Who Is – Peter Saddington

Yes. I'm an artist with my bow...

I’ve been following Yves Hanoulle – Who Is Series for a while now. It’s great stuff.

[Reblogged]:

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

The biggest influences in my life are good books and education.

First off, good books: People may look at my copious amounts of writing and think that I tend to be very light-hearted (which I am) and somewhat surface level (which I am), but I’ve spent more of my adult life in education than many people that I know. I’m a HUGE consumer of books. Books on technology, social media, and software development are my daily reads. Frankly, one of the reasons I wrote a book “The Scrum Pocket Guide is really a response to the plethora of 300+ page management and software development books that line my bookshelf. I wanted to write something pragmatic, useful, and easy to consume. It’s only 50 pages after all. I’m a huge consumer of philosophy, social science, and even theology books. They bring the rest of the human issues to light and round out the technological slant that I generally have. Continue reading “Who Is – Peter Saddington”

[Agile Tool Review] – Moovia – Team Collaboration Network

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

In the highly populated space of project management applications, a lot of them have features that support the team-community, collaboration, and communication. For some tools, this is part of the service offering. For others, it’s the driving factor of their tool.

[Enter]: MooviaTeam Collaboration Network that Focuses on The Team and People

I had a chance to speak with the founders about this tool. MOOVIA is a free application and they explain that their initial “dream” was to develop a project management tool that would be easy-to-use, and put the people in a more important level than the project. Meaning, the team and people working are the basis for creating good software. Ok. Cool. Got it. I can believe that.

Rodrigo tells me that they realized it should have 3 main aspects:

  1. It must be built on a social network environment,
  2. It should be based on agile methods, but not limited to it,
  3. And it has to be FREE for the user. Continue reading “[Agile Tool Review] – Moovia – Team Collaboration Network”

[Agile Tool Review] – AgileWrap – No Bloat, Just Scrum Toolin’

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

The AgileScout covers a lot of ground when it comes to Agile and Scrum tools. He also likes to speak of himself in the 3rd person. Sometimes, he likes to be surprised. He was.

I was pleasantly surprised to find an easy-to-use, intuitive yet feature rich and enterprise-class agile tool. No bloat, just the basics. Sometimes, isn’t that enough?

[Enter]: AgileWrapNo bloat, just agile and scrum tools

AgileWrap has comprehensive list of features to plan and track agile projects effectively in a SaaS based system yet there is no learning curve for the end-users. AgileWrap supports agile methodologies including scrum, XP and hybrid.

I signed up for 5 users free account, and received an email with account information. Within few minutes I logged into AgileWrap got started. Not to shabby.

The user interface and look-n-feel of AgileWrap has a somewhat… ‘easy’ feel to it. I mean, it just seems pleasant to stare at. No harsh colors, links are easy to see. I felt somewhat at ease staring at this tool. Seriously.

Quick Links menu (in dark blue) on left provides instant access to frequently used pages and views – Active Sprint, Active Release, Taskboard, ToDo etc. You can also access User guides, video tutorials and FAQ from Quick Links menu. Quick Help provides context sensitive help and video for the page on screen.

Continue reading “[Agile Tool Review] – AgileWrap – No Bloat, Just Scrum Toolin’”

Retrospective 69 – #Agile Controversy Week

WEEKLY COMMENTERS:

ScrumMaster Manifesto?

So a ScrumMaster Manifesto has come out. The details of it are below:

“WE BELIEVE THE SCRUMMASTER IS A FULL-TIME POSITION FOR ONE PERSON ON ONE SCRUM TEAM”

  1. Dedicated Delivery Improver
  2. Foster Continuous Improvement
  3. Help Continuous Improvement
  4. Empower Coach Deliver
  5. Nurtures The Team
  6. Transparent Team Helper
  7. Commitment To Excellence
  8. Empathetic Evangelistic Guide
  9. Resistant Persistent Dedicated
  10. Help The Team
  11. Awareness Then Improvement
  12. Agile Driving Force

Top 10 things a ScrumMaster usually forgets to focus on (but is not SOLELY responsible for)

  1. Redefining career paths and goals to be more scrum focussed
  2. Missing Product Backlog items
  3. Team issues aren’t being discussed because they are too uncomfortable
  4. Appropriate balance between end-to-end system test and unit tests
  5. Playing back the team’s progress against the proposed release plan
  6. All tests roll up into the continuous integration results
  7. Team members realize the benefits of refactoring
  8. Code is regularly peer reviewed
  9. Pair programming is being utilized
  10. Definition of done is being expanded
Seems pretty solid… what I find interesting are the following about this ‘manifesto.’
  • No ability to comment on the site
  • Doesn’t seem open to the community for edits. How can we continuously improve it?
  • How often does it get updated?
Seems like a good place to start for ScrumMasters.

Jeff Sutherland Responds to the Internet about Frequency Foundation

Jeff Sutherland has recently had some of his extracurricular activities looked into, namely the Frequency Foundation (blogged about on AgileForest, Software Architecture Blog, and reported on AgileScout and InfoQ). This initiative has had years of research behind it, and I reached out to Jeff to discuss it a bit.

Needless to day, after our discussion, I learned a lot. I asked Jeff if I could republish one of his emails to me.  Details below:

===

Jeff Sutherland <jeff.sutherland@scruminc.com> Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM
To: Peter Saddington <me@peter.ps>

 

Peter,

My stated goal for 20 years has been to change the world of medicine
just as we have changed the world of software development. I have also
repeatedly stated publicly that the medical device technology I have
worked with for two decades will be the basis of my next company
sometime in the next 20 years when the FDA supports deployment.

I’m working with medical device companies with Scrum. One of them is
building a 50 ton
proton beam excelerator for next generation treatment of cancer. They
are already doing Scrum in software and want to move their hardware
teams to Scrum. Their product is approved by the FDA and costs 25M which
is 10% of the cost of a similar device at Mass General. The price is
dropping radically for these technologies.

My goal is to do the same thing with a device that costs about the
same as a personal computer (and has no radiation exposure). We need a
young version of Bill Gates to lead the charge.

I have a Ph.D. in this area, 11 years on the faculty of the Univ. of
Colorado Medical School funded by the National Cancer Institute, much
published research, and am still, the last time I checked, one of only
300 scientists in the U.S. authorized to lead grants funded by NCI.
Everything I’ve done has been public on the web for more than a decade
to assist other researchers in this area at MIT and elsewhere.

Regards,
Jeff


Jeff Sutherland, Ph.D.
CEO, Scrum, Inc.
www.scruminc.com

===

Mr. Sutherland  is not ashamed nor hiding his years of work and service in this area. It is quite apparent that Jeff is working diligently to help the world, regardless of detractors, naysayers, and the like. For this, we can hope that he succeeds.

Being Opaque and “Agile” Doesn’t Work in the Agile Community

Writing is Hard, Receiving Criticism is Harder, IMPROVING is Hardest

This past week has been enough to retrospect on for a month, at least! I spent the weekend seriously considering the net effects of writing and blogging in the Agile community. It has seriously been the biggest pleasure to write in one of the most (personally) rewarding markets and environments in the world. Agile-folk, by-and-large, are some of the best, brightest, and nicest people I have ever met in my entire life. When I started out as a developer in the mid-90’s, I never knew I would evolve and work in such an open, supportive, and fellowship-y community. I wouldn’t change that for the world. I feel blessed to be part of such a community.

Sometimes though, writing takes it’s toll. I’m not green when it comes to this. I’m an independent Agile-journalist after all, and you take your hits.

Some of the biggest contributions of AgileScout.com that people have really enjoyed are the reviews of “Agile stuff,” whether it be a Agile tools, a conference or event, a book, ‘breaking’ news stories, writing about and providing the most comprehensive list of Top Agile Bloggers in the World as well as highlighting some of the best and brightest Women in Agile.

Some of the more ‘edgy’ writing is around somewhat controversial topics, like: Denouncing your CSMAgile is NOT a methodology, and Project Managers Living a Lie? Staying in line with the FTC Ruling for Bloggers and our Disclosure Policy, my reviews of Agile tools and Agile stuff, and pretty much anything under the sun, can never be guaranteed as positive. I do, however, promise to be as fair as possible.

Most of the Email I Receive is Very Positive

People have come to know and enjoy the Agile Guide section of our website which I’ve received plenty of emails about. This section covers guides to ScrumMastering, being a Great Product Owner, understanding the human side of software development, and tons more on other cool stuff. Agile is all about helping people, and helping businesses thrive. There is something so unique about that, you can’t even put it into words. One would almost feel privileged to say they are part of such an awesome community.  Continue reading “Being Opaque and “Agile” Doesn’t Work in the Agile Community”

Jeff Sutherland – Frequency Foundation and Agile and Scrum Implications?

[*Update – See Jeff Sutherlands response to this here]

Renee Troughton, author of The Agile Forest has come upon something quite fascinating. So fascinating, I was literally glued to my seat as I read. Here are the top level details of what she found out:

  • Since 2002, Jeff Sutherland (Co-Founder of Scrum), has been a chief proponent of Frequency Application Technology to help heal your body and mind through the Frequency Foundation.
  • This “technology” was founded by Royal Rife and eventually discredited by the medical profession in the 1950’s.
  • Because this is not a proven science, a disclaimer is held on the website: “Because of the lack of FDA or other federal or state government approval of tests, procedures or information provided, I understand that results can only be accepted for their entertainment value.”
  • You can pay $200 for “Remote Analysis” where your photos you send in are analyzed by microscopes.

Agile Games 2012 – Peter Saddington talks with Brian Bozzuto

Peter Saddington & Brian Bozzuto – Agile Games 2012 from Agile Scout on Vimeo.

The conference is being held Apr 19-21 in Cambridge, MA at the Microsoft New England Research Division (they abbreviate it NERD). 🙂
People can learn more by going to the event website: http://www.agilegames2012.com/
  • We have “Super Early Bird” tickets for sale right now until January 27th, this is the absolute lowest price for the conference and we don’t want people to miss out
  • We have an open “call for games” until the end of this month and are welcoming submissions.
3 videos available out there all about Agile Games 2012 – Drop on it!
Intro Video:

Luke Hohmann on Innovation Games

Jacqueline (Jacqui) Lloyd Smith on Strategic Play

[Like this idea? If you have an event you’d like to share with the Agile community, let me know! We’ll do a video-cast]

Retrospective 68 – Agile Funny Business – A week of Humor

WEEKLY COMMENTERS:

AgileExams.com – Fact Check

[Consumer Alert] – It is my intention to investigate this matter objectively with as much information as possible to assert the veracity of the website’s claims.

Now that PMI has issued its first PMI-ACP certification holders, many training providers and professionals are very interested in seeing the final form of the test. Some training providers are interested in how they can better help people prepare for the exam. One such training provider, AgileExams.com, popped up on many people’s radar through their marketing campaigns as the #1 PMI-ACP Exam Prep Resource with over 100 years of combined experience in Agile and exam development.

As a potential purchaser, and savvy-interweb-netzien, I decided to do some research before I signed up for an account. Hey, it’s important to research before you buy, right?

It seems that AgileExams.com may not be keeping it’s promise that you’ll “Pass the Test” as their Trade Marked tagline goes.

Reading through the testimonies, they gave the impression that AgileExams.com helped them pass the test. Ok. I’m interested. PMI.org has an open search portal to verify credentials, so I checked that out.

As I typed in some of the names on the testimonies page into the PMI database, I could not find any evidence that they passed or are even registered with PMI.

Further, there is one testimony on the front page of AgileExams.com that is dubious indeed: I couldn’t find the person to even exist in the registered PMI database as a PMI-ACP credential holder.

[How did we verify this? A simple search of all the names from the testimonials from: https://certification.pmi.org/registry.aspx]

[[**EDIT** – It has come to my attention that the individual is indeed a PMI-ACP credential holder and did indeed fill out the testimony. His full name did not come up in the PMI database. We apologize for this incorrect finding.]]

In regards to the percentage pass rate, the fact is, that number seem to have jumped a % from 96% stated in an email from AgileExams to it’s members, to 97% on the website:

(76/79) = 96.202% – Maybe just rounding up? Or maybe they received more respondents after the email was sent? 

As a potential customer, I find it necessary to do diligence before I purchase something. I even emailed the owner of AgileExams.com, about the % and the testimonies not matching up.

Here is the response I received from William Fumey, the owner and operator of AgileExams.com, pertaining to the discrepancies I found:

1) Testimonials are submitted openly from anyone on the web.
2) The user determines how they want their name to be displayed on the site
3) The name may not be an exact match for their name in the PMI-ACP database or the user may have opted out of the PMI DB. This does not mean that the person doesn’t exist. Some people choose to use pseudonyms online for privacy reasons.
4) Our pass rate was the result of a survey of our users. Testimonials were written by users before and after exam results were released.

What do you think?

True Value of Agile – Not Always Product-Centric – Agile Improves Work-Life Balance

Agile Can Change Lives – Client Story

“I’m not sure of the value of Agile, and how it’s been working so far.”

I received this comment from a client earlier this past year. She was a manager of the 3 teams in a large enterprise that I had been training and coaching Scrum to for the previous 4 months. She is a brilliant woman, eager to learn how Scrum and Agile could change the direction of their teams to higher-performance. I asked her if I could ask a couple of questions about her statement and see if we couldn’t find what needed to be done:

[ME] – “Scrum and Agile adoptions can take a good amount of time to fully realize their potential. Often it’s the discipline that needs to be solidified first, then cultural change… tell me, how often did your teams work overtime these past 4 months?

[MANAGER] – “Not that much, maybe not at all… you wouldn’t allow it!”

[ME] – “Right! We’ve gotten a stable velocity now, the discipline seems to be settling in well, we now are moving towards better predictability, right? … How often, previous to the training and coaching, has your teams had to work weekends to complete the builds?”

[MANAGER] – “Usually about twice a month.” (She knew where I was going with this conversation by this time)

[ME] – “Right! As it stands today, only once in the last 4 months has our teams had to come in on Saturday to complete the build… and that was right in the beginning!”

[MANAGER] – “I see … where you’re going with this…”

[ME] – “Yes. As we’ve created stability and consistency to our delivery cadence, we’ve improved the work-life balance of your … about 30 or so team members. If anything, initially, we’ve improved the lives of your people. In due time, we hope to improve the delivery of products, and the quality of that delivery.

Agile Improves Work-Life Balance and (Can) Change Your Life

Managers could say to this… as well as others, “Who cares? We are building products, I don’t care about how it gets done or if it improves the lives of my employees.” – Right. Exactly, this post isn’t meant for you.

This post is meant to be an encouragement to anyone looking to help people. If you are an Agile Coach, never forget the power that you have to help people change their life (within the right context/environment). For this reason, I love what I do: Making an impact on people.

[Email] – Project Manager, ScrumMaster, or Development Manager? Which Should I Choose?

Hi Peter –
I’m from the UK, I’m 30 and my background is software development. About 3 years ago I got into Agile (Scrum & XP) and was promoted to a position called “Project Development Lead.” This essentially meant I was managing projects and software team leaders but not quite a “development” manager. Over the years I have leant more and more about Agile techniques, become qualified in this and project management. I work for a smallish company so I have a number of roles.
I am now looking to move and its hard for me to say what role I really perform or should aim for. The options are traditional PM, Agile PM, Scrum Master, Development Manager. Now Dev Managers get paid the most but there are few jobs in this area, there are lots of PM roles but most area traditional waterfall PMI/Prince2, and then there are very few Agile/Scrum Master and the pay is low.
What do you suggest? Appreciate hearing about your decisions and how they could help me.

Regards,

-T

T,

Thanks so much for emailing me.
Sounds like you are a in a good place. So my first thoughts for you are:
Be encouraged.
You are in a good position.
Considering the economy, etc, you have lots of options, and a skillset that is valuable.
A couple of my ideas:
  1. Traditional PM roles (proper) are dying out – They’ll become more blended as more agile-concepts are introduced. Regardless of whether you take a Traditional PM role, you’ll need to be agile and do some agile things in your company. Unfortunately, a PM usually doesn’t have that much power to make positive change in environments (if that is what you like to do).
  2. ScrumMaster – Most companies hiring for this don’t really know what they are asking for. You need to be a person ready to lead change. Stick your neck out, and put yourself on a chopping block at times. Risk averse? I think this job (if done well) can be risky, but very rewarding.
  3. Dev Manager – I used to be this. It was a lot of fun. you have the ability to manage the full process, and… even be part of the change that a ScrumMaster can do. Not only that, but after time, garnering respect, earning trust, you can be a pretty big linchpin in making positive change within an organization. Not only that, you can also lead that change. But you have to make sure that you don’t get too comfortable in your role. You gotta keep people on their toes!
Of the three, the Project Manager is the least able to make change, ScrumMaster should be able to make change, but is often not in a position to do so. A dev manager can make change.
All depends on what your desires are, where your skillsets lie, and what your passions are.
Who is _____? What drives him? What makes him wake up in the morning?
Hope that helps friend!
Do let me know how it turns out!
All the best,
Peter Saddington
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-
What are your thoughts?

Retrospective 67 – PMI, Agile Emails, and Agile Country

WEEKLY COMMENTERS:

Marcus Buckingham – Capitalize and Grow Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Marcus Buckingham has dedicated his career to helping individuals discover and capitalize on their personal strengths. Hailed as a visionary by corporations such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Master Foods, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, and Disney, he has helped to usher in the strengths revolution, persuasively arguing that people are dramatically more effective, fulfilled and successful when they are able to focus on the best of themselves.

As a leader, what do you need to focus on in terms of your strengths?

How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek

“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

“The goal is not just to hire people who need a job; it’s to hire people who believe what you believe. I always say that, you know, if you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And if you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.”

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it and what you do simply proves what you believe. In fact, people will do the things that prove what they believe. The reason that person bought the iPhone in the first six hours, stood in line for six hours, was because of what they believed about the world, and how they wanted everybody to see them: They were first. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

“Because there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with “why” that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”

First Agile Country? – Philippines

According to O&B President and CEO Calen Legaspi, speaking at the Agile Executive Forum held last October 26 at the AIM Conference Center hosted by Orange and Bronze Software Labs (O&B), software development in the country has been generally traditional, where software is created through phases, interaction between stakeholders is limited by rigid processes, quality assurance is primarily manual and black-box, and very few metrics are gathered on the quality of the code if any.

He said that in an Agile environment, stakeholders collaborate as a single team through efficient interactions, quality assurance is predominantly automated and detailed to the smallest unit of code, rich metrics on the quality of the code are available almost to-the-minute, and useful working software is can be released to users even at the early part of a project due to incremental delivery.

To become competitive in a global setting, software development in the Philippines has to adapt Agile methodologies, a family of software development methodologies that has been shown by research to significantly increase success rates of software projects.

He stressed that the Agile methodology is just beginning to catch up among software developers in the Philippines, though Legaspi noted that majority of software firms in the US and Europe are already adopting it. He asserted that Filipino firms have been generally conservative in adapting to new processes. This is also a result of putting greater importance on conformity to traditional processes.

“We’re at an age where software increasingly permeates every aspect of business. It is becoming a competitive advantage even for traditional businesses like banking, logistics and utilities. Adopting Agile Software Development practices can put Filipino companies at equal footing with their global competitors.” Legaspi said.

Sounds good to me. Sounds like a call for a country to go Agile. Obama supposedly told America to go Agile... the UK government is going Agile. Maybe 2012 will be a year that Agile goes … governmental?

[HT: GroundReport]

[Agile Tool Review] – EasyBacklog – Quick and Easy Backlog Management

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Your run-of-the-mill Agile tools all do some sort of backlog management. Some are good at it, some, don’t work so well. I think I’ve found one that works just perfectly. It’s not sexy by any stretch. Frankly, it’s a little bland to look at. But where it may lack in the aesthetics, it more than makes up for in effectiveness.

[Enter]: EasyBacklogBacklog Management with your Keyboard plus Simple Sprint Planning

Jump in and you’ll find yourself with a >3 minute overview of the tool. Worth going through because it helps you understand the power of moving swiftly through the fields (using TAB) and other keystrokes. I found myself able to fill up an entire backlog quite quickly… Continue reading “[Agile Tool Review] – EasyBacklog – Quick and Easy Backlog Management”

PMI-ACP – Passed the Exam – #win

Dear Peter Saddington,

Congratulations on obtaining the PMI-ACP Certification.

You will receive your certificate package within eight weeks. At your earliest convenience, please verify that your preferred mailing address is correct by visiting our website at PMI.org.

Your exam report is available at https://certification.pmi.org/. Until you receive your certificate package, you may use this report to validate your status. You may also access the policies and procedures necessary to maintain your Certification in the handbook.

Thank you,

PMI Customer Care

#win.

[See my experience taking the PMI-ACP Exam Test]

[Email] – Scragilefall, Scrummerfall, Fragile, Scrumban, Wagile – Hybrid Agile Approaches Work?

I receive a lot of letters from random readers. This year, I hope to cover more of those emails and those questions:

Hi Peter –

The company I’m working with is considering a method called scragilefall as an incremental step between their current waterfall project management methodology and agile scrum, where they say they’d like to be in the near future. I’ve never heard of scragilefall before, and I’m not finding much information about it on the Web. Have you heard this hybrid method mentioned in any of your circles? Have you run across any information?

-B

B,

First and foremost, thanks for email me about this very interesting question!
When I first read “scragilefall” I laughed out loud. I thought it was humorous!
To your question: Yes I have heard of such things, though rarely in a ‘serious’ manner. Usually these types of words: Scragilefall, fragile, scrummerfall, wagile, scrumban, kanfall, etc are used with humor to depict a process that isn’t exactly working out right.
I have a couple questions:
  1. Assuming your business is serious about this, what are the “reasons” they are going with this type of hybrid approach? What are the benefits to this? — If it were me, on site, I would ask these types of questions to elicit what the real impetus of doing a hybrid approach is, and what the value of it is. Are we doing hybrid because we can’t really do “better Agile?” or are we doing this because our environment constrains us?… etc.
  2. Who is driving the change? What are the cultural implications of this change?
  3. Value value value – Who cares what we call it… is it valuable to change? – Again, what are the value propositions behind doing a blended approach?
  4. In sum total, ask a bunch of questions around this. That is where I would start.
All the best,
Peter Saddington
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-
What are your thoughts?

Retrospective 66 – Enterprise Scrum Tool Review & Agile Teams to Avoid

WEEKLY COMMENTERS:

Agile Teams to Avoid

Warning: This image might bring back bad memories, or even worse, describe your current Agile team. Whether you have mastered the art of Agile development, are a ScrumMaster, an Agile Coach, or your team is still finding its rhythm, we bet you’ve witnessed – or been part of a team – that just didn’t quite deserve the title, well, Agile. Whether your team sunk the ship, went round and round…and round and round, or if your experience resembles a windy roller coaster ride, we hope you or someone you know find humor and camaraderie in this “Agile Teams to Avoid” InfoToon.


[HT:SmartBear Software Agile Solutions]

Street Fighter Game – Built using Agile and Scrum

This may be a very revealing post for me… because my favorite video game of all time is Street Fighter IV. I absolutely love zombies (agile zombies?) and Street Fighter. In an interview with 1UP, Takashi Nishiyama went on to describe his experiences and how he develops games, AGILE STYLE. 🙂

We’ve written a couple posts on games before:

[Takashi Nishiyama, who designed the original Street Fighter at Capcom before leaving to run SNK’s development division, putting games like Fatal Fury, King of Fighters, and Samurai Shodown under his belt. In 2000, he founded the company that would become Dimps, itself a below-the-radar team that’s worked on the Sonic the Hedgehog, Dragon Ball Z, and Street Fighter series, amongst others.]

1UP: OK, so in your SNK days, you’re credited with a lot of games. Which did you specifically spend the most time on?

TN: I was the head of development so I was involved with every title. I contributed to the initial concepts for the majority of them, like Fatal Fury, King of Fighters, and Samurai Shodown — Metal Slug less so. But I was able to manage the development teams the way I wanted. **I would discuss a game idea with one of the producers and hand off the development to them while checking in every so often to make sure it was heading in the direction I envisioned.** – YES!

1UP: OK, so when you came up with a game idea there, how much would you flesh it out before handing it over to the team?

TN: In that sense, the ideas were rather vague. I didn’t give specific ideas for the plot or scenario, but I gave ideas for characters and the general storyline — basically setting the game’s mood — and I would specify general mechanics. **I left the rest up to the teams, and I’d check in at various stages to make sure things weren’t deviating from the initial idea.** – SWEET!

As a development studio, we’re dependent on three things: The budget, delivery date, and timing. We need to receive a budget and a delivery date from the client and if the timing doesn’t fit with the schedule of our other titles, we won’t have the manpower to take on the project. So those three things have to come together and Mr. Tsukamoto had a difficult time trying to coordinate that.

**However, we were able to improve our quality control by utilizing a new project management system called Scrum while working on Street Fighter IV.**  We actually gave a seminar at [Japan developer conference] CEDEC this year regarding our experience using Scrum to manage game production.  Continue reading “Street Fighter Game – Built using Agile and Scrum”

[Tool Review] – Team Pulse – Full Enterprise Scrum

[We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Having worked with some of the major players in the Agile ALM market space, it was about time for me to try out something new. Building an enterprise Agile tool isn’t something to laugh at, frankly, it’s almost impossible to get right (*More on this later). Every client is different, every scenario and environment is different. For large enterprise development shops with multiple teams, you need a tool that won’t get in the way. Something that will scale with your workload. I decided to check out one of the players in this enterprise space. I was pleasantly surprised.

[Enter]: Telerik Team Pulse A Fluid Enterprise Agile Tool 

Make no mistake, this baby takes some time to master.

It’s a good thing, though, that they give you plenty of opportunities to follow online tutorials, watch videos, go through the walkthrough, and hey, you even get your own personal Team Pulse Consultant. My personal Team Pulse Consultant was “Petar.” 🙂

Since it’s almost impossible to make a tool perfect, the thing that stood out to me was that there were opportunities to give feedback to the developers on what was working and what is not. For this reason (as well as speaking with the team myself) I knew that Telerik is more than actively engaged in making this tool kick ass.

Since this is an enterprise tool, with so many features, my review is from the standpoint of how easy it is to get started. I can’t cover every single little detail, but I can tell you whether it’s easy enough to get in, get started, and get productive. So, let’s jump in:

Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Team Pulse – Full Enterprise Scrum”

Best Time To Write Code – Not the Holidays

Between October and November, software developers write their worst and most buggy code, according to an application development testing outfit.

Fergal Glynn, Director of Marketing at Veracode had a look at the bug logs for software that his company gets to test and discovered that the amount of buggy code that gets written between October and November goes through the ceiling.

He got his control by looking at how much buggy code developers normally write and looked at the thousands of alpha and beta-stage applications Veracode scanned over the past couple of years (see his original findings here).

While you might think it is because it is the end of the year and people are thinking about Christmas parties it looks like everything settles down in December, which should be the party month of the year.

Writing in Threat Post, Glynn is not sure. He thinks some of it could be seasonal. After the Summer break thinks are usually pretty quiet but as Autumn hits there is lots of extra pressure of dropping kids at school.

There is also the added pressure to produce a high volume of code to meet end of year deadlines and releases, although we would have thought that would be worse in December if deadlines had fallen short…

Companies and team leaders need to be aware of this… and consider the potential repercussions of bad code/tech debt.

What do you think?

[HT: Threatpost]