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  • Blog Post: Has Agile jumped the shark?

    The Agile community is in danger. As someone who has been around Agile for a very long time I find myself asking; Has Agile abandoned its core premise and begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery. First the punch line. Go to Wikipedia and search for "Jumping the Shark". http://en.wikipedia...
  • Blog Post: 10 analogies for creating software (that aren't building construction)

    Software has long suffered with the analogy of building construction. While it is certainly handy, and generally well accepted, I would like to propose my top 10 alternative analogies for software development. 10- Politics Creating software is like being an elected official. You get into it to...
  • Blog Post: Requirements are tools not weapons

    Consider these requirements; · The system shall properly calculate the taxes due at the time of payment. · The system shall properly display the location and speed of inbound projectiles. · All users will only be able to change data appropriate to their role. They are a clear example of poor communication...
  • Blog Post: Fighting the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

    There are a few reoccurring themes in project recovery;  Hold Fast, Don't Flinch, Lead calmly, and of course the old stand by ... decide slowly but act quickly.  Troubled projects are ripe with Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (affectionately known as FUD).  Our job, like it or not, isn't just...
  • Blog Post: What’s your projects risk tolerance?

    Risk tolerance is defined on investopedia as the degree of uncertainty that an investor can handle in regard to a negative change in the value of his or her portfolio. Sounds pretty good to me for project portfolios too. In our case, negative change includes concrete things like expenditures that fail...
  • Blog Post: Introducing Project Practice Portfolios

    In a recent paper, Bridge Methods: Using a Balanced Project Practice Portfolio to Integrate Agile and Formal Process Methodologies , my co-author and I dug into how nearly every methodology, be it formal or agile, allows if not requires customization to the set practices used throughout the software...
  • Blog Post: Implement EXPILCIT Governance

    While speaking at the Dr. Dobbs' Architect and Design World conference last week Scott Ambler said "Like it or not you are governed!" Genius in its directness and simplicity and extremely relevant for recovery projects. Many a challenged project struggles against the unstated and frequently invisible...
  • Blog Post: Project Recovery MUST beat the odds

    Predictions of failure rule the industry. Any number of organizations and people look at trends and willingly, no gleefully, declare why projects will fail and, in general, I agree. Lets face it, most projects aren't paid on delivery. Nope, it's by the hour ... seems like a conflict of interest to me...
  • Blog Post: We can make the choices others can't

    Me: Why would you do that? Them: You just don't understand Me: Help me understand, what could have possibly driven you away from the <fill in obviously right thing> and to do <fill in obviously wrong thing> Them: Well, it's complicated. There are other groups, and schedules, and my boss said...
  • Blog Post: It's not about you

    Software development is a world full of individual accomplishment and competition. It shouldn't be. Great software comes from great teams. No one person is responsible and no one is irreplaceable. As the industry matures we, as individuals, must also mature. In short, it's just not about you it's about...
  • Blog Post: So you want to do project recovery?

    I am seeing a gathering wave of players in the project recovery market. I have stumbled across a half dozen new companies specializing in it. I have been told about a few management conferences where recovery is being discussed and have certainly been speaking at increasingly diverse conferences on the...
  • Blog Post: &quot;You just don't understand ....&quot;

    I find it interesting that every project, well nearly every project, I am asked to recover begins the same way. I go on-site to watch and listen. I see conflict and chaos masquerading as progress. I hear discussions of challenges but no admittance of trouble. And inevitably, when I begin to talk to the...
  • Blog Post: Don't bring a well known solution to an unknown problem

    Are you a SCRUM Master? A PMI certified Program Manager? Do you have a quick reference card for for the Microsoft Solution Framework in your wallet? How many prescriptive methodologies do you know? More importantly, have you been repeatedly successful with one particular methodology? I have no research...
  • Blog Post: Staying out of trouble beats getting out of trouble

    People routinely ask me why I focus on recovery instead of prevention. Its true, projects would be far better off avoiding me and my services. That said, the sun will rise tomorrow and projects will falter and fail. Knowing that I will always have customers I will share a few things that any project...
  • Blog Post: Dealing with uncertainty

    Once a project goes far enough off the rails to need recovery it is a good bet that the people involved are making decisions based on fear, uncertainty, and doubt (affectionately referred to as F.U.D) instead of reason, experience, and logic (R.E.a.L.). Fear and Doubt are emotional responses and while...
  • Blog Post: During Project Recovery don't expect to educate anyone

    Let me propose the 1st Law of Project recovery; Projects are recovered by doing things well, not teaching anyone how to do things. I am a full time consultant. As a matter of fact I can claim to be a professional consult given that I am paid to consult. As a professional I understand the primary job...
  • Blog Post: On every Recovery Project Someone Must Die

    OK, First ... ITS A METAPHOR ... so no flames about me really taking a life ... That said; If you have me knocking at your projects door something has gone terribly terribly wrong. Things are so bad that the only thing worse than seeing me is total failure. Usually I have been called after the budget...
  • Blog Post: Is Recovery a dirty word?

    I have a serious marketing problem. It seems Recovery for a project is a dirty word. You see, needing to recover a project implies the project has failed. No one really wants to admit they have failed... at least not on their project. We, as an industry, admit that failure is rampant. As long as we are...
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