Firefighting is one of the biggest and most common causes of lost productivity and morale in software development. It usually manifests as developers being pulled off their project to urgently fix something - the live site is spewing 500 errors, there's a button in the wrong place, or a senior »

Why enterprise companies are sinking in the flood

There's a question enterprise companies ask about startups. "How are we being beaten by ten guys in a loft in Shoreditch? We've got so many more resources than they have!" And more often than not when challenged they double down on more - more planning, more market research, more project »

Waste redux

A conversation today reminded me of my musings about waste from a couple of months ago. The context being that Scrum is misunderstood more often than it's understood, the relatively broad statements of the Agile Manifesto are easily abused to claim whatever you're currently doing is "agile", and in any »

Agile transformation: The Low

A few months into any company's journey towards agile development I often see a point which I call the Low. This is where you've brought in a few experts, and done a few of the things they've said... but nothing seems to have improved and now people are wandering round »

Bimodal IT isn't anything to aspire to

Bimodal IT is a term created by analysis form Gartner, to describe an increasingly common pattern in enterprise development. It's where you have one part of the organisation working in a very traditional, governance-focused manner using lots of process charts, documents and explicit signoff, and one part working in a »


What's the difference between a merely good Scrum organisation and a great one? The answer is waste. Waste in a Scrum context is loosely defined as any activity which does not result in something the customer uses. At its most obvious we're talking things like TPS reports and bikeshedding, but »