The Slide

Did ya ever work on a project that seemed like the schedule was too aggressive? Where the team had to constantly fight to stay on schedule, and to keep moving forward? Where things maybe got behind and we piled more resources on to catch up? Where things felt bad, but we kept on fighting until…


…it was too late. Like in baseball, when the only way get on base is to slide in? Like in football, when you just need that one more yard, and you then turn it over?

The thing is, software development isn’t a sport. We don’t have an opposing team. We don’t have a team owner or coach. Software development is a business activity. It is an activity of manufacturing, of logistics, of research and development and of analysis.

The enemy is risk. In order to defeat risk, we have to understand where risk comes from, and we have to understand how to retire it. Risk is tricky because it costs you little (or nothing) to carry it, but much to quantify, even more to retire it, and potentially even more when it is realized.Continue Reading

Yak Shaving Unleashed!

Yak shaving is the time honored tradition of needing to complete tasks that relate more to the path we have chosen than to the goal we seek.



My most recent incident involved upgrading my wife’s version of Adobe Lightroom on her iMac. My wife is a professional photographer, and she uses Adobe Lightroom to develop and organize her images. She had decided to prepare a “cheat sheet” for herself for the most common tasks, so she could make sure to be more consistent in the way she does things. She decided, though, since she was a version behind on Lightroom to upgrade to the latest and use that to make the cheat sheet, and that is where the trouble started.Continue Reading