Author Archive

We did offshore Agile before it was cool

By | November 4, 2013 | No Comments »

Alexander PozdniakovImagine a very large software project that has been running for over 3 years, 80+ people on the team, classic waterfall process, over a million LOC, 700+ database tables, over 40MB of source code. Now add to that the approaching production deadline, several months spent trying to get quality and performance under control with very little to show for it, lots of patchwork code rendering the system exceedingly difficult to troubleshoot performance-wise, and the number of new bugs discovered by QA steadily exceeding the number of closed defects week after week. Now on top of all that, add a deluge of change requests, some of them contradictory, plus tired people, endless overtime, working weekends, and a general sense of despair. Got it? Good. There you have it, the classic death march. Read more

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Breaking the Iron Triangle: A Case Study in Agile Project Turnaround

By | June 6, 2013 | No Comments »

Alexander PozdniakovWe all know that the famous Project Management Triangle constraints are inescapable, and that the rules of the game dictate that all project decisions are necessarily tradeoffs between “more”, “cheaper”, “faster” and “better”.

But what if you change the game? Read more

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Happy feet

By | May 30, 2013 | No Comments »

Alexander PozdniakovHow I made people believe I could see through walls.
Believe it or not, Agile can help you develop superhuman powers!
Not really, but it comes close. Read more

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Outsourcing chaos begets more chaos

By | July 25, 2012 | No Comments »

Alexander Pozdniakov A recent example of software-related troubles at RBS described in this Computing Magazine article is a good illustration of the GIGO principle (“garbage in, garbage out”). If you have a mess on your hands, outsourcing it won’t solve the problem.

Outsourcing of application development is (understandably) often blamed for problems with software. Sometimes the criticisms are true. However, in certain cases laying the blame at the feet of an outsourcing partner masks the real problems instead of solving them. While software outsourcing does introduce complexities of its own (and hence has the potential to create new problems), my observation is that generally, well-run companies are far more successful at outsourcing than those run poorly. Read more

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Do you jog?

By | June 26, 2012 | No Comments »

Alexander PozdniakovAfter I read this article in Forbes titled, “The Case Against Agile: Ten Perennial Management Objections”, a metaphor occurred to me: what if we think of Agile as jogging?

Most people will agree that jogging has important health benefits – kind of like many will agree that Agile delivers important benefits to the health of your projects (transparency, accountability, productivity, motivation, etc.). Typically, objections to jogging are not based on a conviction that it is in fact bad for you; rather they are justifications for why I can’t do it.

Read the article, it is well written and makes a lot of good points quite clearly. Now, let’s imagine what these objections to Agile might look like if they were instead objections to jogging: Read more

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