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On The Nature Of Portfolios

On The Nature Of Portfolios

“Always show your working out!” was the mantra of my maths teacher in senior school. This series of blog posts “On the Nature of Lean Portfolios” is an exploration of Lean Portfolios. It is the thought processes running through my mind, exploring the possibilities so that I understand why things are happening rather than just doing those things blindly. It is not intended to be a fait-accompli presentation of the solutions to the problems faced by Lean Portfolios but an exploration of the problems to understand whether the proposed solutions make sense. There are no guarantees that these discussions are correct, but I am hopeful that the journey of exploration itself will prove educational as things are learnt on the way.

An ACM Queue Publication

The way we develop software struggles to keep pace with changes in technology and business. Even with the rise of agile, people still flip-flop from one branded method to another, throwing away the good with the bad and behaving more like religious cultists than like scientists.

This article explains why we need to break out of this repetitive dysfunctional behavior, and it introduces Essence, a new way of thinking that promises to free the practices from their method prisons and thus enable true learning organizations.

Is there a single method for the Internet of things?

The Industrial Internet Consortium predicts the IoT (Internet of Things) will become the third technological revolution after the Industrial Revolution and the Internet Revolution. Its impact across all industries and businesses can hardly be imagined. Existing software (business, telecom, aerospace, defense, etc.) is expected to be modified or redesigned, and a huge amount of new software, solving new problems, will have to be developed. As a consequence, the software industry should welcome new and better methods.

This article makes the case that to be a major player in this space you will need a multitude of methods, not just a single one. Existing popular approaches such as Scrum and SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) may be part of the future, but you will also need many new methods and practices—some of which aren’t even known today. Extending a single method to incorporate all that is needed would result in something that is way too big and unwieldy. Instead, the new OMG (Object Management Group) standard Essence can be used to describe modular practices that can be composed together to form a multitude of methods, not only to provide for all of today’s needs, but also to be prepared for whatever the future may bring.

Essence is instrumental in moving software development toward a true engineering discipline

Industrial-­scale agile requires much more than just being able to scale agile. It also means taking a disciplined approach to ensuring that our IT investments are resulting in sustainable benefits for both the producing organization and its customers. This involves adopting a different approach to many aspects of agility. We need to look beyond small-­scale agile, beyond independent competitive islands of agile excellence, beyond individual craftsmanship and heroic teams, and beyond the short-­term, instant gratification that seems to be the focus of many well-­intentioned but self-­centered agile teams. It is this adoption of a more holistic approach that we call moving from craft to engineering.

This paper is published at acm.org.

Use Cases are the Hub of the Software Development Lifecycle

Use cases have been around for almost 30 years as a requirements approach and have been part of the inspiration for more recent techniques such as user stories. Now the inspiration has flown in the other direction. Use-Case 2.0 is the new generation of use-case driven development - light, agile and lean - inspired by user stories, Scrum and Kanban.

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