Better Software Magazine Articles

Feel the Burn: Getting the Most Out of Burn Charts

Burn-down charts have become a popular project artifact, but too often, people accept the default chart from whatever project management tool they're using. What choices can we make about the chart format and scale that will help us create charts that answer the questions that are really important to us? And when the chart looks "funny," what could it possible mean?

George Dinwiddie's picture George Dinwiddie
Debunking Myths of Agile Development

Agile methods have made their way to the software mainstream in the last few years. As more organizations turn to agile development, its definition often gets obscured. Learn the facts behind five common agile myths, as Robert Holler attempts to dispel these misconceptions.

Robert Holler

Conference Presentations

Meaningful Metrics for Agile Teams and Organizations

The old adage “If you can measure it, you can manage it” also implies that meaningless metrics lead to meaningless management and harmful metrics lead to harmful management. When agile methods encounter metrics that were designed-and have organizational credibility-for non-agile processes and practices, the potential for harm is great. Niel Nickolaisen shares case studies and examples to describe the principles of meaningful-and meaningless or harmful-agile metrics. Meaningful metrics favor accomplishment over activity, measure processes rather than people, communicate clearly, and adjust to fit changing conditions. Filtering our agile metrics through these principles yields dramatic improvements in how we manage and deliver projects and services. For example, what positive and negative behaviors do burndown charts drive?

Niel Nickolaisen, Energy Solutions

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