Ative at Work

Agile software development
  • The Five Whys of Lean

    Root cause problem resolution is one of the core practises in agile. If the engine requires new oil every 500 km we don't just top it up with oil. We fix the engine. Adding oil is just a hack that leaves technical debt in the system and slows down...
    Posted 20-02-2007 by Martin Jul with 4 comment(s) (4.176 Views)
  • Why Going Faster Matters

    I did a talk on Value Stream Mapping from Lean last Thursday at the Danish Agile User Group meeting (slides in Danish are available at (registration required)). One of the many interesting...
    Posted 04-02-2007 by Martin Jul with 2 comment(s) (3.802 Views)
  • The Waste of Defects - Bugs are Stop-the-Line Issues

    "Don't clean it, " my grandmother used to say; "keep it clean.". She probably learned it long before the computer era. Yet for some reason her advice did not spread to the software industry. We still have a tendency to build up...
    Posted 29-01-2007 by Martin Jul with 6 comment(s) (6.159 Views)
  • Lean Principle Number 1 - Eliminate Waste

    The key principle in lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste. The Toyota Production System names seven major sources of waste. Mary and Tom Poppendieck list these in their book Lean Software Development - an Agile Toolkit (Addison-Wesley, 2003) with...
    Posted 18-01-2007 by Martin Jul with 9 comment(s) (8.389 Views)
  • Lean Software Development

    Today the lean meme is in every business newspaper. It has been a long time coming. Some companies like Toyota have lived these principles since the 1950s when their lack of capital forced them to improve their production processes radically. In the West...
    Posted 08-01-2007 by Martin Jul with 9 comment(s) (11.636 Views)
  • Going Agile - Introducing Inspect-and-Adapt Cycles

    Many large IT organizations are so inefficient that helping them go agile may seem like an incredible amount of work. The key to not being discouraged is taking the long view and following the advice for how to eat an elephant: it is “one bite at...
    Posted 27-12-2006 by Martin Jul with 1 comment(s) (3.468 Views)
  • Going Agile - Setting a Minimal Professional Standard

    Many agile processes are just that: Processes. However, one of the keys to success that is often overlooked is the technical project infrastructure, and the discipline and craftsmanship required by the team. While agile is lightweight it also sets the...
    Posted 10-12-2006 by Martin Jul with 1 comment(s) (10.657 Views)
  • Myths about SCRUM - "it's a daily stand-up meeting"

    Recently I have visited three different project teams that all claimed to be doing Scrum . When I quizzed them it turned out that what they did was just short a daily status meeting. Now, if that was all there is to Scrum we could have saved the money...
    Posted 23-11-2006 by Martin Jul with 2 comment(s) (4.371 Views)
  • Great Quote on Testing

    While I was paging through the great Uncle Bob presentation " The Prime Directive: Don't Be Blocked " I noticed a great quote on testing from Kent Beck: "You only need to test the things you want to work."
    Posted 19-11-2006 by Martin Jul with no comments (4.118 Views)
  • Saved by the ITimestampProvider

    If you are doing any kind of timestamping on your data, testability requires you to get the timestamps from a mockable provider, rather than using unpredictable and thus untestable values from the system. For this purpose we usually inject an ITimestampProvider...
    Posted 14-11-2006 by Martin Jul with 2 comment(s) (2.423 Views)
  • Code Reviews and the Developer Handbook

    We’re six months into a project. The code base is 53,000 statements, 2/3 of which are tests. We have been working 6 months according to a set of standards: test-driven development with unit and integration tests, model-view-control architecture...
    Posted 02-11-2006 by Martin Jul with 23 comment(s) (9.583 Views)
  • Iterative Means Baby Steps

    I am working on an agile development project in tandem with a database team using a traditional somewhat iterative waterfall approach. The application has some metadata that are basically a bunch of enumerations in the database. In order to support multiple...
    Posted 27-10-2006 by Martin Jul with no comments (3.419 Views)
  • Great Quote on Iterative Development

    "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked…." "A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning...
    Posted 24-10-2006 by Martin Jul with 1 comment(s) (2.427 Views)
  • Performance and Scalability Myths

    "When I hear the word performance I reach for my gun". In the fuzzy front end of a project when unknowns abound people need a sense of stable footing. Since it usually takes a long (calendar) time to understand the requirements and domain discussions...
    Posted 20-10-2006 by Martin Jul with 7 comment(s) (5.248 Views)
  • ScrumMaster Certifications

    As of today everybody in Ative is a certified ScrumMaster. It has been a great course taught by Jens Østergaard and Jeff Sutherland , "the father of Scrum". We are looking forward to bringing the full Scrum arsenal to work for helping...
    Posted 13-10-2006 by Martin Jul with no comments (3.084 Views)
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