J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

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  • Blog Post: Declaration of Interdependence

    You might already know the Agile Manifesto : Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan But do you know the Declaration of Interdependence : We increase...
  • Blog Post: Kanban for Process Improvement

    A Kanban is a great tool for improving your process.  The real power of the Kanban is that you can start from where you are.  Rather than fit you into a process, you can use a Kanban to mirror or reflect your current process.   You decide how you want to visualize your work, and you...
  • Blog Post: Agile Life-Cycle Frame

    As a program manager, it’s tough to shape a process with the team, if the team can’t “see” it.  When you have a mental model you can share with the team, things move a lot faster.   The problem with life cycles and end-to-end processes, is that people don’t usually know what the end-to...
  • Blog Post: Change is Good

    "All projects experience changing requirements.  Traditional projects view this as bad.  Agile projects embrace it."   -- Steven Thomas, BBC Kelley Hunsberger writes about embracing scope creep, rather than fight it in her article “Change is Good”, in PM Network . According to...
  • Blog Post: Methodologies at a Glance

    I'm a fan of simple maps to help drill in. After all, it's hard to explore the concepts if you don’t know they exist, or you don’t know what they are called.  Below is a work in progress.  I’m making a quick, simple map of the key activities for a some software project-relevant processes. I...
  • Blog Post: Workshop Planning Framework – The Six P’s

    Workshops are one of the best ways to rapidly brainstorm ideas, capture scenarios, mine for patterns, etc.  The challenge can be designing an effective workshop.  In the book Scenarios, Stories, Use Cases: Through the Systems Development Life-Cycle , Ian F. Alexander and Neil Maiden present...
  • Blog Post: Extreme Programming (XP) at a Glance

    Extreme Programming (XP) is a lightweight software development methodology based on principles of simplicity, communication, feedback, and courage.   I like to be able to scan methodologies to compare approaches.  To do so, I create a skeleton of the activities, artifacts, principles,...
  • Blog Post: Scrum Flow at a Glance

    When I analyze process flows, I like to see them at a glance, in terms of activities and artifacts.  This helps me compare it with other approaches to find similarities and differences.  This is my view of Scrum at a glance:   Activities Artifacts Product Backlog Product backlog review...
  • Blog Post: 7 Management Interventions for Adapting and Adopting Processes

    Change management is an art and science.  There are tools for improving effectiveness. The Rick Stacey's Agreement and Certainty Matrix evaluates the level of agreement and degree of certainty about the issue or problem.  This helps you choose the more effective management actions for successfully...
  • Blog Post: Ralph Stacey’s Agreement and Certainty Matrix

    Ralph Stacey’s Agreement and Certainty Matrix is a tool for helping you adapt and adopt processes more effectively. It helps you make more informed decisions by looking at two dimensions: The degree of certainty The level of agreement   Rather than just rolling out changes in processes or tools...
  • Blog Post: The Four Circles of XP (Extreme Programming)

    When I first learned eXtreme Programming (XP), my mentors introduced it using four circles.  I really liked how the four circles made it easy to remember the XP practices, and I liked how it made them easier to remember.  This post is a walkthrough of the four circles of XP. The Four Circles...
  • Blog Post: Agile Security Engineering

    “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” —Edwards Deming I gave a talk for the developer security MVPs at the Microsoft 2010 MVP Summit last week.  While I focused primarily on Azure Security, I did briefly cover Agile Security Engineering.  Here is the figure I used to help...
  • Blog Post: Patterns and Practices of Lean Software Development

    I have a guest post on Shaping Software from Corey Ladas on Patterns and Practices of Lean Software Development .  This is a follow up to Corey's previous post, Introduction to Lean Software Development .   Several readers had ask for more information on the principles, patterns, and practices...
  • Blog Post: Lean Software Development

    I'm honored to have a guest post on Shaping Software from Corey Ladas on Introduction to Lean Software Development .  Corey is a product development methodologist and the author of Scrumban: Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development . In the post, Corey explains the principles of Lean...
  • Blog Post: Agile Architecture Method

    I presented our new patterns & practices Agile Architecture Method for the first time at the patterns & practices Summit.   Our Agile Architecture Method is an iterative and incremental approach for designing architectures.  To summarize, it’s a technique that: Scopes and...
  • Blog Post: Software Methodologies at a Glance

    I like to draw from a variety of sources for software engineering principles, patterns, and practices.  To be able to do this, I usually need to create information models that let me quickly scan bodies of knowledge.  Once I can frame out a space, it's a lot easier to drill into areas looking...
  • Blog Post: MSF Agile Frame (Workstreams and Key Activities)

    When I review an approach, I find it helpful to distill it to a simple frame so I can get a bird's-eye view.  For MSF Agile, I found the most useful frame to be the workstreams and key activities.  According to MSF, workstreams are simply groups of activities that flow logically together and...
  • Blog Post: MSF Agile Persona Template

    I was looking for examples of persona templates, and I came across Personas: Moving Beyond Role-Based Requirements Engineering by Randy Miller and Laurie Williams.  I found it to be insightful and practical.  I also like the fact they included a snapshot of a persona template example from MSF...
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