Food Shopping During Covid – A Lesson in Batch Size Optimisation

I use Don Reinertsen’s ideas around batch size optimisation to help development teams shorten their lead times & increase throughput.

Sometimes the examples of transaction costs & holding costs I use are not relevant to the teams I’m working with. This has a detrimental impact on the effectiveness of my teaching!

This post is about an analogy I’ve been using recently which seems to be helping the concepts land more succinctly, so I thought I’d share it here.

Don Reinertsen's optimum batch size chart

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Fanning the flames on Work in Process limits

I’ve been thinking about different analogies to help teams understand the importance of limiting work in process (WiP) – the value is in the stuff we finish, not the stuff we start.

Having too much WiP ultimately reduces throughput, but this is counter-intuitive so I need a simplier way of communicating the idea.

I was struggling to light the bbq over the weekend & the thought came to me – can lighting & maintaining a fire be like managing WiP?

Lets find out….

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Agile Testing a Financial Services project in an eCommerce site

I’ve just finished up a role as an Agile Coach in an eCommerce enterprise helping their Financial Services teams adopt a more iterative approach to value delivery.

Before that, I was embedded in one of their development teams as an Agile Tester.

This post is a summary of our adventures as developers building relationships with our colleagues in Financial Services….

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I am Tester, I am Developer

One of the biggest challenges I typically face when joining a development team is understanding the silo between programmers & testers (& other team members).

I approach this challenge by referring to both roles with the generic term of “Developer”, whilst using “Programmer” & “Tester” to differentiate between the roles when required.

I use the term “Developer” as we are both helping to develop software. I believe I got the analogy of eating from Michael Bolton – you can’t keep stuffing food in your mouth (programming) without swallowing (testing). 

This post builds on that idea to share how I use the fire triangle as a metaphor for activities & roles that play a part in software development.

Image showing the 3 elements of the fire triangle - oxygen, heat & Fuel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_triangle
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Questionable Therapy & Counseling Applied to Organisational Coaches

George Dinwiddie shared a Tweet last week that really caught my attention:

As an experiment, I decided to take a copy of the original article and perform a find & replace on the keywords “counselor” & “therapist” with the keywords “coach” & “consultant”.

I took this idea from Jerry Weinberg who did the same by replacing “structured” with “agile”

I’m interested to see how this experiment pans out – my hypothesis is that at least 80% of the statements will still make sense in the context of organisations…

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No Swearing please, we’re Developers

In our team, I noticed the way we were speaking & the words we were using sounded as if we were trying to influence others of our thoughts & ideas.

Sometimes this made me feel uncomfortable, especially when the recipient didn’t realise they were being influenced (or didn’t know what to do about it) & consequently their opinion was altered as a result of the language used, not merely the content.

(Parental Advisory – explicit content)

20140314_125700

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Dissecting The Testing Quadrants – Rectangles

This is the first post attempting to document some of the conversation James Bach & I had whilst trying to determine what my understanding  of the Agile test quadrants actually was.

This post is a WIP as I’m sure I’ll be updating it as I walk through each of the quadrants & work with some of the different ideas & terminology we discussed.

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Dissecting The Testing Quadrants

I’m a fan of the (Agile) Testing Quadrants, first described by Brian Marick back in 2003 as a matrix & later popularised by Lisa Crispin & Janet Gregory.

James Bach helped me to break down the quadrants in order to get a deeper understanding of what each quadrant meant. It was during this conversation I realised I had a very shallow understanding of the model & I was effectively diluting (& even twisting?!) the message the quadrants were trying to get across.

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Miagi-Do challenge from Matt Heusser – Critical Thinking

As you may be aware, I follow certain testing folks in the Context Driven community. Some of these Testers are members of the Miagi-Do School of Software Testing.

I have read & heard about this Miagi-Do school for a while – I knew I had to complete a challenge to ‘gain entry’ in order to prove my worth, but I had never got round to following up on how I go about receiving a challenge.

Now, largely due to a post from David Greenlees, I got my ass into gear & contacted the Miagi-Do school for a challenge!
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