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Groundhog Day

Apr 19, 2018 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

Recently, a friend and I were sharing our love for the movie Groundhog Day. In this movie Phil, a disgruntled, cynical weather reporter (played by Bill Murray) visits a town to report on the emergence of the groundhog and whether this indicated 6 more weeks of winter. Of course, Phil has a terrible day and everything lives up to his cynicism. When he awakens the next morning… it is Groundhog Day all over again. Phil gets to live the same day over and over again… until the experience forces him to grow into a better version of himself.


This reminiscing got me to thinking… what lessons are suggested by Groundhog Day that help us in our roles on software development teams…?



Overcoming the Seduction of the Hamster Wheel

Mar 15, 2018 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

Does your software team feel like it is on a hamster wheel? Maybe delivery pressure has been high for a long while, or there is a constant stream of support work to be done… so it's just "heads down and keep going". This way of working can be seductive… after all, we are getting things done and responding to "what's wanted from us". After a while, it becomes habit, our familiar way of working. Is there a better way? And if so, how do we get there?


The "Overhead" of Agile - Perception vs. Reality

Feb 08, 2018 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

When I first learned* about Scrum, the trainer provided us with some "rules of thumb" for planning our time during a sprint. As we started putting Scrum into practice, we applied these rules of thumb… but also encountered shock and horror from outside the team about how much "overhead" was involved. The arrival of Ken Rubin's recent blog post, How Much Time Should Each Scrum Practice Take? reminded me of these early experiences. In this blog post, I reflect on the perception vs. reality of this "overhead".


Getting to ELD: An Agile Journey (Part 2)

Dec 07, 2017 | by Andrew Smith, Principal Architect | Tags: Agile

On June 30th, 2017, ISE Fleet Services registered a certified compliant ELD (Electronic Logging Device) with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Our journey to reach this milestone was long and arduous... and was also a series of lessons in applying an Agile mindset. Read Part 1 of this blog series for greater context of the project and how we got started. For those of you following along, here's what came next for us on this journey...