Episode 128 – Elabor8-ing the Agile BA with Ryan McKergow

Craig chats with Ryan McKergow, a Business Analyst and Agile Consultant at Elabor8, at the YOW! West conference in Perth about being an Agile BA:

  • Business Analysts work with business people to understand the problem they want to solve and then work with developers to take those expectations and help them build the system
  • Writing stories and requirements is the boring part of the job – the exciting part is getting different people problem solving together
  • Paul Rayner’s YOW! West “EventStorming” keynote and Craig’s brainwave around Value Stream Mapping 
  • Ryan’s talk “Don’t Be A Zombie Reading Your Stories…” at YOW! West
  • Story Kickoff – having a conversation at the start of a story (one of the three C’s), get the whole team in front of a whiteboard and drawing it out
  • Reduce the amount of time between analysis and development as much as possible, try not to have a lead time of more than one sprint ahead where possible
  • The further ahead you complete analysis, the more likelihood you will introduce waste and rework
  • Showcases and review sessions are a good engagement piece to replace traditional signoffs and to build trust
  • Document conversations as acceptance criteria within stories, but the tool or document does not replace conversations
  • Best way to learn new approaches is to give it a go
  • Eventstorming, customer journey mapping and design thinking are good tools

TheAgileRevolution-128 (25 minutes)

Episode 127 – Storming DD’s with Paul Rayner

Craig chats with Paul Rayner, a BDD and DDD expert who helps people bridge the gap of collaborative design between developers and business representatives, at YOW! West in Perth, and two old friends talk about the following:

* Agile Alliance Functional Testing Tool workshop (2011 in Salt Lake City)
* “Domain Driven Design” (Eric Evans) and “Working Effectively with Legacy Code” (Michael Feathers)
* The heart of DDD is about developing a rich model to allow you to deal with complex business domains
* Domain Driven Design Europe conference
* Design done well should pay off immediately, as well as in the medium to long term as well
* There are lot of overlaps between DDD and BDD, particularly the use of an ubiquitous language, BDD is a test first way to drive out your domain model
* YOW! West Keynote “EventStorming”
* Given When Then has a close relationship to modelling your domain events – a good model is one you can make assertions against
* “User Story Mapping” (Jeff Patton) is an example of how the community has started to build useful collaborative tools
* Example Mapping (Matt Wynne) visualises the perspectives of the Three Amigos and puts the focus on our understandings and our ignorances and provides a technique for the conversation
* Deliberate Discovery (Dan North and Liz Keogh) – where is our ignorance
* “Introducing EventStorming” (Alberto Brandolini) is a way of mapping out the domain or the business process using coloured sticky notes – what are the important events to support the behaviour required in our system
* You get a lot better result when you start at the end and work backwards to find insights
* Can use EventStorming to support lean processes such as value stream mapping (Craig’s lightbulb moment)
* “Coaching Agile Teams” (Lyssa Adkins) and how to make yourself a better coach
* Resistance as a Resource (Dale Emery) – helps to have a champion that you can support
* DDD continues to grow and evolve – the popularity of EventSourcing and CQRS have helped this

TheAgile Revolution-127 (48 minutes)

Episode 126 – Agile Snotfest

Renee has been busy being sick (and Tony and Craig are sick of being busy) and thus it has been a long time between cough syrup for our Revolutionists…

TheAgileRevolution=126 (64 minutes)

Episode 125: 10 Minutes with Dan North

dannorthAfter many failed attempts to get him on the podcast, Craig finally catches up with Dan North at YOW! Conference on his way out the door to the airport and in a quick chat they cover:

  • BDD – developing an application by looking at its behaviour from the perspective of its stakeholders (people who’s live you touch)
  • Given When Then – “given” is setting up the world in a well known way, “when” is me interacting with the application as a stakeholder and “then” is what I expect to happen
  • BDD is not the same as writing automated tests, they are orthogonal – “Test-Driven Development Is Not About Testing
  • Software, Faster – collection of patterns for people who have been around Agile and are asking “now what” – “Software, Faster” book in progress
  • YOW! 2015 talk “Delivery Mapping: Turning the Lights On

TheAgileRevolution-125 (12 minutes)

Episode 124: Talking Testing with Anne-Marie Charrett

16069825102_aa54010a22_zCraig is at YOW! Conference and catches up with Anne-Marie Charrett who is well known in the testing community as a trainer, coach and consultant but also for her support of the community:

  • Don Reinertsen talk “Thriving in a Stochastic World
  • Context-Driven Testing
  • Testing is a verb – it’s a doing thing and not an output, but the challenge is you cannot see doing
  • Anne-Marie’s class in Exploratory Testing
  • Where there is risk and failure, there is a job for testing
  • Exploratory testing – the key is feedback and using the learning to feedback into the next test
  • Agile testing – don’t try and test everything and don’t try and automate everything either, rather adopt a risk based approach
  • Unit testing – the usefulness depends on the programmer and the context and figuring out what you are trying to achieve
  • Sydney Testers Meetup
  • Speak Easy – Speak Easy is a voluntary program designed to increase diversity in tech conferences through dedicated conference spots, mentoring and events
  • YOW! WIT Program
  • WorkVentures – training marginalised youth
  • Testing challenges include microservices (the risk of bounded context and breaking things down and missing the whole) and working together as developers and testers
  • James Lewis podcast “Episode 120: Microservices & The Lean Enterprise with James Lewis

TheAgileRevolution-124 (39 minutes)

Episode 123: Some Principles of Lean and Product Development Flow with Don Reinertsen

8265695783_995186c1ce_hCraig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and are privileged to spend some time with Don Reinertsen, who is considered one of the leading thinkers in the field of lean product development and author of numerous books including “Principles of Product Development Flow”

  • Principles of Product Development Flow” book and why there is a waterfall on the front
  • Japanese Manufacturing Techniques was the name before it was rebranded as Lean Manufacturing
  • Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, hated math and thus preferred to sit on the factory floor and tweak processes, hence it was not a theory driven approach but rather empirically driven
  • Need to understand why things work so you can transfer it to other domains, a big shortcoming in lean manufacturing is that they don’t have much of a mathematical view on what they are doing
  • You can use magic in manufacturing because it is highly repetitive
  • People understand iterations are good to do but do not understand why
  • “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better” (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • Agile software people are doing a better job at lean product development because software people have already crossed the chasm of inspect and adapt
  • There are many sources of variability other than just people, such as the Internet and the fact we are constantly doing things people have not done before
  • To get management to listen about cost of delay you need to benchmark what you are doing today
  • Agile eliminated the economic gene, hence it works well bottom-up
  • Easiest way to introduce quantitive based decision making is to find a project manager who wants an economic model (as they will be fighting for resources and the guy with the numbers will end up winning because they can communicate their needs)
  • Lifecycle pretax profit is far more useful than ROI
  • Start with Chapter 1 in the book – describes what is wrong with what we are doing today, then look for the tree that is ready to be pushed over in your organisation as there is no one way of approaching this
  • The low hanging fruit is: visual control boards, economic model, batch size reduction and WIP constraints
  • The first knob to turn is batch size reduction
  • It is 175 principles in small little batches that add value, it is not the ten commandments!
  • YOW! 2015 talk “Thriving in a Stochastic World

TheAgileRevolution-123 (38 minutes)

Episode 122: Learning to Learn with Aino Vonge Corry

ainoCraig is at YOW! Conference and catches up with Aino Vonge Corry who is one of our very few repeat guests on the Agile Revolution. She describes herself as someone who puts speakers on stage, makes developers communicate and messes with the heads of students!

  • Part of the YOW! conference organising committee
  • Important to find examples that relate to all of the students in the class (not just a subset)
  • Microservice lectures – no more than 15 minutes lecture and then a learning activity
  • If there is interactivity then there is a reason to turn up to a live lecture
  • YOW! 2015 talk “A Comment on How We Learn
  • Need to respect and acknowledge that other people take in knowledge at different paces, this is important in activities that we give people time to think
  • People need to relate ideas to the things they are doing now to take new ideas in
  • Working memory takes in new information and as well as decoding for long term memory
  • Research says that we can think about 7 +/- 2 things at a time, but newest research says we can only think about 4 things at a time!
  • Chunk new content or information and then allow people time to process and think
  • Multitasking is a huge misunderstanding, if you are doing two things at once you are only doing them at 40% rather than one thing at 100%, this is a huge problem for people working in computer science
  • Try to figure out your learning preferences, realise you can’t chunk a whole lot of new information at once and ensure you sleep because without sleep you cannot learn effectively
  • Interesting things happening in the culture space right now, Dan North’s YOW! 2015 presentation “Delivery Mapping: Turning the Lights On
  • Polyglot agile highlighted in Craig’s YOW! 2015 talk “40 Agile Methods in 40 Minutes
  • Agile is Dead (Long Live Agility) (Dave Thomas)

TheAgileRevolution-122 (31 minutes)