July 28, 2021

Median Update

A few random thoughts today, taking a break from the vacation log, which is already a little overdue and getting stale:

Let’s be real here for a moment. Work has been pretty challenging lately. There have been some significant internal changes at the company, and combined with some retention incentives vesting, we’re having a lot of talented people - people I enjoy working with - leave for other companies.

I’ve been reading many posts on Reddit about “daily scrum” meetings, and I’ve got to say, there are some really strange practices out there. I don’t understand how people are ending up with the processes they do. I wanted to write down a few basics to get them out of my head and be able to share them with others, so I’m drafting this post. This post will be about the team daily touchbase meeting format that I’ve been using for the last three years, known in for-fee framework circles as “the daily scrum” and also as “daily standup”.

People seem to talk a bunch about “big-A Agile”. I don’t know that I like labels too much. I am working more from base principles here than from a Scrum foundations textbook or the Agile Manifesto. But it does seem reasonable to review some Agile basics.

May 05, 2020

Roadmaps

I’ve been thinking about how to plan not just a large development project, but multiple large development projects together on a timeline and allow for interrupt work.

We’ve managed to put together a roadmap for the next fiscal year. It looks nice, and it conveys useful information for our plan for the year. But it has some flaws, and I’ve been mentally taking a step back to try to understand the purpose of having a roadmap, and what useful results it feeds.

One thing we’re learning as we stay home during C19 is that “if we only had the time” isn’t real. I think it’s one of the unexpected more depressing aspects of this whole situation.

When provided with the “opportunity” of “spare time” to work on those things that we’ve always wanted to get done, we’re not actually doing any more of them than we ever did. Having no place to be on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday evenings like we usually would doesn’t re-open those evenings for other productive activities.

There’s a lot going on right now. I’ve been focused on getting my blog back up and running the way I want, and it’s still not there yet, but at least I feel comfortable now making some updates. Frankly, I’ve needed an outlet for long-form writing for a while now, especially during this, and I’ve been considering this softare issue a blocker. Yeah, I know it looks like everything has been working all this time, and no, it hasn’t quite.

Two weeks ago, I was on a trip to Columbus for work. The Coronavirus had just peeked its head out in China (and also the US, although people seem to have forgotten or ignored that) and we were starting to talk about whether it was a good idea to travel or not.