How Much Design? When To Start & When To Stop

Alright, pre-coding design. By that, I mean, the serious thinking one does before one starts typing code into the computer. The first puzzle of pre-coding design is to identify when to start & went to stop. Start When You Have A Story When to start: when a story has been selected for implementation. That starting condition will be tricky for noobs, so let me blather for a minute. There’s no time to discuss stories in general, but in short, by …

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Getting Them To Do X

How to Steer a Horse Coaches come to me and ask me questions that start with "How can I get them to …" There’s a quote, I’m having a hard time finding a reference, but it’s something like this… (reference appreciated) "The easiest way to steer a horse is to want to go where the horse wants to go." I find that the easiest way to "get them to do X" is to find them wanting to do X and …

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Estimating: Stop Trying Harder

(Note: Lightly edited and adapted from a twitter thread, where I’m @GeePawHill. Noobs be advised, I speak freely there.) Accuracy in estimating software development times is a powerful example of forty years of "try harder" not producing any positive results. Now, given some small change X and some substantial knowledge of the current state of my software, I can usefully estimate short-term work, from a few minutes up to a 50% hit-rate around about a week. This is because I …

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Information <-> Behavior Isn’t Simple

Information and Behavior The most common difficulty confronting young coaches may be their oversimple grasp of the relationship between information & behavior. In this oversimple version, behavior derives primarily from the information possessed by the behaver. It’s quite alluring then to treat info as a surrogate for behavior. That leads to thinking every situation can be resolved by applying more/different/better info. (this is hardly unique to coaches, of course, but most of us aren’t focused on behavior to nearly the …

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