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Кен Швабер  Cross functional teams 2013-11-03
Scrum teams are cross functional. Every person on the team has skills and experience that they contribute, turning the requirements into the best possible increment possible for them. One never knows when an insight, a memory, a skill rarely used will come into play. That is the beauty of Scrum teams, the growing synergy of the unanticipated. Many have trouble setting aside the labels that have confined their participation. Labels such as “business analyst” in no way limit someone from knowing the endless loops are bad. People previously known as “quality assurance” often can see that architecture will be untestable, hence not viable. I was in a bar last week (don’t ask why) and saw someone similarly constrained. An office building was going up across the street. It was nearly complete, and had beautiful brickwork throughout. During its construction,, the construction workers stopped by the bar after work. They would share stories, discuss the odds for the Red Sox, and try to relieve some of their [...]
Кен Швабер  unSAFe at any speed 2013-08-06
The boys from RUP (Rational Unified Process) are back. Building on the profound failure of RUP, they are now pushing the Scaled Agile Framework (e) as a simple, one-size fits all approach to the agile organization. They have made their approach even more complicated by partnering with Rally, a tools vendor. Consultants are available to customize it for you, also just like RUP. They are touting their processes and tools this week at Agile 2013 in Nashville. They would be at the RUP conference, but there are none. They would be at a waterfall conference, but they are no longer. So they are at our conference. Strange, but they had nowhere else to go. Try to be polite. When the signers of the Agile Manifesto got together in 2001, we wanted to share our ideas about software development, a discussion that resulted in the Agile Manifeto. The very first tenet of it is: Individual and Interactions over Processes and Tools We wanted to undo the damage that waterfall had done to our profession, and we also hoped to [...]
Кен Швабер  Scrum Guide 2013 2013-06-11
Jeff and I have been working on the next revisions to the Scrum Guide. We will be presenting a webinar about it within a month or so. We first presented and published Scrum in 1995 at an OOPSLA conference in Tampa, Florida. Almost twenty years have passed. Agile and Scrum have succeeded far beyond our expectations. Actually, we never had expectations beyond using Scrum for ourselves, so anything more was easy. Between 1995 and the publication of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, Mike Beedle, Martine Devos, Mike Cohn, Deborah Stenner, Tonya Horton, Will Smith, and Alan Buffington all moved Scrum forward, using it and helping us refine it. After 2001, I started holding Scrum training classes, first called Scrum, then Scrum Master, then Certified Scrum Master classes. Some of the people in those classes had epiphanies. They wanted to help spread Scrum through training and consulting. Some of them (and certainly not all) are Jens Ostergaard, Bob Schatz, Clinton Keith, Boris Gloger, Kane Mar, Peter Borsella, Roman [...]
Кен Швабер  Agile Fad? 2013-06-11
At a recent conference, one speaker stated that the days of the agile movement are just about over. He said that the software industry has new fads every ten years, and agile was over ten years old. The Agile Manifesto was written to express shared values of people who saw a new way of developing software. We wrote them as “X over Y” to indicate that our values were “X”, but that “Y” still existed and in some cases could be useful. Kent Beck was much more explicit with the Extreme Programming values, which are Simplicity, Communication, Feedback, Respect, and Courage. I stated the Scrum values as Commitment, Courage, Respect, Openness, and Focus. Values are not fads. You have them and cherish them, or you don’t. I perceive that many in our industry will continue to build better and better software based on these values. [...]
Кен Швабер  Ken Schwaber and Gunther Verheyen Create a Collaborative Partnership 2013-04-05
Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum, and Gunther Verheyen have signed a collaborative partnership deal. The collaboration will be implemented within and covers the creative evolution of the Professional Scrum programs of Over the past 3 years Ken Schwaber and Gunther Verheyen have established a firm working relationship. They created and shared many ideas on Scrum, its promotion and utilization, and ways to improve the understanding of Scrum in the software industry. Ken and Gunther recently decided to tighten the relationship even more. As from June 2013, Gunther will join as Director of Professional Programs. Gunther will be Director of the Professional Programs, including the courseware and assessments for the PSD, PSM, PSF, and PSPO programs. He will also promote Scrum in Europe, contribute to the Enterprise Scrum program, and be an active member of Ken and Gunther express their profound belief that their highly collaborative partnership will be highly beneficial. [...]
Кен Швабер  Agile, ALM, and Agile 2.0 — Putting the Cart Before the Horse??? 2013-04-04
Imagine my surprise when Agile 2.0 was “announced” at the recent EclipseCon 2013 in Boston. Here I am thinking the simple tenets so clearly outlined in the The Agile Manifesto of 2001 have yet to be fulfilled by most software organizations more than a decade later. Sure, some organizations may comply in form, but not in true spirit or fact. And yet, there were eager consultants on hand ready to shrink wrap the “next and better” version of Agile, Agile 2.0. Speaking of selling chickens still in shells, an august panel of industry giants laid out their recent improvements and plans for ALM products (Application Lifecycle Management, for those not in the know). These guys dazzled the audience with how they’ve moved far beyond simple source code repositories and testing tools to a complete integration of all modern software practices. Quite a coup, indeed, since most real live software developers I’m seeing out there today still aren’t using the practices automated by the ALM tools. Jeffery [...]
Кен Швабер  Back from Sabbatical 2013-02-28
I recently returned from a short sabbatical, the purpose of which was to recharge my batteries, refresh my mind, and ponder my goals. Some of my friends asked me if the sabbatical was the first step toward retirement. I told them that I wasn’t going to retire until I was done meeting my goal of improving the profession of software development. We live in a complex society where software is increasingly used to improve efficiency and create connectivity. Thanks to built-in software, John Deere tractors, that iconic symbol of the working farm, don’t need a farmer in them anymore. Software, as the last scalable solution to many complex problems, holds great promise—as long as it works. After my return, I was at a meeting with fifteen of the most skilled software developers I know. At one point in the discussions the developers were disagreeing about the definition of a unit test. Opinions of exactly what a unit test is ranged from a test of a unit of code, to tests of functionality. As I listened to the [...]
Кен Швабер  Scrum and Continuous Improvement 2012-10-05
Organizations usually don’t adopt Scrum because they like its name. Instead, they have heard that software development is better if they use Scrum – quicker, cheaper, higher quality, more satisfied customers and employees. Sometimes things are so bad in software development that they try Scrum just because it wasn’t what they were doing before. However, adopting Scrum, becoming more agile and improving software development, costs money. It requires training, tooling, coaching. These are all investments. Scrum does not come with a set of tools for managing these investments, measuring the resultant benefits, and optimizing return on investment. For the last several years, I’ve been developing a framework for managing this investment. It is called the Continuous Improvement Framework (CIF, yes, another acronym). CIF provides a set of management tools for continuously improving an organization and becoming more agile. Your agility is measured by metrics that reflect business value. The value of these [...]
Кен Швабер  What Comes After Scrum? 2012-10-05
Scrum is not the be-all and end-all process for software and product development. As many of you have noticed, it is barely a process, only a framework. You have to provide all the development, management, product management, and people practices. So, what does Scrum provide? It provides a labeled- environment within which complex development can be successfully managed (where the unknown is greater than the known). Scrum provides containers that allow teams to focus on one aspect of a complex problem  at a time. The containers are short-time boxes so that risk can be managed. Scrum can be replaced or superseded by anything that also supports its underlying principles: 1. Self-organization – people doing complex work are much more effective organizing themselves and the work than someone who isn’t doing the work. 2. Bottom-up intelligence – figuring out how to do work is a management activity best performed by the people doing the work, since the work is unpredictable, with many twists and turns. 3. [...]
Кен Швабер  Culture Change: A new viewpoint 2012-09-23
I read an idea about culture change that is different. “if you need to change an entire culture, here’s a tip: don’t be too idealistic about human nature.” The article, in the Sunday 23 Boston Globe ( posits that people don’t change because you appeal to their better side, or that you convincingly show them a more effective way of working or being. They respond because they believe that everyone else is doing it, and that they are out of step. The article says, “What researchers have found is that … to really change how a group of people thinks and behaves, it turns out, you don’t need to change what’s inside of them, or appeal to their inner sense of virtue. You just have to convince them that everybody else is doing it.” ” There is something a bit circular about the idea that we change people’s behavior by tweaking their perceptions about the behavior of others. It’s a self-reinforcing process: the more people [...]
Кен Швабер  I Have a Question 2012-08-04
I have a question!! “I have a team that won’t self-organize.” “ My team always selects more PBIs than they can do. The members say that the software is too complex and corrupt to finish anything.” “My Product Owner isn’t engaged.” What do I do?? In my Scrum classes, I ground everyone in the theory and first principles of Scrum. Why does it work? What is a complex problem? Why is short-cycle development necessary for controlling risk? What is transparency? Then the members of the class work in teams. Case studies are given to them, starting with a context, and then the problem. The teams are asked what they would do. They work together, bringing their experience to bear, to come up with a solution. The solution is a result of their projections of their experiences onto the problem that I gave them. Unfortunately, we are not in a live situation. They will not get to apply their problem and see if it works. They won’t be able to adjust the solution, bit by bit, empirically to continuously [...]
Кен Швабер  Self-organization and our belief that we are in charge 2012-07-25
The Scrum Master only has the authority to ensure that the Scrum Team follows the rules of Scrum. If not immediately compliant, then working toward compliance increasingly and consistently (for instance, transparency of the increment surpasses most development teams skills and tooling initially). The Scrum Master has not authority to tell the development team or the product owner what to do their job. The Scrum Master can coach, teach, establish learning situations, enter Socratic dialogue, and parent. However, they weren’t given the authority to manage the other members of the Scrum Team. Some people on the Scrum Team learn by failing, trying again, and failing. Some are terrified of failing and need some prompting, some more coaching, some guidance. But they have to learn. Otherwise, they will always be dependent on the Scrum Master.   I pose the following question to Scrum Masters: “What is the best way to organize 100 developers into Scrum Teams and ensure that they select the correct [...]
Кен Швабер  Waste Not 2012-05-25
Waste impedes agility. It not only slows progress, but it robs money that could otherwise go to creating value. I was considering waste in light of the notions of velocity and capacity. Some Scrum users try to predict the outcome of the upcoming Sprint using velocity, the amount of work or PBIs they predict can be done. One practice used to calculate this velocity is to inspect past velocities and study upcoming team capacity. I wonder, though. When we start a project or a release, of course we have a general scope, a projected cost, and a probable date. We then move forward, Sprint by Sprint, adjusting our plans to the realities we encounter. We may go faster or slower than expected. We may encounter new opportunities or challenges. We may find that some of what we planned is of lower value than newly emerging requirements. Let postulate that we ignore velocity and capacity entirely. At the Sprint Planning meeting, the Development Team selects some Product Backlog items and establish a goal. As the Sprint [...]
Кен Швабер  Scrum But Replaced by Scrum And 2012-04-05
Five years ago, the term, “Scrum-But” became popular. This phrase pointed out the gap between just using Scrum-and building great products with Scrum. I would ask someone if they were using Scrum. They would respond, “We use Scrum, but we can’t always complete all the regression testing within a Sprint, so we often have regression testing spill over into the next Sprint.” Or, they might say, “Yes, we use Scrum, but we are a dispersed team, so we have the Daily Scrum whenever it works best, and often that is only several times a week.” I’d like to change this phrase from Scrum But to Scrum And.  The new wording might be, “We use Scrum and we are continuously building, testing and deploying our increments every Sprint,” or “We use Scrum and we are collaborating and brainstorming within the Scrum Team to increase Value every Sprint.” We are developing a Scrum-And framework  At the most basic level, the question is: Are you using Scrum or not (as defined in the Scrum Guide [...]
Кен Швабер  New Book: Software in Thirty Days 2012-03-28
Software In Thirty Days (or less) Jeff Sutherland and I have done it. We wrote a book together, our first joint writing since the initial publication of Scrum in 1995. What prompted us? The question that we frequently are asked: How do we sell Scrum to our management? I’ve always been puzzled by this question. Why would you have to sell more predictability, productivity, quality, value, risk control, satisfied customers, engaged employees, and less waste to anyone in management? However, I talked with Jeff and we figured that where there was smoke, there must be fire. We spent the last half of 2011 writing the book. Any manager, from top to bottom, can easily pick up and read this book. They can quickly understand why they have been plagued by software problems. They can then rapidly move from understanding to solution. Software in Thirty Days is a quick read. The result will be an engaged manager, wherever the potential exists. In the book, we let managers know that there is no reason why they cannot get [...]
Кен Швабер  The First CSM’s 2012-02-10
Many people claim to have been at the first Scrum Master class that I taught in May, 2003. Here is a picture of the class and list of people there. Ken [...]
Кен Швабер  I was thinking … 2012-01-02
I was thinking about New Year Resolutions. I thought about resolving to be a more friendly, warm, compassionate, conciliatory, moderate, and compromising person.  My thinking was prompted by a recent email, that informed me:  “After all these years, of hearing people talking about you, I defended you.  I tried to appease them … maybe as they said you were egotistical, ungrateful, tyrannical, closed-minded, anti-social, destructive and selfish, maybe they had a reason to say all of this.”  The more I thought about this, the more I realized that my characteristics that are so obnoxious to so many people are the traits that have helped Scrum succeed (along with all of your efforts). If I were conciliatory and all those other things, Scrum might have become EssUpScrum, ScrumFall, Murcs, Scrum-Z, ScrumBan and all the other watered down adaptations that have been been suggested and pushed.  So I decided that I will follow my New Year’s resolution for today only. This is your chance. After this, I will [...]
Кен Швабер  Happy Holidays 2011-12-25
Jeff Sutherland and I were thinking about what we could give to the Scrum community this holiday season. It occurred to us that a recurring question posed to us is, “How do I sell Scrum to management?” To help everyone with this issue, Jeff Sutherland and I have written a book, “Software in Thirty Days.”  that will be published by Wiley Publishing in April, 2012.  If you want to tell your management about Scrum, put it on their desk. From the foreword: This book is for leaders within organizations that depend on software for their survival and competitiveness. It is for leaders within organizations that can benefit from developing software rapidly, incrementally, and with the best return on investment possible. It is for leaders who face business and technological complexity that has made the delivery of software difficult. We have written this book so that these leaders can help their organizations achieve these goals, enhance their internal capabilities, improve their product offerings, and [...]
Кен Швабер  Happy New Year 2011-12-24
Another year has passed. As an industry, we’ve done better. Our customers are more satisfied. One industry source reports that projects using agile practices are three times more successful than traditional, waterfall projects*. Success was defined as delivering all of the planned functionality on the planned date for the planned cost. Much of the success of Agile and Scrum comes from delivering only the most valuable functionality earlier for a lower cost, so 3x may be an understatement. I thoroughly appreciate all of the work everyone in the Scrum community and the wider Agile community has made to improve our profession. The insights that have moved us forward from the failures of the past are a good starting point, but only the courage, good will, and hard work of the last ten years have moved us forward. Look back, and take heart at what we have accomplished, together. Our insights and determination have been greater than our differences. For the New Year, I propose a toast to the next ten years, as we [...]
Кен Швабер  Scrum is, Scrum is not 2011-08-12
Scrum is a framework. You can use it to manage lots of things, including complex product development. Scrum is defined in the Scrum Guide and consists of roles, events, and artifacts, and a set of rules that bind them together. It is based in empirical process control and bottom-up thinking. The latest Scrum Guide was just released by me and Jeff, and is posted on Some things like release planning, sprint tasks, and burndowns were removed from the formal definition of Scrum. They were removed because they weren’t Scrum. Are they useful? Absolutely! But it became apparent that these weren’t Scrum when people proposed other techniques that were equally effective. We certainly don’t want people to feel restricted or constrained from other effective practices if they use Scrum. You should feel free to continue to use burndowns (Sprint and Release), to do release planning, and to commit. Do anything that works within the Scrum framework and aids you in doing your work, building complex [...]
Кен Швабер  Microsoft and Scrum 2011-07-18
I read a recent entry from Brian Harry’s blog on the next Visual Studio release, with a Scrum template and tool support. Brian is Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server and a Microsoft Technical Fellow. He also led the charge to use Scrum throughout TFS and has been instrumental in the inclusion of Scrum on VS 2010. However, in his blog he has misinterpreted or misunderstood some key Scrum and Agile concepts. Many people do the same, but Brian’s influence is widespread and seen in the implementation of Microsoft products. I feel a need to address these conceptual flaws. I’ve been nervous for a while about how well people would understand self-organizing Scrum Teams and the development teams within. Our tendency and tooling from waterfall and predictive processes is to view people as assignable, parsed, optimized resources. This works great if you are running a factory line and people are doing simple work. It really sucks if you are trying to do creative, complex work where there are many [...]
Кен Швабер  Software Development: A Profession 2011-05-26
We often refer to ourselves as professionals. The intermediate level assessment for Scrum Masters asks, “Do you view software development as a profession?” Resoundingly, the answer is “yes.” Many reasons are given, mostly focusing around our techniques, the titles of the various skill sets, and the criticality of the applications that we build. Our customers count on us. But, I was less than convinced. If we were a profession, how could I tell if one person was acting professionally, and another was not? What was an unprofessional act? Something that was not transparent? Cutting quality? Not refactoring design when enhancements were added? I struggled with the question. I link to some discussion of professions from Wikipedia below. If these criteria were applied to people selling their services as software developers, then I would have a minimum expectation. I could expect that they were educated in a certain curricula, had apprenticed with an accepted professional somehow, and had passed an initial [...]
Кен Швабер  Empiricism, the act of making decisions based on what is 2011-05-03
Empiricism is the act of making decisions based on what is. Scrum is an empirical process, sometimes described as “the art of the possible.” By this, I mean that we do the best we can with what we have. A Product Owner plans a release based on all current information. He or she lays out the goals, the features and capabilities that will deliver those goals, and the probable cost and date of delivery. From that point on, the Product Owner’s job is to assess what is possible given the Team’s capabilities, and to make the best decisions to reach the desired goal. Given the nature of technology, markets, requirements, and people, trade-offs are made. Sometimes the goal cannot be reached for a reasonable price. Sometimes the goal will be reached, but in a way different from what the Product Owner initially intended. This is empiricism in action. The Team (of developers) on the Scrum Team does the same. It meets with the Product Owner and assesses what the Product Owner views as the most important things to [...]
Мартин Фаулер  photostream 4 2011-05-02
Kumarakom, Kerala [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Bliki: RuleOfTincture 2011-05-02
PowerPoint wasn't invented in the Middle-Ages, when knights rushed around battlefields in full armor. But the slide decks of today share a common characteristic with those knights of old. Both need to be able to clearly distinguish symbols from a distance. We may not have mud and dust, but many projectors aren't all that great at contrast. To help medieval knights tell friend from foe, they emblazoned their symbols on themselves, but these symbols needed to be clear. As a result when you're creating heraldric arms, you need to follow the Rule of Tincture - and it's a handy rule for your PowerPoint too. The colors you use in heraldry are divided into two classes: metals and colors. In the basic heraldric system there are two metals: white (silver) and yellow (gold). Everything else is a color. The rule of tincture says that you cannot put a metal on a metal, or a color on a color. Applying that now, it means that if you have a blue (color) square, any text you put on it should be [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Bliki: CrossPlatformMobile 2011-04-29
With the rise of so many mobile platforms, each with a different UI, many people are looking at cross-platform toolkits. These allow you to write a mobile app once and then deploy it to a range of mobile devices. Are these toolkits worth using? A cross-platform toolkit is alluring. There are a bunch of mobile devices out there, and it's a lot of work to write applications for every one. It would be so much easier if we could write once and run anywhere. Of course we've been here before, with desktop applications. Over the years there were lots of attempts to create cross-platform environments for desktops. Java is perhaps the best known, but it was neither the best nor the first (ask Smalltalkers to tell you about VisualWorks). But you may notice that cross-platform apps have, on the whole, not been successful. [1][2] The first issue is handling the variations between UI controls on different platforms. You have two broad strategies: you can either use native components on each [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Signature Series 40% off until May 15 2011-04-28
It’s been going on for a bit, but I’ve been tardy in letting people know. Addison-Wesley are currently having a promotion on signature series books. You get 40% off if you buy through informIT and buy at least two books in any of the series (ie mine, Kent’s or Mike’s). [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Bliki: UmlAsNotes 2011-04-28
Yesterday I was poking around a code base, looking at the domain model part of the code. When exploring a code base, I like to take notes to help me remember what I'm learning. For some code bases, in particular domain models, I find it handy to sketch UML class diagrams. UML has got rather out of fashion it seems. Although this isn't good for me financially, I can't say I'm displeased to see a lot of rather dodgy UMLisms going away. I continue to find it a useful tool, as I did that morning. As I worked my way around the code I would jot down classes and relationships, to see how the various classes played together. I don't use "reverse-engineering" tools for this. Such tools run on your code base and automatically generate the class diagram. Although this is quite straight-forward to do technically, the result is rather useless. For me the value of a good diagram is that it highlights the important stuff, and ignores what's not. So I don't draw every class, let alone every [...]
Кен Швабер  Agility and PMI 2011-04-25
The Project Management Institute has recently made announcements about its program to incorporate agility into its project management program.  I of course welcome this and look forward to PMI shifting from its previous approach to an agile approach. The test of this will be, of course, the success of the projects that adhere to its principles. In the past, the success (or yield) of their predictive approach has been less than 50% of projects (on time, on date, with the desired functionality.) Most agile methods have a much higher success rate, including the success in cancelling low return on investment projects early. We will watch and see if those that employ PMI’s agile approach enjoy such success, or at least an improvement on the 50% mark1,2,3. PMI in the past has embraced the predictive, mechanistic approach to project management. This was first espoused by Frederick Taylor in “Principles of Scientific Management,” which was the basis of the Ford Model T assembly line. It is an approach for [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Bliki: LawOfDemos 2011-04-24
The chances of a demo going wrong are directly proportional to the importance of the audience. Not just is this clearly true, it also provides something of a sop when you explain it after everything has gone pear-shaped. It applies both the chances of something going wrong at all and the severity of the problem. [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Adding photos to my feed 2011-04-23
You may have noticed some photos cropping up in my news feed. Like many geeks I indulge in photography. So far this has been a harmless personal diversion, but I’ve reached the point where I’m feeling a desire to share some of my photos with the Internet - just in case we have a shortage. So you’ll see photos appear in my photostream from time to time. I intend to post no more than one or two a week. [...]
Мартин Фаулер  photostream 3 2011-04-23
Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy [...]
Мартин Фаулер  photostream 2 2011-04-23
Charlestown, MA [...]
Мартин Фаулер  photostream 1 2011-04-23
401 Trail, Crested Butte, CO [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Bliki: UniformAccessPrinciple 2011-04-20
All services offered by a module should be available through a uniform notation, which does not betray whether they are implemented through storage or through computation. -- Bertrand Meyer Bertrand Meyer coined this principle in his highly-influential book Object-Oriented Software Construction.[1] The essential point of the principle is that if you have a person object and you ask it for its age, you should use the same notation whether the age is a stored field of the object or a computed value. It effectively means that a client of the person should neither know nor care whether the age is stored or computed. This gives the person object the flexibility to change between the two easily as well as removing what is usually an unnecessary concern from the client. It's an important part of encapsulation - or at least the data-hiding aspect of encapsulation. Although it's a fundamental feature of object-oriented programming, remarkably few OO languages really follow it. (Eiffel is naturally [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Going Beyond Curly Braces 2011-04-19
On my long flight down to Australia recently I dug into a copy of Seven Languages in Seven Weeks. I spent less than seven hours on it, but found it a worthwhile read. He takes a lightening tour through seven languages. It’s not enough to go into much depth on any them, but it is enough to get a rough feel what’s interesting about them. I’d particularly recommend it if you are just starting to explore beyond the curly-brace languages that dominate so much of current programming. One thing I particularly appreciate about pragprog books is that you get access to electronic versions in multiple formats. This book worked very well on the Kindle, despite the small screen. [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Bliki: SavannahCharleston 2011-04-14
We recently spend a week on vacation in the southern cities of Savannah and Charleston. I'd heard good things about both cities in terms of their beauty and historic interest - and I can confirm those good things. Both are well worth a couple days of wandering around. Early April is a good time to go. It was nicely warm without being too hot and the azaleas were in full bloom. Sadly we were a week or so too early for the jasmine. The two cities have a quite different atmosphere. Savannah reveled in quiet squares under canopies of live oak and spanish moss; Charleston felt more open. So they made a good contrast for a one week trip. For accommodation we arranged a couple of houses to rent from VRBO. Both houses worked out really well and we'll consider doing something like this again. I spend too much of my life in hotels. It seems mandatory to read The Book before you go to Savannah. We were told that The Film of The Book wasn't very good, but since our [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Article on Non-Determinism in Tests 2011-04-14
In conversations with project teams, I’ve heard a lot about problems with flaky, unreliable tests. These non-deterministic tests are a serious problem with testing efforts. So I’ve written an article that talks about how to deal with these non-determinisms, discussing how to cope with some common causes: lack of isolation, asynchronous behavior, remote services, time, and resource leaks. [...]
Кен Швабер  Scrum Fails? 2011-04-07
Last night an old friend from the Scrum Alliance told me that I’m being quoted as saying that only 30% of all teams and organizations that use Scrum will be successful. I pondered this. I didn’t remember having said this. Perhaps this was an evolution of my having said that only 30% of all teams or organizations that use Scrum will become excellent development organizations. That fits with my memory. Scrum is like chess. You either play it as its rules state, or you don’t. Scrum and chess do not fail or succeed. They are either played, or not. Those who play both games and keep practicing may become very good at playing the games. In the case of chess, they may become Grand Masters. In the case of Scrum, they may become outstanding development organizations, cherished by their customers, loved by their users, and feared by their competitors. Scrum appears to have “crossed the chasm,” as Geoffrey Moore described. Scrum is now more mainstream than radical. Scrum is sometimes more a fad than a serious [...]
Кен Швабер  PSPO II 2011-04-05
We’ve conducted four Product Owner courses at These are the new courses. They are aimed at teaching a customer, product manager, or any manager how to be Agile. Scrum is a tool that they use with the development organization and their Scrum teams, but their responsibilities go beyond that. They are responsible for markets, prospects, customers and the rest of the business organization.  I had a feeling that the old Product Owner course that I initiated in 2004 was too much from the developer’s point of view. It posited, what can the person in the Product Owner’s role do for the developers? Two Product Owner assessments are available. The first, PSPO I, is multiple-choice. It tests if the person taking the assessment knows Scrum and the role of the Product Owner. The second, PSPO II, is essay and multiple-choice. It tests if the person thinks like a Product Owner and knows how to create business agility. The results are starting to flow in. Most people do well on the PSPO I assessment. [...]
Мартин Фаулер  Bliki: AgileSignatory 2011-03-29
From time to time I get introduced as a "signatory of the Agile Manifesto". Usually what they mean is that I'm an author of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, and thus one of its initial signatories. But actually there are many more signatories than the 17 authors, when I last looked the count was up to 10,104. If you're so inclined you may join that list. After the Snowbird weekend Ward put up a web-site for the manifesto, at that point he suggested We've already been asked to accept more signatures. I'd be willing to supervise (audit) the collection of names through the site. These could become a third page of the site. I would probably collect them until we had dozens or even hundreds of names. Ward put the original manifesto page up in late Februrary, shortly after the snowbird meeting, hosted on his own server - the same one that ran the original wiki. It was at the URL, which Ward later donated to the agile alliance using for [...]
Кен Швабер  Major Releases Are A Failure 2011-03-23
Three Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) courses have been conducted.  They have been like water to the thirsty. The PSPO program fills a huge hole in the Scrum training market. To date, Agile and Scrum have mostly been about the development community. They have not addressed business and competitive agility. Yes, we talk the benefits. But until now we hadn’t demonstrated how to use Agile and Scrum to drive value for a business. This new course starts with value: what is it and what are its key performance indicators in system and product management. We look at value streams and identify non-value or value-limiting operations. These streams start with sales and marketing strategies, travel through market analysis, stakeholder management, and release planning, and end with implementing and support software at customer sites. We discuss how agility can be achieved by removing these limiting operations and enhancing processes at all stages. We focus on arranging requirements into agile, functional [...]
Кен Швабер  Planning Poker 2011-03-11
I’ve been using Extreme Programming Planning Poker since James Grenning showed it to me in 2003. Much has been written about it, how to use it, and how it quickly leads to estimates as good as any other more detailed and time-consuming techniques. I like it when something I use works. I like it even more when I can point to nature or science for the underlying principles of why it works. The sequence of numbers that planning poker is based on came from the Fibonacci set: “By definition, the first two Fibonacci numbers are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two. Some sources omit the initial 0, instead beginning the sequence with two 1s. In mathematical terms, the sequence Fn of Fibonacci numbers is defined by the recurrence relation Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2 with seed values F0 = 0 and F1 = 1 Wikipedia This ties back to nature, such as the relative size between the whorls in a nautilus shell, and the golden ratio derived from the summation of the inverse of the set: where Source: [...]
Кен Швабер  Product Owners not proxies 2011-01-31
All too often, product managers opt out of being a Product Owner. They conspire for a business or product analyst being a “proxy” product owner. Of course, since most of the books and courses regarding the Product Owner have him/her as an appendage to the Scrum Team. All he/she has to do is write user stories and play planning poker, with INVEST. These manifestations of Product Owner come from developers defining what a Product Owner is. Scrum does not define how to use the Product Backlog, or what the Product Owner should do. Yet, I do know that someone who is writing perfect user stories is not using Scrum to optimize the job of product management. They have become a business analyst, a requirements engineer. Delegation of product owner responsibilities continues the deep divide between development and its customers. My concept of the Scrum Master was that they were going to bridge the divide. The Scrum Master would to teach the business how to be agile by fulfilling the role of the Product [...]
Кен Швабер  Happy New Year 2011-01-11
Just over a year ago I started And wow, what a year it has been! I did so because I wanted to pursue some initiatives that I hadn’t been able to previously. First, I wanted to retain the formal definition of Scrum that Jeff and I had built.  Without that, methodology wars were likely. Second, I wanted to help people figure out how to use Scrum. We now have five employees and ninety associated trainers and coaches that help do so, worldwide. I’ll blog more about each of these later, so bear with me for the summarizations. Over the last year we ( Formalized Scrum in the Scrum Guide at There are more than twenty translations available or in progress. I’ll be providing an update in the first half of 2011. Oriented ourselves and our programs around professionalism, which has been reflected in the program names.  This is a core message we will continue to deliver this year. Introduced rigorous assessments to give people the opportunity to test their [...]
Кент Бек  A Few Tips for Using Saros for Remote Pairing 2010-11-19
Saros (pronounced “zar-ose”, btw) is a set of extensions to Eclipse to support real-time collaboration. It is a research prototype at the moment, and as such has some rough edges. In 15 or 20 years, most programs will be written through real-time collaboration, so for me it’s worth a bit of pain today to experience [...]
Кент Бек  TDD is Kanban for Code 2010-11-09
The other night Cynthia and I were having drinks in the Tower Bar of the Hotel Hafen in Hamburg (highly recommend for the view if not the service) with Henning Wolf and Arne Roock of it-agile when I casually mentioned that test-driven development was kanban for code. Arne teaches kanban but the connection wasn’t obvious [...]
Кент Бек  Decisions that go into implementing Stack 2010-11-05
As part of a recent advanced TDD course, we took a careful look at a simple stack implementation TDD-style. Here are the decisions that went into designing and implementing the stack. First, the specification decisions: Stack is an object Name is “Stack” There is an operation to add an element It is called “push” It [...]
Кент Бек  Minimum Viable Product revisited 2010-10-28
I wrote the following in response to a question about the Lean Startup practice of Minimum Viable Product. The straightforward interpretation of MVP is a product that is built to gain feedback rather than built to maximize sales. I find it helpful to extend the idea. Here’s my interpretation: “Minimum” is a reminder to invest [...]
Кент Бек  Why Accelerate Deployment? 2010-10-26
The premise of my recent Software G Forces talk is that deployment cycles are shrinking, and that what constitutes effective software development at one cycle (say annual deployments) can be fatal at another (like daily deployment). Each transition–annual->quarterly->monthly->weekly->daily->hourly–requires a different approach to development. Everyone can find their current deployment cycle in the sequence above and [...]
Кен Швабер  Methodology Façade Pattern 2010-10-20
While I was working at Intuit, a developer asked me what was next, after Scrum. He related that Intuit had built its own waterfall methodology. Then Inuit bought a commercial methodology. Then it moved to RUP. Then it built its own Agile process. Inuit was now using Scrum. What did I think that Intuit would use next? I pointed out that what Intuit used next did not matter. The point of Scrum was to become a world-class engineering organization, not a consumer of methodologies and processes. If Intuit didn’t improve its software development practices, it actually didn’t matter what methodology it used next. I’ve noticed that many developers and managers view Scrum as the next methodology to endure. While enduring Scrum, they continue doing the same things they always have done, just to get the job done. People often don’t view Scrum as a tool they can use to become Agile. They view Scrum as another methodology that they have to layer over their real, unchanging work. Getting a release out the door is [...]
Кент Бек  Tech Podcasts 2010-10-09
The0retico asked for a list of my favorite tech-oriented podcasts. Since I listen every day while I do farm chores, I have ample time. Here is my list (oh, the picture above is my quintessential geek picture, from an outstanding, but non-tech-related, book): Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders — Guest speakers to Steve Blank’s entrepreneurship class at [...]
Кент Бек  The Economic Case for JUnit Max 2010-09-13
In preparing to relaunch JUnit Max, I’ve been try to articulate exactly why it is worth the price. I’m still conflicted about charging for Max, although realistically if I had no chance to be paid for it I couldn’t afford to work on it. If I’m going to charge money, though, I’d like to know [...]
Кент Бек  CD Survey: What practices do developers use? 2010-07-09
The survey I’ve been writing about (raw results here) was intended to give us speakers at the continuous deployment webinar (Timothy Fitz, Jez Humble, and myself) some background on the attendees. I’ve saved the best (most informative) question for last: what practices do attendees use in software development. Here is the data: Some thoughts: Business-based [...]
Кент Бек  CD Survey: How often do you commit code changes to the shared repository? 2010-07-07
Today’s question is, “How often do you commit code changes to the shared repository?” One of the essential practices of continuous deployment is that everyone stays very close to the mainline, typically by checking progress into HEAD frequently. This requires developers to be careful to only make changes that are safe and to only reveal [...]
Кент Бек  CD Survey: How often do you run unit tests? 2010-07-06
Running functional tests generally takes longer than running unit tests, so as expected, most people run unit tests more frequently than they run functional tests: I was a bit surprised at how many people are running tests on every change, but that’s good news for JUnit Max, which shaves seconds off the delay waiting for [...]