresponding column for the status and corresponding column for the team member. This allowed everyone on the team to easily share their status and to see the status of everyone else. On the sides were sketches of the architecture as well as some business oriented models. In addition to Scrum the team had adopted several practices from Agile Modeling, in this case they had done some initial requirements envisioning and architecture envisioning, as well as practices from Extreme Programming (XP) for construction. In short, they had followed a fairly common strategy of combining practices from various agile methods.

This would have worked perfectly fine if they had tailored the practices to reflect the situation that they were in, but instead they adopted them «straight out of the book». First, the team was distributed, with most of the team in the location that I was visiting but some people located in two other distant cities. Therein was the source of most of their problems. The people at the other two locations weren’t getting much value out of the daily stand-up meetings, even though they would dial in, because they couldn’t see the project status information. Although people at this location were trying their best to represent these distant people in the daily stand-ups it wasn’t working well – their status information wasn’t being kept up to date and for some people it was a bit of mystery as to what they were actually working on at all.

This team also had 30 people in it, which isn’t a big deal although it can stretch the limits of the simple modeling and planning tools (in this case paper and whiteboards) that they were using. Because the team was larger they were investing a fair bit of time creating burn down charts at both the iteration/sprint and project levels. One of the unfortunate implications of using manual tools for project management is that any associated metric/status reporting in turn becomes manual as well. Considering how the agile community is so concerned with working efficiently, I find it comical that we have a tendency to overlook our own potentially unnecessary bureaucracy such as this.

The problem was that the team was applying strategies, in this case using sticky notes and whiteboards to capture the detailed iteration plan, applying similar strategies to capture key models, and were verbally relaying of status information between sub-teams. There are perfectly fine strategies for smaller co-located teams, but not so good for large or distributed teams. The solution was to recognize that they were in an [email protected] situation and needed to tailor their approach to reflect this fact. In this case they needed to forgo some of the manual tools and instead use electronic tooling such as Rational Team Concert (RTC) to share information across disparate locations, in particular the work assignment and corresponding status information. RTC also creates common agile reports such as burn-down charts based on the activities of the developers, providing accurate (nearly) real-time information while removing the burden of status reporting. The RTC project dashboard does more than just this, to see an actual example of one visit www.jazz.net to see the dashboard for the RTC development team itself. You can also see their actual work item list too, a more advanced version of Scrum’s product and sprint backlogs.[Read More]

Agile Stakeholders at Scale

The popular Agile literature can often seam naive when it comes to how Agilists work with project stakeholders:- Extreme Programming (XP) has a practice called On-Site Customer where one or more people work closely with your team to provide information and to make decisions in a timely manner.- Scrum has the role of Product Owner who is the one single person that the development team goes to for decisions about requirements. — Agile Modeling (AM) has the practice of Active Stakeholder Participation which extends On-Site Customer to get the stakeholder(s) actively involved with the modeling effort through the use of inclusive tools and techniques.

These are great strategies for small, co-located teams doing straightforward development, but they quickly fall apart at scale. This occurs for several reasons:1. Stakeholders are a diverse group. Your stakeholders include end users, business management, project funders, enterprise architects, operations staff, support staff, other system development teams, and many others. Different people have different, and often contradictory, requirements and they certainly have different priorities. It’s questionable whether a single person, or a handful of persons, can adequately represent this diverse group.2. One person becomes a bottleneck. Even with a small co-located team this is a problem, let alone one that is geographically distributed or one that is very large. There’s no way that a single person can be available 24/7 in a responsive manner to support distributed teams.3. It’s a difficult role. The Product Owner/Customer (POC) is responsible for representing the business to the development team. They’re making important decisions on a regular basis, decisions which they’ll be held accountable for.4. One person becomes a serious project risk. Not only is it questionable whether a single person can fairly represent all stakeholders, even if they could what happens if you lose that person? They effectively become a single point of failure for your team.

To scale this role, consider the following strategies:1. Recognize the true scope of the POC role. Not only are they stakeholder proxies they also are a development team representative to the stakeholder community as a whole. As stakeholder proxies they’ll make decisions and prioritize the work, they’ll run requirements elicitation sessions, they’ll negotiate priorities, and they’ll put the development team in contact with stakeholders who have expertise in specific aspects of the domain. As team representatives they’ll often demo the current version of the system to other stakeholders, communicate the status of the project to people, and respond to various requests for information from the stakeholders.2. Have multiple people in it. A single POC works well for small, co-located teams developing simple software. At scale you’ll soon discover that you need multiple people in this role so that they don’t become a bottleneck. For distributed teams it’s common to see each subteam have one or more POCs who are managed by a primary/chief POC. The primary POC typically works on the coordinating team with the chief architect (I’ll talk about this role in a future blog posting) and the program manager (also a topic for a future blog posting).3. Train them in business analysis skills. The person(s) in the POC role need good business analysis skills. If fact, it’s common for people who were formerly BAs for traditional teams to step into the POC role, particularly with BAs who originally come from the business side of your organization. This strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. As a BA they’ve likely got solid business knowledge but their instincts may motivate them to take a documentation-driven approach to providing information to the development team instead of a collaboration-based approach. Be careful.4. Consider the full system development lifecycle. There’s far more to the POC role than supporting the development team during Construction iterations. During «Iteration 0», the Inception phase for an Agile RUP project or the warm-up phase for an Eclipse Way project, the POC(s) will often lead the initial requirements envisioning efforts. The product backlog, or better yet your work item list, needs to come from somewhere after all. During the release iteration(s), the Transition phase for RUP or the End-Game phase for Eclipse Way, the POC(s) will focus on communicating the upcoming release to the stakeholder community, will be actively involved with any final user acceptance testing (UAT), and may even be involved with training end users.

In my January 2008 column in Dr Dobb’s Journal, posted at http://www.ddj.com/architect/204801134 , I provide detailed advice about how to scale the way that you work with stakeholders on Agile projects by applying the practices of Agile Model Driven Development (AMDD). There’s no magic solution, you just need to choose to organize yourself effectively. The good news is that you can easily work with stakeholders at scale.[Read More]

Agile Software Development at Scale

It’s customary to start a blog by describing the vision for it. Although this vision will undoubtedly evolve over time, it’s always good to put a stake in the ground to get things started. Agile software development is clearly taking off and in my opinion is becoming the dominant development paradigm. Furthermore it appears that Agile approaches enjoy a higher success rate, providing better value for your IT investment, than do traditional approaches. Although organizations are succeeding at simpler projects with agile, many are struggling when applying Agile in more complex situations. They’re finding that the «Agile rhetoric» doesn’t always live up to its promises once you move into these complex situations. My goal with this blog is to share strategies for applying Agile techniques at scale.

When applying Agile strategies at scale you are likely to run into one or more of the following complexity factors:1. Geographical distribution. Is your team, including stakeholders, in different locations? Even being in different cubicles within the same building can erect barriers to communication, let alone being in different cities or even on different continents.2. Regulatory compliance. Regulations, including the Sarbanes-Oxley act, BASEL-II, and FDA statutes, to name a few, can increase the documentation and process burden on your projects. Complying to these regulations while still remaining as agile as possible can be a challenge.3. Entrenched policies, people, and processes. Most agile teams need to work within the scope of a larger organization, and that larger organization isn’t always perfectly agile. Hopefully that will change in time, but we still need to get the job done right now. Your existing culture and organization can really hinder your ability to scale agile approaches, then a few «simple» changes can really help your efforts.4. Legacy systems. Although the politically correct term would be «proven assets» the reality is that it can be very difficult to leverage existing code and data sources due to quality problems. The code may not be well written, documented, or even have tests in place, yet that doesn’t mean that your agile team should rewrite everything from scratch. Some legacy data sources are questionable at best, or the owners of those data sources difficult to work with, yet that doesn’t given an agile team license to create yet another database.5. Organizational distribution. When your teams are made up of people working for different divisions, or if you have people from different companies (such as contractors, partners, or consultants), then your management complexity rises.6. Degree of governance. If you have one or more IT projects then you have an IT governance process in place. How formal it is, how explicit it is, and how effective it is will be up to you. IBM has been doing a lot of work in this topic over the past few years, and just recently Per Kroll and I have done some work around Lean Governance strategies. 7. Team size. Large teams will be organized differently than small teams, and they’ll work differently too.8. System complexity. The more complex the system the greater the need for a viable architectural strategy. An interesting feature of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) is that it’s Elaboration phase’s primary goal is to prove the architecture via the creation of an end-to-end, working skeleton of the system. This risk-reduction technique is clearly a concept which Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum teams can clearly benefit from.

It is definitely possible to scale Agile software development to meet the real-world complexities faced by modern organizations. Based on my experiences, I believe that over the next few years we’ll discover that Agile scales better than traditional approaches. Many people have already discovered this, but as an industry I believe that there isn’t yet sufficient evidence to state this as more than opinion. My goal with this blog is to provide advice for scaling Agile so as to increase your chances of success.

So, it looks like I have my work cut out for me. My strategy will be to address common questions which I get when working with customers and with internal IBM development teams. I have the privilege to work with a variety of software development teams worldwide, helping them to become more agile. They’re all struggling with the same basic issues although don’t recognize it because they’re too focused on their own situation. So hopefully I’ll be able to spread the word about what’s actually working in practice.

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