Online presence of Craig Smith — Agile Coach & IT Professional in Australia

Originally posted on The Agile Revolution:

P1020445Rachael Tempest Wood from Nomad8 in Wellington joins Tony and Craig in the Brisbane Queen Street Mall over lunch with a bonus busker on saxophone and they discuss:

TheAgileRevolution-84 (25 minutes)

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Originally posted on The Agile Revolution:

GojkoAdzicGojko Adzic “does computers” which means he helps people deliver software and he caught up with Craig on a recent YOW! DepthFirst tour of Australia. Gojko is the author of numerous books including “Bridging The Communication Gap“, “Specification by Example“, “Impact Mapping” and “50 Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories“.

  • XP – started with “Extreme Programming Explained” which was really about developers ruling the world – XP is not dead, it won!
  • TDD has crossed the chasm to mainstream
  • Sturgeons Law – 90% of anything is going to be crap
  • Continuous integration and automation has opened up a world of possibilities
  • “Bridging the Communication Gap” – about finding ways to break dysfunctional processes in organisations
  • Agile Testing” by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory
  • The most valuable companies in the world are software companies
  • It’s more about the right people…

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Originally posted on The Agile Revolution:

name_col_sq_200Craig joins Darren Rogan, Ben Morgan and Leigh Appel in a special cross over episode with the Hack && Heckle Podcast to talk Agile and preview the upcoming YOW! conference that will be covered by both podcasts.

This episode has been released simulatenously as 088 The Heckle Revolution by Hack && Heckle.

Discussion points included:

TheAgileRevolution-82 (39 minutes)

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Originally posted on The Agile Revolution:

JustinHennessySitting in a sometimes noisy coffee shop on a unusually cold Brisbane day, Craig sits down for a chat with Justin Hennessy, a Scrum Master, Devops and System Administrator all rolled into one!

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Originally posted on The Agile Revolution:

Em Campbell-PrettyAt Agile Australia 2014 in Melbourne; Craig, Renee and Tony catch up with Em Campbell-Pretty to talk about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as well as Impact Mapping and a variety of other topics:

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My presentation from Scrum Australia 2014 called “40 Agile Methods in 40 Minutes” is available on Slideshare.

With 73% of the world using Scrum as their predominant Agile method, this session will open up your eyes to the many other Agile and edgy Agile methods and movements in the world today. For many, Agile is a toolbox of potential methods, practices and techniques, and like any good toolbox it is often more about using the right tool for the problem that will result in meaningful results.

Take a rapid journey into the world of methods like Mikado, Nonban, Vanguard and movements like Holacracy, Drive and Stoos where we will uncover 40 methods and movements in 40 minutes to help strengthen your toolbox.

Huge recognition to Renee Troughton who created the basis for this talk as part of her Enterprise Transformation Meta Model work.

Honoured to have Henrik Kniberg, Nick Muldoon and Adam Weisbart in the audience for this talk.

 

 

Lean MetricsAt this month’s Agile Brisbane meetup, Ben Starr presented on Lean Metrics. His talk was based on metrics that they tracked at his previous company on an operational support team. A couple of points from the talk:

  • used Kanban – work item types to allocate capacity and 3 levels of service (standard, coordinated, expedite)
  • JIRA was the tool but was not the most ideal choice and not really up to the task
  • reported by type on backlog, work in progress, throughput (number of work items not size), velocity (throughput and velocity were similar which showed average size), cycle time, class of service mix, due date performance, estimation accuracy, cancelled WIP (started and then cancelled work) and demand balancing (clearing out the backlog)
  • flow efficiency – percentage of time you work on an item versus in progress, also referred to as touch time – using time tracking in JIRA to do this
  • time allocation – value add, failure load (defects), transaction cost (overheads of planning and releasing), coordination cost (management), used percentage of time spent rather than actual hours

The one things that got me thinking during this presentation was the flow efficiency report.

Early on my journey of being an Iteration Manager, my teams used to track times per card. We used to use XPlanner which had some reasoanbly easy functionality for tracking time (one of the good features was as the Iteration Manager I could enter time for my team if needed, tools like JIRA require the developer to record that data if you want it assigned to that developer). We used to use thee metrics for comparing estimates to actuals but over time I came to the conclusion that we would be much better off just making sure that the cards were completing on time (an average of 3 times) and splitting cards out if they appeared to big.

Lately, a number of people in my Agile classes have been arguing that time track is beneficial. My usual response to this (like for all metrics) that it is OK if it adds value, but my recommendation is not to waste your time. Even more so, this opens up the estimation debate that I also believe that a lot of time should not be wasted on (#noestimates), but that is a discussion for another post. My main reasoning is often we need to track for other sources (like timesheets) in different systems, and the overhead does not justify the effort. If teams need time metrics (often to see if time is being wasted away from the core work of the team, say on production support or corporate meetings), I suggest they are done at a team level and rounded to the nearest hour, and collected as time not spent not on project work.

In the graph above, flow efficiency is a good way for showing waste in the system (in this example, the team could potentially be way more effcient), but it relied on the team tracking time (in this case using the time tracking feature in JIRA against each card). I really like it as a graph, I am just not sure the effort to produce it is justified.

Some discussion in the Q&A revolved around recording time tracking (or similar metrics) is OK if the team understands it is an incentive for better metrics, and I can’t disagree with that thought. Just in my experience as an Iteration Manager, getting reliable and timely time and effort metrics ha been painful and the reward outweighed the effort.

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