August 2008 Archives

Agile Portfolio Management

Last week, I finally received the new "Agile Portfolio Management" book, a book I was looking forward to reading. Organizational issues related to Agile are important since most people assume Agile development does not affect organizational issues, but nothing could be further from the truth. When adopting agile development in product development then every aspect of the organization will need to change to make the total organization more flexible. An overstatement? No. Don't forget that Agile development has few *new* ideas and combines a whole bunch of existing practices. If you dive in the existing practices like cross-functional teams, lean, self-organizing team, etc, then every single one of these will state that adopting these practices will have an organizational-wide effect. So the combination of these have an even larger organizational-wide effort--most practices in an organization will need to change.

So, I was excited about Jochen Krebs book on portfolio management, but found it a complete disappointment. I won't recommend anyone to read that. Just improved editing would have made the book already a lot better...

Anyways, I made an Amazon review here I'm happy with Jochens attempt and good that there is finally a book on this subject, though I think there is room for more insightful and more thorough books related to this.

Agile 2008 in Toronto


This week... I'm jetlagged. Because, last week I was in Toronto (which is 12h timezone difference from where I live) and joining the Agile2008 conference. It was an excellent conference. I had a lot of fun and it was so great meeting people whom I hadn't seen for a long time (living on the other side of the world as most people sometimes has its drawbacks).

What was best? I loved Jim McCarthy's talk on the core protocols. I've been following his work for a long time, but had never met him before. He is an excellent and funny speaker. Joshua Kerievsky has an excellent talk on transitioning with the best video on legacy code I've seen. I need to get that video from him :) Also his refactoring strategies was useful, especially the names he invented for different refactoring strategies. Clinton Keiths talk on games development was really good and well prepared. In enjoyed these sessions most.

What was worst? Alan Coopers keynote was beautiful, but the content made me sad. I had a hard time not walking out. He still keeps insisting to have four different phases for software development. It doesn't seem that he has any experience related to working in Agile product development. There was a session on enterprise agile metrics. I walked out on that one, it was simply not interesting. Michal Mah was the presenter.

I had 2 sessions myself. One related to feature teams and a TDD in C session. Both went well and it seemed people liked both. Especially the TDD in C had exceptional feedback with people thanking me and Michael for giving them a different view on development in C. I was also fun to see people struggle with the language.

But as with every conference, the best was meeting all people. A whole bunch of people from Japan, Korea and China, who I worked with in the past were all there. Also a whole lot of Finnish people, some Dutch and some other people I worked with in the past. Conferences like this one is the only chance for me to see them and catch up on what they are doing. It was a tiring week, but well worth it. I'm looking forward to next year... Chicago (same far away)

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