2009-09-30

Lättrörlig kravhantering med Wiki

Idag blev jag ombedd att dela med mig av råd och erfarenheter rörande lättrörlig kravhantering i praktiken - vilka verktyg ska man använda, hur hanterar man nedbrytning, spårning mellan krav och specifikationer, osv.

Frågan har kommit upp många gånger förut, och det lustiga är att den mest effektiva lösningen jag varit med och skapat var också den allra första.

När jag som projektledare en gång började experimentera med XP och Scrum var jag tämligen skeptisk mot de kravhanteringsverktyg jag upplevt dittills, och var måttligt sugen på att brottas med de jag hade tillgång till eller lära mig något nytt. Och då har jag inte ens pratat om hur svårt det var att få mitt än mer skeptiska utvecklingsteam att dokumentera i det verktyget. (Som givetvis var så dyrt att vi inte kunde ha licenser till alla, vilket skapade ett alltför bra dåligt exempel på köteori i praktiken)

Någon i teamet föreslog att vi skulle skapa en Wiki för kraven istället. Jag lät mig lätt övertalas, och förundrades över hur denna konkurrent till det hårt reglerade intranätet snabbt växte till en överblick över projektläget.

2009-05-20

A domain expert shares his views on requirements


Ableton is a German company that has created one of the first virtual studios that blur the distinction between a music instrument and a recording studio, Ableton Live.

It's a software product that challenges the notion of "traditional" music recording, and as an avid user, I can vouch for the inspiration that comes from being able to create a performance out of a recording, and vice versa, without boundaries.

In this article, Robert Henke, musician and one of the founders of Ableton gives a small glimpse of his view on requirements specification as a domain expert, together with the software developers, and how it should capture both innovation and customer needs. And yes, most of it is readable even if you're not a music geek, like me :-)

"Specification is a huge area, ranging from tiny little but important details to big general questions. Specification is the most exciting, most annoying, most rewarding and most frustrating job in the software world."

2009-03-25

Guest Lecture @ Uppsala University

I was invited to give a guest lecture on the topic "Lean & Agile Software Development" for Software Engineering students yesterday. Students are a tough crowd, with interesting questions and they will let you know if you bore them or lose your plot during the lecture. I love getting the opportunity to speak to students, sharing some of the insights I've got from the industry, and I had a blast yesterday - thanks to everyone that was there!

Four years ago, not many had heard much about Lean and Agile. Now, the students are knowledgeable, pose interesting questions, and I even had an entrepreneur in the crowd yesterday, that was comparing different product development styles for his own company.

If you would like me to give a guest lecture at your course or department, please get in touch!

2009-03-14

An inspiring talk on obsession


Wired.com has the story on MythBusters co-host Adam Savage, who gave a speech on obsession and motivation as a driving force

I love people like him. I wish I had his energy and dedication, but lacking some of it (possibly from coming from the northern parts of Sweden...) I get inspired by it instead. 

Watch the video on how he goes on a quest on recreating two famous birds for his living room - without even being a sculptor!

I would hire one or two people like Adam for my Creative Department. Wouldn't you?

Don't miss the sequence near the end where he shows the "wrapping paper" he ordered for it. The "I know" comment is priceless.

2009-02-06

Agile contracts and collaboration


One of the most common questions I encounter is how buying and selling software development can be made in a different, more agile, way. At least in Sweden, the purchasing of a software development effort is usually really waterfall-ish, requiring a lot of specification work up front, many times ending up in fixed-price, fixed content contracts with severe penalties for missing a deadline. 

Agile contracts have been on the horizon for quite some time, but few cases have been presented so far. During Scrum Gathering 2008 in Stockholm, I had the opportunity to host an Open Spaces session with participants from various countries. These are my (brief) notes from this session, somewhat depicting the current state of agile contracts.



Session notes Agile Contracts & Collaboration

Trust is a central issue. If trust between the supplier and purchaser can be achieved and upheld through means of an agile contract, a lot of headway can be made. To ensure trust, the risk must be shared and the supplier can no longer keep the software hostage until the end of the contract, but rather be prepared to give up a complete DONE release every sprint.

It has a lot to do with managing expectations. To be able to share the risk, we must have good, agile ways of dealing with risk up front. There were discussions and a few examples on how to closely work with the customer initially to set up the road map (“sprint map?” :-) ) and build trust. Some charge for this collaboration, others don’t.

To move this forward, we have to find and present success stories where buyer and supplier both come forward and talk about a successful agile collaboration. It was a common thought that many organizations are waiting for “someone else” to come forward and share a success story before risking the leap oneself.

In such stories, the improved customer value and margin could be natural comparison metrics, as well as the aggregate business value. Metrics and comparisons are vital.

The legal issues became one of the big topics. A formal standard contract for agile collaboration would be a big step forward. How can Scrum Alliance work towards this goal, as well as paving the way through political/industry lobbying? A Certified Scrum Purchasing Manager was proposed, tongue in cheek, but also with a serious undertone. We need to find and infiltrate The Secret School of Purchasing Managers. Anyone had any luck so far? : -) At least, everyone could agree on the need for top management to understand and embrace these issues – which also would have impact on the economics and how we define project/product success.

2009-01-24

Om tomatklockor och värdet av ett (J)fokus


En gång var jag med om en rätt rolig incident när min gode vän Linus (som jag var kollega med då) skulle försöka agera urmakare på en trasig äggklocka i form av en tomat, istället för att lämna tillbaks den. Resultatet var fjädrande, men inte helt lyckat.

Nu föreläser Staffan Nöteberg om Pomodoroteknik på JFokus 2009 nästa vecka. Pomodoro är italienska för tomat, och ursprunget är just en tomatformad äggklocka. Mer tänker jag inte avslöja här, förutom att vi hade äran att få en duvning i Pomodoroteknik och lite annat av Staffan hos oss på Citerus i höstas. Ämnet är mycket intressant, och Staffan är en fantastiskt engagerande föredragare, så jag rekommenderar att inte missa honom!

Kanske börjar ni också skaffa äggklockor till era arbetsrum? Det har jag gjort.

Jag håller också ett kort föredrag, med den lätt pompösa titeln Den Lättrörliga Organisationen. Det är inte riktigt så illa som det låter, förhoppningsvis kan det bli både underhållande och lärorikt. De som känner mig vet att jag har en del synpunkter på ledarskapet och HR i många företag i vår bransch, och jag kommer att dela med mig av konstruktiva förslag kring detta, bland annat.

På tal om sommarens inlägg, och att Kalmar FF använde Kaizen som en del av sin filosofi i arbetet med fotbollslaget, fick Nanne Bergstrand utmärkelsen Årets Ledare vid Idrottsgalan. Han är coach för Kalmars fotbollslag. Ständigt lärande kan även ge andra framgångar!