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Archive for 2010/01/19

Are you consistently bad?

We need to be consistent! We need to be reliable!

Aren’t that nice?

But then consider Sanjiv Augustine’s wonderful statement from APLN:

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(Source Jesse Fewell)

A team can be consistent and reliable and still deliver garbage. If you always deliver garbage, you’re pretty predictable, aren’t you? You can truly rely on them delivering garbage. Business as usual.

I have a childhood friend who works with a supplier who he really can count on. He can count on the system failing after each upgrade. He can rely on the support functionality not being able to fix his problems after the delivery and he can be sure to have a lot of angry users on his back. After each upgrade.

What bugs my friend the most is not the individual problems. It’s that no one seems to care that his company loses money every time they upgrade the system. He’s annoyed by that nothing gets better. He feels like the supplier sees the problems as normal. Well, they are since they are consistent, he laughs with panic in his voice when we talk after an upgrade.

I’ve told my friend that he should abandon the supplier, for his company’s sake but mostly for his own health’s sake. And this my recommendation: if you work with a supplier who sees garbage deliveries as the normal state, get out. And if the supplier thinks there are different problems each time and blames this and that, well that is no excuse. If the process consistently produces garbage, it does not matter if the garbage is of type A one day and B the other. It is obvious that the process allows the garbage.

If you instead work at that supplier, you should do something about it. The competition is hard out there and blaming this and that does not help. Look back at your latest deliveries and figure out how many critical errors your company has introduced to your users lately. And no, don’t blame the integrators or the installation guys or even the users. Look at the end product.

Are you proud or are you lining up arguments why you were not to blamed for these incidents?

Jesse Fewell have on his blog presented how Sanjiv Augustine has described his idea of an Agile PMO and how such a solution can fuel continuous improvement.

This is just one take on the problem and it’s handling. Because this is not a problem what can be solved, it’s something you need to work on all the time and on all levels. So what if you have 90% code coverage, work test driven, use scrum and have continuous integration? These are great tools among other tools but if you still work in the garbage spreading business what’s the use of you mixing the garbage with some fine wines?

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Categories: Agile, Business, lean, scrum, testing Tags:

Microsoft Project Tutorial part 28B – some explanations to the files

2010/01/19 8 comments

One aspect of the agile community which I love (or is it all software developers, or people, I don’t know) is the eagerness to share and help out. As I explained in a previous post, I have no file archive so you needed to e-mail me to get my sample Project files. But Jochem Bökkers volunteered to help me out. So, now you can download the files from here.

Well, the files are nothing special. In the file Project1, I just added the settings described in Tutorial Part 22. I’ve also created a number of sample files, showing how Project can be used through out the project.

Get back to be if you have questions and input!

Resource Planning

In this file, I have used the Resource Usage View. In the diagram (right side) I’ve changed the time scale to visualize weeks and changed so that also Baseline work is displayed. This means that I can compare my original plan (baseline work) with current plan (Work). In the left table, I’ve added the fields % Work Complete, Baseline Work, Actual Work and Work (planned). This is a view which can be used to see how resources are used and how we planned there were going to be used on a weekly basis.

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Time Reporting

In this file, I’ve used the Resource Usage view, changed the time scale to view weeks and changed the right side so it shows actual work. This means that time reporting can be done directly in the graph. On the left side I can also adjust Work (the planned work) and compare plan (work) with original plan (baseline work) and actual work.

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Follow Up

In this file I’ve used the Gantt chart but changed the diagram so it shows weeks (you can guess this is my favorite). I’ve made a split to the view so I can select and edit specific sprints. To the table, I’ve added some fields so I can track progress. In the example, I’ve also visualised a cut sprint and an added sprint. Sprint B was cut short and Sprint D was added. I can see the added sprint by it lacking Baseline values.

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Comparison

In this simple example, I’ve just added two versions of a project and I’ve used the Gantt chart but have some added columns (Cost & Work) which is useful to the customer.

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Project1

This is a simple template which uses my common settings for a new project. Note that I often change views (as can be seen in the other files) so you will have to customize your views after your needs.

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Categories: Microsoft Project