Old dogs, new tricks.

Silly me!  I thought we were having a conversation!

A few months ago extreme-programming guru Ron Jeffries and I had a rather drawn-out - and probably unproductive - twitter discussion about a situation where I (and others) used some harry-arsed estimates to cause some very effective slicing-and-dicing on 3 large-ish software development projects (think dozens of developers and 10s of thousands of days, each). The projects were very successful and earned us - and my version of Agile - a lot of credibility within our business.  More than that, though, the process built a lot of trust.

You can read Ron's blog post here, but as you do please please please insert "I think" in front of every sentence starting about a third of the way down the article.  Ron is an excellent and assertive writer, but he is actually expressing a bunch of opinions.  And, to my mind, he seems to say the same thing over and over again - what Tom DeMarco called, "method of repeated assertion.  

I wasn't going to post a reply but then I got sick a couple of months ago and I had a few days in a hospital bed with a charged up iPad and I went hunting around on Ron's blog.  I found this this (different) post, where Ron says:

"People who think estimation is necessary, or a gift from G*d, bugger off."

At first I thought it was maybe the morphine, but he actually wrote that!  

If you go poke around you'll see a lot of stuff like that.  

Ron, like one of those bible-thumping preachers you see in old cowboy movies, was tweeting to the converted.  


I hope this doesn't come across as an attack on Ron.  He's done a lot for our industry and I cherish the 1 time we met face to face.  It's just a funny way of doing business in an industry which prides itself on collaboration.

Silly me.  I thought we were having a conversation.

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clarke ching

Clarke Ching is an expert in the application of Goldratt's Theory of Constraints to Agile software development. He is author of Rocks into Gold and Rolling Rocks Downhill (BETA). He gained Scrum certification from Ken Schwaber in Scotland in 2004 and now works as the Lean and Agile internal expert at The Royal London Group. Clarke focuses on Cash-Flow-Driven-Development and the use of positive psychology to help project teams flourish.