Author: Kevin McNamee

The goal of the Agile coach

Agile teams often use velocity as a metric to measure the team’s performance. This is a measure of the throughput of the team, how fast they are at delivering stuff. But this metric alone cannot be used to determine if the team are making customers happier or helping the company to make money. To illustrate…

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Technical debt vs. Maintenance debt

Agile software development is about adapting to change, about continuously learning what the customer wants. The team breaks down the solution into small pieces, delivering working software in every iteration that the customer can evaluate and give feedback on. In order to be able to learn faster, the initial releases may sacrifice best practice (in…

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An introduction to Agile

In this article I will discuss how to get started with Agile in the most hands-on way possible, with no discussion of frameworks and methodologies. I believe it is important to understand the essence of Agile first, as it is easy to be overwhelmed with all of the techniques and tools that have evolved from…

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The Agile factory

In the book The Phoenix Project there is a part where Bill is discussing lead times with Wes and Patty. Even though a certain task only takes 30 seconds, the lead time is still hours due to the time spent waiting for a resource to become available (Brent). Bill draws a graph to demonstrate the…

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Integration bloat

Integration platforms create a useful abstraction layer and are a prerequisite for building a Service Oriented Architecture. The integration platform is often the domain of an “Integration team” which may reside in-house or be out-sourced. When building new services, one of the first things that has to be done is to create the service specification,…

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The Delivery Storyboard

Storyboarding, or user story mapping, as described by Jeff Patton, is a central part of our Agile development process. We use it whenever we are doing feature discovery and it helps us structure our ideas without constraining the discussion. A lot of what we do involves integrations with other team’s deliveries, usually two or more…

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A place in Wikipedia

For years I have been reading and writing in Wikipedia. Some time ago I created a page for my home village Kilcloon. Village, or parish or maybe census town? I revisited the Wikipedia article numerous times and was keen to expand it. During my research about the history of Kilcloon it became obvious that Kilcloon…

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Scalable Observer Pattern

When developers talk about publish-subscribe design patterns I immediately think of the newspaper analogy. As described in Head First Design Patterns: A newspaper goes into business and begins publishing newspapers. You subscribe to a particular publisher, and every time there’s a new edition it gets delivered to you. As long as you remain a subscriber…

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