Category Archives: Methodologies


Remembering Jerry: Agile Impressions

It’s been five years since – sadly – Gerald M. “Jerry” Weinberg passed away. Ever since then, I struggled with some public mourning about him, until recently I had just the right idea. I already covered Jerry’s physical books in the past year. There are some gems left in some of the books he later published on Leanpub. This week, I will dive into Agile Impressions. (You can get most of the content of the physical books I reviewed on Leanpub as well – some might have a slightly different name.)

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Imagine a world of work in which we no longer fight about agile or not agile, Scrum or not Scrum, Kanban or not Kanban.

Imagine a team that continuously adds value while providing the needed information for the business to have the company thrive.

Imagine what would be possible in such a world, and what would stop working.

I think at the heart of agile software development once stood this imagination, resulting in all the different things we see in the agile cosmos today.

Unfortunately, this imagination sort of has been replaced by all the discussions we have around this vs. that. To maybe bring back these initial driving thoughts, I send you off to the weekend with your own imagination, hoping that you will bring back that agile essence next week.

Release trains – let’s critique the metaphor

A couple of years back, while I was involved in a group that eventually created the ScALeD principles, we were of course discussing the benefits of the different scaling approaches out there. One of the participants – I think it was Andreas Schliep – mentioned to me that the release train concept in the scaling approach that Mike Beedle always referred to as S_Fe was pretty clever. Since I spent some amount of time on trains in the past twelve years, I tend to disagree. Let’s see how I perceive the release train metaphor based on my experiences in the German train infrastructure.

The only picture I managed to take upon arriving in Bielefeld Hbf. after riding the ICE train called Bielefeld.
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“Our release process pains us”

This week I had a conversation with several coaches at a client on something I consider pretty basic Agile knowledge, actually. To collect my thoughts together, I think it would be good practice to write all of them down for the time being. The topic at hand deals with test automation and enabling release-at-will through a zero-bug policy and how to get there. I think it’s going to be a brief blog entry, but fear my thoughts might run away there. So, stay with me.

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How to handle technical debt?

Over the years, I have seen many companies struggling with paying off technical debt and legacy code. Heck, I produced legacy code within a 45-minute session at a code retreat on my own, so consider me guilty as charged as well. Over the years, I have seen a pretty tiny fraction of companies actually managing their technical debt. So, here are a few stories that I oftentimes share from these companies and how they tackled technical debt and legacy code – with no claim for this to be a complete list of things that might work. Please add any additional advice you want to share in the comments.

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