Goal, Goal, Who’s Got the Goal?

“If you don’t know where you are going, you probably won’t get there.” – Yogi Berra The pager tones sounded at 2 AM. It blared “Squad 86, car accident with personal injuries on Highway 268 west of Pilot Mountain.” I don’t know how much research went into the tones, but when they sound, they can […]

Why Agile Works

Someone once asked me, “Don, what does even the wisest person overlook?” The answer was “his nose.” You can see your nose if you focus, but you generally don’t bother. You assume it’s there. Likewise, as I have gained experience in software development, I have learned that explicitly stating my assumptions keeps me from overlooking […]

No Group Is a Team on Day One

The agile training class for a newly formed team was almost complete. We’d covered values, practices, roles, the product backlog, done simulations teaching the Scrum process and I could see the end of  training. A little team building activity, and we could start tomorrow with building the backlog, story sizing, then start the first sprint.  Forging ahead, the team […]

Why Not Ask Why?

It all started with a tweet I posted: “Why” questions trigger feelings bypassing data input and thinking. #dontdothat As this got retweeted, interesting questions started coming my way: What about the Five Whys? Do you have data? What is your context? All good questions. “Why” questions have the ability to both gather data and to […]

The Identified Patient Pattern

Engelbert frowned, trying to understand why Pamela had been acting strangely. Her programming skills were among the best in the company. She had a way of getting things completed. That’s why he made her project lead for Uberdenke’s next UDCRM product release. With only two weeks left until the ship date, Pamela’s personality had shifted. […]

Skills for Software Smokejumpers

Do you know about smokejumpers? They’re brave, self-sufficient firefighters who parachute into remote areas wearing eighty pounds of gear and ready to fight a forest fire. If the jump goes well, they land safely. After extinguishing the fire, they may have a ten-mile hike out. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, slow of mind, or weak of back.

Have you considered that you may be a smokejumper?