Thoughts on Infrastructructure, Technical Debt, and Automated Test Framework

I’ve had several conversations in email and with clients recently that have all been about this question: “What do we do about our infrastructure?” Either the project or the program has to create/update/upgraded their architecture or automated test infrastructure, pay down technical debt, or somehow do something that’s not part of a story.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Podcast about Transparency Posted

Tom Cagley interviewed me a few weeks ago on his Software Process and Measurement Cast. It’s posted now, as # 180.

When Tom interviews me, he makes me think. This is good. I would love to hear your comments about this one. We started with transparency and wove our way around to several topics. I even ranted about the craziness of individual raises and how that disturbs the system of working in teams.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Leanpub Podcast Up

A few weeks ago, Peter Armstrong interviewed me for Leanpub, to ask me why I enjoyed writing on Leanpub. That podcast is up now on the Leanpub Buzz page.

What’s very funny is that the interview is a few weeks old. I had no idea he was going to post it right after I wrote Dear Author. About 11 minutes in, I talk about the boring trap, the passive voice trap in my own writing. I think this is pretty funny.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Book Review: Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life

As a consultant, I want the flexibility to adapt my work to take advantage of opportunities that might arise in a given week–to write an article or blog post, or to propose a project to a new client.  And, while I try to plan a week’s worth work, I need the flexibility to adapt my work on the fly. I work in small chunks, finishing work. I like seeing completed work. I have a great sense of accomplishment when I see completed work.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Throughput or Productivity?

I’m tech-editing an article for the Agile Journal. I’m having a discussion with the author about the words “productivity” and “throughput.”

I believe that what we measure in agile teams is throughput, the number of features through the team over time. I don’t think we measure productivity, the number of features per person or per team over time.

In kanban, it’s quite clear. We measure throughput. To me, it’s clear in iterations, too. We measure throughput.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
How to Lose a Customer

Giving your clients the opportunity to voice their opinions after conducting business with you is a great way to express your interest in continuing to work with them. Just make sure you're earnest in hearing their thoughts and that you don't simply think this is accomplished with a survey alone.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
How to Manage the Hurly-Burly Hubbub of Change

Giving yourself, and your team, the necessary time to adapt to and move on from change is the healthiest way to make sure that everyone is back on the same page in a timely manner. Learn how to avoid prolonging the necessary time to "heal" by minimizing turbulence.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
photo whiteboard showing theme we needed to finish; right side is the new theme We're Agile

I always recommend to teams newly transitioning to agile that they keep every iteration the same length. This helps them learn to manage their time, and after a few iterations they'll start to get a rhythm. Hopefully, they'll learn to work incrementally, doing testing and coding concurrently as part of one development effort, so that user stories are finished throughout the iteration, and testing isn't pushed to the last day.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
How to Make People Feel (Un)Welcome

The age-old expression "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" is still true to this day. So often the way we greet people, or fail to greet them, sets an irreversible path of leaving others feel completely unwelcome, even if that wasn't the intention.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Four Frequent Feedback-Gathering Flaws

Giving your customers the opportunity to provide feedback is great, but only if you don't fall into one of the four traps that Naomi Karten describes in this article. Let your customers know that not only do you want their feedback, but that you'll actually use the important info they give you.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten


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