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Software Development Blogs: Programming, Software Testing, Agile Project Management
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Hand Drawn Chart Saturday
The principles in the Agile Manifesto stress self-management and self-organization, which are directly at odds with the authoritative core of command and control management. In a people-centric management approach, teams and team members are empowered to make decisions. Using a command and control form of leadership to drive a project or program sends a message to the team that ‚Äúmanagement‚ÄĚ does not trust them to make good decisions schedules, functionality, or budget. The natural tendency of a team in this scenario is to wait to be told what to do. Agile works best when organizations take a people-centric management approach. If decision and direction is passed down to the team as law, concepts like self-organization and self-management become difficult to implement.
While command and control and empowerment appear to be binary states, in real life it is much more of a continuum.¬† As organizations back away from command and control management techniques empowerment increases. When teams self-organize, Agile implementations begin to take hold and flourish – along with customer satisfaction, quality and productivity by providing an environment where everyone unleash their creativity.
How do you create career opportunities? You reinvent yourself.
While you can always hope for things to land in your lap, there are specific patterns I see successful people do. Among those that continuously create the best career opportunities, here are the key success patterns:
If you‚Äôre wondering where the best career opportunities are, sometimes it‚Äôs the job you‚Äôve already got, sometimes you have to go find them, and sometimes, you have to make them.
We‚Äôve finalized some major under-the-hood upgrades at Engine Yard this week that should start showing themselves in public facing features within the next few months! In the meantime, this is what you can actively check out.
--Tasha Drew, Product Manager
Improvements to ELB handling are live and in production! Updates include better error handling for a smoother integration and experience.
We have removed Passenger 2 as an option for customers booting new environments because it‚Äôs really old. Any customers with an environment assigned to the Passenger 2 application server stack has the feature flag enabled and will continue to see it as an option. You are also encouraged to upgrade for all the awesome benefits of Passenger 3.
Engine Yard Cloud customers can now file tickets directly through the Cloud dashboard.
We had a bunch of other minor bumps you can read about in our release notes.
Data Data Data
Riak has been bumped to 1.3.1 as it reaches the last few weeks of its early access phase!
Social Calendar (Come say hi!)
Tuesday, May 7th: Engine Yard‚Äôs Dublin, Ireland office will be hosting the second Postgres User Group meetup with Greg Stark, a long-time Postgres contributor and committer as the speaker.
Thursday, May 9th: Coder Dojo in PDX continues to plan how to help teach kids and their parents about how to learn about and explore coding and software. Everyone is encouraged to grab a laptop and jump in!
Thursday, May 9th: Pub Standards in Dublin, Ireland welcomes any and all in-town developers, designers, founders, and people-who-like-to-build-stuff to stop by the Bull & Castle for a beer and a chat.
Articles of Interest
Pricing updates went live, and customers can expect to take advantage of reduced instance pricing on their April bill!
Our friends at TMX posted a thoughtful piece, ‚ÄúIn Search of Software Quality.‚ÄĚ
Pacific Coast Support team lead and all around awesome guy Ralph Bankston (who sadly has no twitter handle for me to link to) has gone in-depth about how to troubleshoot cron jobs.
Hey, it's HighScalability time:
Don't miss all that the Internet has to say on Scalability, click below and become eventually consistent with all scalability knowledge...
The role of Product Owner is a critical component for ensuring that the rest of the business or company and the IT team work together effectively, and requires significant effort on a daily basis. The product owner provides vision, mentors the team, answers questions, makes decisions about the product, communicates with the broader organization, negotiates resource contentions, coordinates business interaction and serves as a liaison to leaders. In short, the role is difficult and complex. So much so, that I have suggested on more than one occasion that it is the most challenging role in Scrum. There are many potential pitfalls in Scrum, however potentially the most destructive and easiest to avoid is the overworked Product Owner. An individual serving as the Product Owner in addition to their normal day job will likely be overwhelmed. Overworked Product Owners will tend are less effective.
What happens when someone is overworked?¬† Sooner or later something gets neglected and corners get cut. Some work gets jettisoned as they try to bring their life back to equilibrium. Overworking the Product Owner may lead to inattention to the team, neglect of grooming the product backlog, and unavailability or missed meetings. It is possible that the Product Owner will neglect their day job; however I have generally noticed that people tend to focus first on that portion of their job that is most important to their long term career.
The Product Owner role is challenging; to perform it in a manner that is effective requires effort and focus. Organizations need to ensure that Product Owners have enough of their time allocated to the Product Owner role. Work generally needs to be taken off their plate. The rest of the team needs to support the Product Owner so that obstacles are minimized. Avoid Overworked Product Owner Syndrome and make sure the person that is playing the Product Owner role has the time needed to focus on the project rather on the work they can avoid.
In many working environments people‚Äôs focus is usually is on fixing problems. This makes sense, because continuous improvement allows organizations to survive and thrive. However, a focus on things that could be improved usually comes down to a focus on failures and mistakes, and this mindset can have some serious side effects. Being a perfectionist, I have sometimes been guilty of this myself. I have ‚Äúraised the bar‚ÄĚ for me and for others until the bar was so high that Godzilla could do a limbo dance underneath while carrying a space shuttle.
However, I noticed a strange thing when I urged people to stop screwing up. I found this didn‚Äôt motivate them at all! I realized getting better isn‚Äôt just about reducing what goes wrong (making mistakes). It‚Äôs also about increasing what is right (using good practices). And every now and then people need a reminder that they‚Äôre doing just fine.
It‚Äôs no wonder the culture in many organizations feels negative when the focus of discussions is mainly on mistakes and problems. Workers feel they are held accountable for not being perfect. Instead of having a constructive view on improvement, people end up with a defensive frame of mind. They evade taking responsibility, and for every perceived problem they point at others who must have caused it. Because people‚Äôs minds are focused on self-defense instead of improvement, things will not get any better, and the organization will just make more mistakes.
I believe we should emphasize the good recipes over the mistakes, because you get more of what you focus on. If you focus on mistakes, people will make more mistakes. If you focus on good practices, people will invent more good practices.
It seems evident to me that we should emphasize the good behaviors, not the bad ones. We should celebrate good practices, not punish mistakes.This text is part of Yay Questions, a Management 3.0 Workout article. Read more on my¬†mailing list.
I am still making progress, although it’s more difficult to see my progress today. Why? Because I did not get as much to done.
The Urgent queue always trumps everything on the left hand side of the list. I was so frantic on Monday, I didn‚Äôt order anything when I put the list together. It almost didn‚Äôt matter what I worked on, as long as I made enough progress to get enough things to done. As you can see, I did pick and choose. When I rewrite my list for next week, I will reconsider what I need to do in order. I need to complete the workshops and talks first. Then do the writing. My list next week should be shorter, so I should feel less frantic and be able to finish it.
As for the ones I have added to the bottom of the list, trumping the older ones in importance? No, not really. They are there because I realized I needed to do them also this week. My todos are getting away from me. Putting them on the list means I don’t lose them. I can relax because they are there. Now, I have to focus and do them.
If you are wondering, will I continue this series next week? No. I will not. One week of this is plenty. I wanted to show you a number of things:
If you want to see all the posts in this series, here they are:
Read my Book Review of Personal Kanban for more information on how to do it right. And, Gil Broza will be interviewing me for his Individuals and Interactions virtual training May 15, 2013. My topic? “Focus Keeps You Going.” Surprised? I don’t think so!
Cron jobs are a basic unix tool used to run specific commands at specific times. ¬†This can be anything from deleting files to starting a script that processes payments in your application at specific times without having to remember to start the script manually. The most common questions we receive about cron jobs are: verifying the time at which a cron job is supposed to run, environment and path issues while running rake tasks, and unexpected cron output. Here are examples and solutions to some of these common cron problems.Timing
The most common question we receive is how to verify the time that a cron job is supposed to run. An important first step in that process is to verify the time zone the server is currently set to. ¬†Cron runs based on the system time. Our servers default to UTC but some of our older servers are running on Pacific Time so you need to ensure you have the correct time zone. You can verify this by either checking /etc/localtime or typing date.
The five scheduling positions are: minute ( 0 - 59 ), hour ( 0 - 23 ), day of the month ( 1 - 31 ), month ( 1 - 12 ), day of the week ( 0 - 6 with Sunday being 0 ). ¬†A short hand for this that can be added to the top of a crontab is # min hr DoM m DoW.
* ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†* ¬†¬†¬†* ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†* ¬†¬†¬†¬†* ¬†command to be executed
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‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ĒĒ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ day of week (0 - 7) (0 or 7 are Sunday, or use names)
‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ĒĒ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ month (1 - 12)
‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ĒĒ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ day of month (1 - 31)
‚Ēā ¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ĒĒ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ hour (0 - 23)
‚ĒĒ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ‚ĒÄ min (0 - 59)
You can also use the * which is the wildcard for every possible value of the five scheduling fields. ¬†You can also use */ to have it run at varying times. There are also websites that can check the timing such as http://www.generateit.net/cron-job/ and http://cronwtf.github.com/.Environment and Path Issues
A problem we see is not calling the proper path when running a rake command. If you are running a rake task you‚Äôll want to make sure you set the environment and the path if needed correctly.
Example: A rake task that may work with system gems but not with bundler because of a path and environment issue.
Deploy User Crontab: 30 1 * * * rake ts:index
This code will only index sphinx if you are using system gems and not Bundler. ¬†If you are using Bundler you will want to make sure you are either using bundle exec or calling the binstub executables directly within the application.
Example: A rake task that works.
Deploy User Crontab: 30 1 * * * cd /data/appname/current && RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rake ts:index
This command calls both the correct path and also sets the RAILS_ENV environment variable so you get expected results based on the Rails environment running. In some instances you may have to specify the full path to rake in the bundled gems which is /usr/local/bin/bundle exec /data/appname/current/ey_bundler_binstubs/rake.Cron Output
We commonly see cron jobs that don‚Äôt have output handled at all or output in an expected manner. ¬†The choices for cron job output are to have no output, create a log file of what happened during the rake task, or to only list errors. The first step in deciding proper output handling is whether you want cron to notify you of anything or if your command will handle it internally. If you choose to do nothing when creating your cron and there was output it would attempt to send an email or if ssmtp mail was not configured on your instance the output would be sent to the dead.letter file. If you do not want any output saved from the cron job appending >/dev/null 2>&1 to your command output and send it ¬†to /dev/null (/dev/null is a device that discards any data sent to it).
Another option is to capture the output of a rake task running --trace ¬†it is possible to add a verbose log with the addition of >/data/deploy/appname/current/log/ts_rake.log >/dev/null 2>&1. The cron job for that would look like this:
30 1 * * * cd /data/appname/current && RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rake ts:index --trace > /data/deploy/appname/current/log/ts_rake.log >/dev/null 2>&1
The log file will also need to either exist and be writable by the deploy user running the cron job or the user will need write permission to the directory that contains the log file.
It is possible to send the output to email by not capturing the standard out with ¬†>/dev/null 2>&1. ¬†As stated previously, on our system our systems are not set up to send e-mail. That will need to be set up before having the mail delivered.
Cron running at specific times is recorded by default into /var/log/syslog. You can sudo grep cron /var/log/syslog to look at the cron jobs that have run during the current day. You can check older days by going through the older log files which are rotated daily.Cron on Engine Yard
Cron jobs are great for scheduled tasks. There are two important things to remember about running applications on Engine Yard Cloud. The first is that the application master or solo instance is the only instance in an environment that the dashboard will install cron jobs. This is something to keep in mind if all of your application instances need to run the script or if the job should be run on a utility instance. The second is that when an application master takeover is initiated the newly transitioned application master doesn‚Äôt have the full contents of the previous application master. When a takeover occurs the cron jobs from the dashboard have not yet been put in place. Pressing the apply button inside the dashboard will properly install the cron jobs from your dashboard to your new application master.
It is a commonly held belief that a team comprised of a blend of skills and experiences can accomplish nearly anything. Because we believe that teams are effective, they are used to solve nearly every problem. In some cases the word team has become a talisman without a practical definition. In many cases the lack of definition means that what we call teams have amorphous membership and boundaries which makes it hard to understand who is member, even for those who are on the team.
In his 2009 book, ‘Leading Teams’,J. Richard Hackman suggests that if teams are not bounded the effectiveness of team is reduced. This reduced effectiveness can be caused by many factors, including role confusion or by inability to invest in building trusting relationships. If you don’t know who is on the team today or who will be on it tomorrow, it is is difficult to invest the time and emotional capital needed to build relationships. This is especially true of diverse teams with people of different backgrounds.
Teams have great value. When we discuss the Agile principle of IT and the business working together on a daily basis, the underlying assumption is that the interaction happens at a team level. However, for the interaction to be effective the team needs to be effective. One critical component of building an effective team is that it needs to be bounded, so that the necessary relationships can be built for information and knowledge sharing.
Cost estimating methods have been around for a long time. The current processes found in agile use a points¬†system, sometimes a Fibonacci series to bin¬†the values of the points.
The challenge with this approach is the estimate in agile is not monetized so we can't really tell if the Total Allocated Budget (TAB) is sufficient for the project at any point in time, unless the capacity for and the quality of the ourcomes is steady - that is Level of Effort.¬†
With the LOE approach, the capacity for work is the critical measurement needed for estimating the cost at completion. As well continuous updating of this capacity for work is needed and correctly done on good agile projects.
But there are other issues with this LOE approach on larger projects:
So the examples like that found at Projects @ Work, don't really consider any of the underlying uncertainties in estimating. Without the next level down - statistically adjusted estimates of the work effort, the capacity for work, the quality of that work, and the interdependencies between those work activities and their products, the simple and maybe even simple minded approaches to estimating have limits to scaling.
This is one of those topics where everyone is right in some way, depending on the domain, context in the domain, and scale of that domain. As agile enters the larger acquisition community, where we're spending other peoples money - maybe 100's of millions of dollars, care needs to be taken when applying un-monetized, non-probabilistic, non-joint probability (cross correlations between work element) and non-stochastic forecasting models. The real¬†world is not that simple.Related articles Deterministic versus Stochastic Trends in Earned Value Management Data Probabilistic Cost and Schedule Processes Uncertainty is the Source of Risk Time to Revisit The Risk Discussion When We Say Risk What Do We Really Mean? Complex Problems Require Better Solutions A Point Measures Need A Variance
Over the past weeks there have been several discussions on the forums and Blogs amount risk and risk management. Here's a short post on those topics and their impact on project performance.
Risk Comes from Uncertainty
Risk does not exist by itself. Risk is created when there is uncertainty. If I am certain that it is going to rain this afternoon, then there is no risk of rain. It's going to rain with 100% probability. There is no uncertainty about the forecast of rain.
So first we need uncertainty to have a risk. But there are two classes of uncertainty:
Aleatory uncertainty refers to the inherent uncertainty due to the probabilistic variability.
This type of uncertainty is Irreducible, in that there will always be variability¬†in the underlying variables.
These uncertainties are characterized by a probability distribution.
The parameter that is being measured - duration, RPM, discharge from a river flow, is stochastic and cannot be reduced.
Handling Risks Created from Uncertainty
Aleatory uncertainty and the resulting risk is modeled with a Probability Distribution Function. This PDF describes all the possible values the process can take and the probability of each value. For a single toss of a coin, there is a 50% probability it will be either heads or tails. For multiple tosses of a fair¬†coin the probability distribution of the total number of heads or the total number of tails is a binomial distribution that ¬†looks like this for the numbers of HEADs from¬†fair¬†coin¬†being tossed 20 times.
The PDF for the possible durations for the work in the project can be determined in several ways. It turns out we can buy¬†knowledge about aleatory uncertainty through Reference Class Forecasting¬†and past performance modeling. This new information then allows us to update - adjust - our past performance on similar work will provide information about our future performance. But the ¬†underlying processes is still random, and our new information simply created a new aleatory uncertainty PDF.
Epistemic risk is modeled by defining the probability that the risk will occur, the time frame in which that probability is active, and the probability of an impact or consequence from the risk when it does occur.
Risk statements are used to define and model these event based risk:
Risk Management is how Adults Manage Projects
One of the posters stated what would be considered a Lame¬†response to the processes and seeming conplexity of managing risks on non-trivial projects, by stating you're making this to complex - Just Do It. It was lame. Here's the response to those who objective in what ever way to doing risk management.
First answer the question what is the value at risk for your project? Don't know? Go find out. Then ask the project sponsor or the person giving you money to manage the project, if they would be willing to lose that money outright. Just write it off¬†when the risk comes true. Probably not would be the answer. So go do the risk management process.¬†
Here's Tim Lister's advice. The section title is Lister's quote and should be used every time some lame response comes back about risk management.Four components of risk Time to Revisit The Risk Discussion Uncertainty is the Source of Risk Deterministic versus Stochastic Trends in Earned Value Management Data
I’m still chugging along, making great progress. I took some interruptions yesterday, as many people do. They are not reflected on my kanban. They are in my calendar, which I am not showing you :-)
A potential client emailed, asked for a call. I said yes, and we arranged for a call that day. Could I have put it on my kanban? Yes. Did I bother? No. Does that make me a bad person? No. It’s my kanban, not yours.
I don’t track metrics from my kanban. If I did, I would want that and the other calls there. But I don’t, so it’s fine.
I’m using my kanban to help me to get to done on my tasks, not to track my every piece of work. I’m using it to not forget work. I have a couple of phone calls this morning and a phone call this afternoon. I hope to complete one of the workshops today. Maybe.
I have a workout tomorrow and a number of phone calls, so I might not complete anything tomorrow. We will see. On the other hand, I am whittling down my list to something manageable. I no long feel anxious about it. I can see my progress. And, I have managed to blog this week. I am a happy, productive woman.
And, that is what personal kanban is all about.
Are you considering joining me in my Coaching or Project Management workshops in London on May 16 or May 17, 2013? If so, please decide quickly.
I have room for two more people in the coaching workshop. I have room for three more people¬† in the project management workshop. When those places are gone, they are gone. That’s it, no more. I will run a waiting list.
If you are considering it because you are not sure, email me.
If you have ever visited a major tourist site you have seen tour guides shepherding groups of camera touting tourists. It is easy to see the tour guide role as that of a leader. A typical tour guide plans the tactical logistics of the tour, herds the tour group ensuring everyone is moving in the same direction and implements the vision of the tour planner to deliver value. The goal of our tour guide is to make sure the team begins and ends together, that no one gets lost and the goal of the tour is accomplished. The role is provides administrative and tactical leadership to the tour group. The tour guide is not playing the role of the product owner.
In Agile projects the product owners provide visionary leadership. Tactical leadership and Adminsitration, the tour guide role, is generally defused across the entire team. The arrangement of roles is facilitated by the application by two Agile Principles. The first is the principle that directs the business and IT personnel to work together on daily basis. The second principle in play here is that of self-organizing teams. For example, one mechanism that spreads the role of tour guide across the team is the backlog prioritized by the product owner. The backlog respects the vision in bite sized chunks that the team can then plan and execute. Another example of tactical leadership that the team drives is the standup meeting, in which the whole team acts as cat herders. So, on an agile project, who is the tour guide that herds the team toward the product owners vision in an Agile project? The answer is that role is spread across the team and that agile techniques facilitate making sure that we start and end in the correct place.
I‚Äôm excited to announce the release of WebMatrix 3. WebMatrix is a free, lightweight web development tool we first introduced in 2010, and which provides a great, focused web development experience for ASP.NET, PHP, and Node.js.
Today‚Äôs release includes a ton of great new features. You can easily get started by downloading it, and watching an introduction video:
Some of the highlights of today‚Äôs release include deep Windows Azure integration, source control tooling for Git and TFS, and a new remote editing experience.Windows Azure Integration
With WebMatrix 3, we are making it really easy to move to the cloud.
The first time you launch WebMatrix 3, there‚Äôs an option to sign into Windows Azure. You can sign in using the same credentials you use with the Windows Azure Management Portal:
Once you are signed-in your Windows Azure account and subscriptions are integrated directly within WebMatrix. You have the option to create up to 10 free sites on Windows Azure:
You can use the My Sites‚ÄĚbutton to browse and edit the web sites you already have hosted on Windows Azure. You can also use the New button to directly create and host new web sites on Windows Azure ‚Äď and create either a blank new site, or a site created from the Windows Azure Web App Gallery (which lets you start with templates like Umbraco, WordPress, Drupal, etc):
In this case we‚Äôll create a new web site using the popular Umbraco CMS solution ‚Äď one of the templates in the Windows Azure Web Site Gallery:
When you select this template, WebMatrix can help you create a new Web Site to host it on Windows Azure, and associate all of the publishing information you need to publish it and keep it in sync with your editing environment within WebMatrix:
Once created you get a tailored experience within WebMatrix that provides integrated Umbraco (or WordPress or Drupal, etc) editing functionality inside the tool:
And WebMatrix provides the ability to open/edit any appropriate files in it with editing/ and code intellisense support:
And when you are done you can one-click publish the site to Windows Azure using the Publish command in top left of the tool. WebMatrix will provide real-time feedback as it uploads and publishes the site:
The end result is a simple, fast and super effective way to edit your sites locally and host and manage them in Windows Azure.
One of the most requested features in WebMatrix 2 was support for version control. WebMatrix 3 now supports both Git and TFS. The source control experience is extensible, and we‚Äôve worked with several partners to include rich support for Team Foundation Service, CodePlex and GitHub:
The Git tooling works with your current source repositories, configuration, and existing tools. The experience includes support for commits, branching, multiple remotes, and works great for publishing Web Sites to Windows Azure:
The TFS experience is focused on making common source control tasks easy. It matches up well with Team Foundation Service, our hosted TFS solution that provides free private Git and TFS repositories.
In WebMatrix 2, we added the ability to open your Web Site directly from the Windows Azure Management Portal. With WebMatrix 3, we‚Äôve rounded out that experience by providing an amazing developer experience for live remote editing of your sites. The new My Sites gallery now allows you to open existing web sites on your local machine, or to remotely edit sites that are hosted in Windows Azure:
While working with the remote site, IntelliSense and the other tools work as though the site was on your local machine. But when you save changes it pushes them directly to the remote hosted site. This makes it ideal for when you want to make quick changes in a hurry.
If you want to work with the site locally, you can click the ‚Äėdownload‚Äô button to install and configure any runtime dependencies, and work with the site on your machine:
WebMatrix 3 includes a seamless experience for working with sites in Windows Azure, source control support for working with Git and TFS, and a vastly improved remote editing experience. These are just a few of the hundreds of improvements throughout the application, including an extension for PHP validation and Typescript support.
You can easily get started with WebMatrix by downloading it for free, and watching an introduction video about it:
We look forward to seeing what you build with the new release!
Hope this helps,
P.S. In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at: twitter.com/scottgu
Chapter 1 of Maximizing Project Value introduced the idea of value. Chapter 2 speaks to where and how that value¬†flows. A couple years ago there was confusion about the term value. Let's restate it here again. The value¬†John speaks to is the business value. He speaks to Earned Value later in this book, but even more so in Project Management the Agile Way.
Chapter 2 Highlights
I've found what I was looking for in Chapter 7 that makes the book critical to our success - connecting¬†Business Value with Capabilities¬† Based Planning. I won't skip ahead. For now Chapter 2, is the starting point for putting these ideas to work.Related articles Understanding Balanced Scorecard and Performance Measure All Projects Must Have a Strategy for Success Calculating "Earned Value" Must Read Book
In NoSQL: Past, Present, Future Eric Brewer has a particularly fine section on explaining the often hard to understand ideas of BASE (Basically Available, Soft State, Eventually Consistent), ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability), CAP (Consistency Availability, Partition Tolerance), in terms of a pernicious long standing myth about the sanctity of consistency in banking.
Myth: Money is important, so banks must use transactions to keep money safe and consistent, right?
Reality: Banking transactions are inconsistent, particularly for ATMs. ATMs are designed to have a normal case behaviour and a partition mode behaviour. In partition mode Availability is chosen over Consistency.
Why? 1) Availability correlates with revenue and consistency generally does not. 2) Historically there was never an idea of perfect communication so everything was partitioned...