Six Month Review

Mr Anderson has some impressive results in his Six Month Review:

  • An average of a release to production every 9.5 business days
  • Zero escaped defects this year

I am getting on to being about six months into my new role and I would love to be showing results like this. I guess we are on different journeys…

He also points out that he does not have that many good old fashioned agile processes:

  • No test driven development
  • No pair programming
  • No continuous integration
  • No burn down charts

His conclusion is spot on: there are many way of being agile. You need to take a close look at what is not working where you work and find ways of improving. But one size does not fit all. The process of discovering what works and what is stopping you can be consistent. David suggests four ‘golden rules’: focus on quality, reduce work-in-progress, balance demand against capacity, and prioritize. These are great starting places to start.

At World Directories, I have been starting from a philosophy of Thinking Processes: identify the systems of cause and effect that determine how the organisation works (here: how the Online & Search business works with IT, Operations and our partners); identify the few variables that determine the performance and work out how to improve things in a way. This has led to a number of agile best practices that we are now introducing across the different countries, including: iterative time-boxed development, simplifying the metrics we use, effective prioritisation and focusing on quality.

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