A frequent international speaker, Doc presents on culture, leadership, and software delivery.

 

AGILE METRICS - VELOCITY IS NOT THE GOAL

Velocity is one of the most common metrics used-and one of the most commonly misused-on agile projects. Velocity is simply a measurement of speed in a given direction-the rate at which a team is delivering toward a product release. As with a vehicle en route to a particular destination, increasing the speed may appear to ensure a timely arrival. However, that assumption is dangerous because it ignores the risks with higher speeds. And while it’s easy to increase a vehicle’s speed, where exactly is the accelerator on a software team? Michael “Doc" Norton walks us through the Hawthorne Effect and Goodhart’s Law to explain why setting goals for velocity can actually hurt a project's chances. Take a look at what can negatively impact velocity, ways to stabilize fluctuating velocity, and methods to improve velocity without the risks. Leave with a toolkit of additional metrics that, coupled with velocity, give a better view of the project's overall health.

Session Length
  60/70 minutes

Audience
  Developer/Business

Skill Level
  Intermediate

Keywords
  Metrics
  Project Management
  Lean
  Agile

 

Let's Start an Epidemic

How does the common cold spread through a group of friends or co-workers. What about other contagions? Can a contagion be used for good? Doc explores how things like disease, politics, and even moods travel through (meat-space) social networks. What impact do we have on others? What impact do they have on us? And what does this mean for members of the software development community?



Session Length
  60/70 minutes

Audience
  All

Skill Level
  Beginner

Keywords
  Teamwork
  Collaboration
  Human Interaction

 

 

THE TECHNICAL DEBT TRAP

Technical Debt has become a catch-all phrase for any code that needs to be re-worked. Much like Refactoring has become a catch-all phrase for any activity that involves changing code. These fundamental misunderstandings and comfortable yet mis-applied metaphors have resulted in a plethora of poor decisions. What is technical debt? What is not technical debt? Why should we care? What is the cost of misunderstanding? What do we do about it? Doc discusses the origins of the metaphor, what it means today, and how we properly identify and manage technical debt.

Session Length
  60/70 minutes

Audience
  Developer/Business

Skill Level
  Beginner

Keywords
  Technical Debt
  Emergent Design
  Clean Code
  Refactoring

 

WHAT BUSINESS CAN LEARN FROM SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Software Development is notoriously expensive and unreliable. There are innumerable stories of cost overruns, missed deadlines, and just plain bad software. But what if software is merely a reflection of the organization that built it? What if the software is broken because the company is broken? The structures and practices that make for good software are the same structures and practices that make for good companies. Doc explores a few of these structures and practices and shows how they can be applied to business.

Session Length
  25 minutes

Skill Level
  Beginner

Keywords
  Software Development
  Mythical Man Month
  Business
  Lean / Agile
  Organizational Change