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Time for a Change in Principles?

As Agilists, our principles and values underpin the way we work and decisions we make. A good principle should be timeless and non-prescriptive enough to be valid across many contexts, but specific enough to add practical value and help us make decisions.

 

I feel that one Agile Manifesto principle in particular has frustratingly failed to stand the test of time:

 


“Working software is the primary measure of progress”


 

I disagree strongly. Working software is only a measure that more software exists, which is not the same thing as progress!

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How we measure output and productivity

 

… getting more stuff done

 

At Trade Me we want to measure the overall health of Tech (that’s our team of 125 designers, developers, testers, BAs, and Squad Masters) to identify trends and to know if we are getting better (or worse!). We know that when we measure something it is a strong way of saying “This matters” which is why we put a lot of effort into deciding which metrics to collect.

 

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Risk registers and meetings are boring – try a project premortem instead …

What is a premortem?

A premortem is a project postmortem that’s run before a project. During a postmortem people analyse and discuss what went wrong, what went well and what could be improved.

While postmortems are very useful the problem is that by the time we run them the project is usually over and not much can be done about success and failure.