The Improving Projects blog from Huge IO (UK & Ireland) is primarily about products, organisations and projects... and how to improve them. As well as musings on agile processes, software engineering in general, and methods like Kanban and Scrum, there's advice here too for users of process planning, execution and improvement tools - and the metrics they can provide.
We're planning a new full release of xProcess in the next few weeks, which will incorporate all the features released in the beta versions last year and several additional fixes and changes. If you have any feedback from previous versions which have not been shared through the forums, or if you are able to download and run the latest source code version and provide feedback, please do so as soon as possible as such feedback is invaluable prior to the release. Thanks to all our users - we really appreciate your feedback and help.
To download the latest version use this link: https://sourceforge.net/projects/xprocess/.
One of the key lessons of agile processes is that the final step in your process - delivering software to your customers - is the first in importance. The best way to optimize the process is to work backwards compared to a traditional software lifecycle. When Dan Haywood and I laid out the outline of our "Better Software Faster" book, we decided to emphasis this by putting the chapter on build and deploy at the beginning - the first after the introduction. It's where agile teams should start in new projects or process transformations. Ensure that you can automatically build, deploy and deliver a tested change to your system, before you spend a great deal of time in building anything. If you don't do this you'll end up with a great deal of wasted effort further down the line, or worse still a waterfall process struggling to free itself from inappropriate practices and vaguely agile terminology!
Eric Jackson's article for Forbes under this title is illuminating. I'm afraid it put me in mind of some CEO's I have worked with (and I hope there are enough of those over my long career in the business to keep the libel lawyers at bay!). More than anything I think the tendency - not just in CEOs of course - to attribute success simply to one's own genius / hard work / insight / inspiration, and all failures to the work of others, is the destructive habit I would pick over all others. When circumstances and good work conspire together to provide outstanding rewards, one does well to recognise that it is not simply one's own talent that has produced it. When CEOs and management boards believe all the success was down to them, their companies are in serious danger!