Scrum masters are not project managers

Everyone in the agile community will understand this (I expect 😉). If we talk about “managing” we agilists understand that the team “manages” itself. That difference with “traditional” projects, managed by a project leader or -manager, is constantly emphasised by scrum pundits. This article is not for that in-crowd but for people attempting to understand the agile approach to projects. There is no difference in opinion as to why we have projects: we want to...

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Scaling Agile means Scalable Architecture

With the growing popularity of Agile, mainly in applying scrum for IT development, issues need to be tackled relating to scaling up the development effort. Scrum came to birth in small teams that had a lot of mandate, typically 3 to 10 person teams. These days we see Scrum used for major efforts, involving hundreds of developers, testers, and what not. An example of that “scaling agile” is the DevOps teams originating with the Dutch bank ING. Another is the Spotify approach (with its...

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The Death of the Mail Man

David Horsey Copyright 2013 Tribune Media Services The invention of the modern computer can be seen as a fundamental paradigm shift. But contrary to what the technology geeks want to make us believe, it is not about technology, digital content, the internet, or electronic devices. Since it can (and in a few decades, will) be seen as fundamental, and since we are still in the thick of it, it is very hard to realise the implications of this revolution. We are part of the “Zeitgeist”,...

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Round instead of square

This is a typical artefact from an architect: It consists of the typical modelling constructs found in those work products from architects: squares, blocks, rectangular things stacked on each other. For many people, even architects I fear, architecture is more or less synonymous with stacking blocks in layers. The work products in TOGAF are also named as such: building blocks. Blocks. It reveals a mind set, a paradigm if you will, with which problems of an architectural nature are approached:...

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The need for clarity

In the Netherlands we have this saying when we want to describe how we “translate” complex documents in esoteric language for a larger audience: “Jip en Janneke taal” (the language of Jip and Janneke). Jip and Janneke are the names of the two main protagonists in a series of  children’s novels by a great Dutch writer, Annie M.G. Schmidt. The series was written in the period between 1952 and 1957 and is still required reading for kids all over...

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RACI for Enterprise Architecture

In general companies have installed an executive hierarchy. This hierarchy is one that has been evolved and tested over a long period of time. We have reasonably clear ideas about what it should establish. People have one boss, who more or less decides about their roles, assesses their performance, and decides what to do when the performance is not up to standards. These bosses in turn have a boss themselves. A competence hierarchy is usually not so well established in a company, if it is present...

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The territory and the map

The Map is not the Territory by Claudio Gatti Recent responses to my article on Mirrors prompted me to attempt to clarify the approach in that article. I think there is a fundamental philosophical discovery to be made in what I try to say, and indeed some of those responses confirm that. But it is as much a path to discovery to me as it is to my readers. Architects create models. Indeed they do. People, human beings, use language. Certainly. The two things are related. In fact they are the same...

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There is no architecture. Only mirrors

Do away with architectural models. What we need to see is the essence of architecture, which is something we realise in software: a mirror of the enterprise. The idea is not new. It has always been surprising (and, to be honest, somewhat frustrating) that is hasn’t been picked up as I thought it would. And should. The book by David Gelernter: Mirror Worlds: or the Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox…How It Will Happen and What It Will Mean (1993), summed it up so...

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The Inversion of Big Data

Big Data is the Big Thing at the moment. It won’t be ten years from now. And not because we tackled the technical aspects of handling it, or created huge business intelligence systems capable of harvesting the treasures hidden in it. Or because it has become generally accepted and arrived at Gartner’s plateau of productivity. It won’t be, because it is not scalable. Because the related privacy problems are insurmountable. Because its worth is directly related to the size of the...

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Why executive managers don’t have a clue

Executive management doesn’t have a clue. Everybody I talk to in organisations large and small agree. And I am talking managers here. They try. They do their best. They start doubting their intelligence. They install control mechanisms. They install more control mechanisms. Heck, they might even try (and burn their fingers on) business intelligence. Maybe that will give them the edge they may think they lack. Thing is: it’s unavoidable. It is humanly impossible to have a clue. Let’s...

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