Amsterdam, Netherlands. February 19, 2016. Series of three lectures at the Vrije Universiteit on software requirements and estimation.

Posted Posted in course, Requirements, Smart use cases, Software estimation, User stories

On February 19 I will be presenting a second series of three lectures for the post-doctorate year of IT Auditing at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, covering all aspects of modern software development. These three lectures will focus on requirements, user stories, use cases, software estimation mainly. This will be the fifth consecutive year that I will present these lectures […]

So … Does agile improve productivity?

Posted Posted in Agile, Estimation, Scrum, Software estimation

Over the past fifteen to twenty years I’ve been invited numerous times to help organization move from traditional to iterative and agile software development. Without exception whenever I have a first board room meeting at any organization, I start the conversation with the same questions: why do you want to move to agile? What is it you are trying to […]

Failing fast

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Agile, Anti-patterns, Estimation, Smart use cases, Software estimation, sprint, Waterfall

There is an intriguing question that pops up frequently in organizations developing software in projects: when is a project successful? For sure, one of the most (mis)used resources on the subject is the Standish Group. In their frequently renewed CHAOS Report they define a project successful if it delivers on time, on budget, and with all planned features. For a […]

Burn-down or burn-out

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Agile, iteration, Kanban, Scrum, Software estimation, sprint, User stories

One of the key and often very much underestimated assets of working in agile teams, whether working on products or projects, is the idea of sustainable pace. In my view, sustainable pace targets at making sure that, even under time pressure, which is not rare in software development, the team remains it’s cool. For those of you who have been […]

Agile anti-patterns at CodeMotion Madrid

Posted Posted in Agile, Anti-patterns, Estimation, Kanban, Lean, Requirements, Smart, Smart use cases, Software estimation, Testing, User stories, Waterfall

Many organizations turn towards agile to escape failing traditional software development. Due to this increase in popularity, many newcomers enter the field. Without the necessary real-life experience but proudly waving certificates from two days of training. During a challenging talk I did at the CodeMotion conference in Madrid, in October 2013, I tried to show what happens to projects that […]

Agile business intelligence

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Agile, Business intelligence, iteration, Scrum, Smart, Smart estimation, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software estimation, sprint, User stories

Het besparen van kosten is een veelgenoemde aanleiding voor Business Intelligence (BI) projecten. Zo wilde een bekende overheidsinstantie weten hoe effectief de bestrijding van uitkeringsfraude was. Het onderzoeken van mogelijke fraude kost de instantie geld, maar het vinden van fraudeurs levert echter direct geld op. En dus ging zoekt de instantie naar de optimale verhouding tussen het aantallen onderzoeken en […]

Agile anti-patterns. Yes you agile projects can and will fail too

Posted Posted in Agile, Kanban, Lean, Requirements, Scrum, Smart, Smart use cases, Software architecture, Software estimation, User stories

Over the years I have noticed a lot of agile anti-patterns during projects. Wrongly used agile approaches, dogmatic use of agile approaches, agile-in-name-only. Recently I have presented a talk at a number of agile and software development conferences that demonstrates patterns of agile misuse. These conferences include Agile Open Holland (Dieren), Camp Digital (Manchester), GIDS (Bangalore), ACCU (Oxford) and Jazoon […]

How to kill your estimates

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Agile, Client /server, Estimation, Smart estimation, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software estimation

It must have been about twenty five years ago. I was working for a large international consultancy firm. One of the reliable ones. The ones that you would think that had everything worked out. But I guess this was merely the product of my imagination. At one time two colleagues and I were working on an estimate for a bid […]

A recipe for enterprise agile. Mixing Scrum and Smart

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Agile, Agile SAP, Dashboard, Documentation, Enterprise architecture, iteration, Project management, SAP, Scrum, Service oriented architecture, Smart, Smart estimation, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software architecture, Software estimation, sprint, User stories, XP

To cut to the chase, those of you who have worked on enterprise or service oriented projects before already know this. These types of projects are characterized by a large number of organizational, functional and technically complicating factors. Enterprise software development projects are surrounded by a large number of complicating characteristics and challenges: Many different stakeholders. Projects have many different […]

Being Smart in enterprise agile

Posted Posted in Agile, Agile SAP, Enterprise architecture, Frameworks, iteration, Model driven development, Project management, Service oriented architecture, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software architecture, Software estimation, sprint, Testing, UML, User stories

As agile is becoming more and more mainstream, organization are starting to do enterprise software development project using well-known but fairly basic lightweight agile processes.   In many projects this has lead to surprisingly bad result, baffling the agile Certified Pokémon Trainers who are coaching these projects. The presentation below shows a number of accelerators or technique that projects can […]

Beyond agile testing. Or: how to become a pro-active tester

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Agile, Scrum, Smart, Software estimation, Talks, Testing

Agile – in all it’s variations – becomes an increasingly popular process for realizing software. The roles testers and testing plays in these projects is challenging and new. Testers are no longer considered code-killers, but can play – and are expected to play – a  very pro-active role in agile projects. Although all agile process agree on the importance of […]

Questions on smart use cases. Part III – Stereotypes and minimal use case specifications

Posted Posted in Smart estimation, Smart use cases, Software estimation

As you might have heard from me before (endlessly), smart use cases are a fairly straightforward reqirements technique that we have introduced in many different types of projects, such as Java, .NET, BI, SOA, SAP projects. At times I receive question on smart use cases in projects, this time from Ron Kersic of Capgemini. See Ron’s original Dutch statement below. […]

Questions on smart use cases. Part I – Estimating user-goal and sub-function level use cases

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Smart, Smart estimation, Smart use cases, Software estimation

As you might have heard from me before (endlessly), smart use cases are a fairly straightforward reqirements technique that we have introduced in many different types of projects. Of course, Java, .NET, BI projects apply smart use cases, but this year I have also been involved in service oriented projects, where smart use cases where used to model not only […]

December 1, 2009. Talk “An introduction to agile SAP SOA”

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Agile SAP, Scrum, Service oriented architecture, Smart, Smart estimation, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software estimation, Talks

Customer presentation, Eindhoven. After Twan van den Broek (of Ciber) and I succesfully applied a great mix of agile software development processes and techniques, including Scrum, Smart, smart use cases, smart estimation in probably the first agile SAP SOA projects in the Netherlands, we’ve held several talks on the subject at conferences and seminars, including an agile conference, the SOA […]

Service georienteerde projecten vormgeven met smart use cases [In Dutch]

Posted Posted in Agile SAP, Documentation, Project management, Publications, SAP, Service oriented architecture, Smart estimation, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software architecture, Software estimation, Uncategorized

This post was originally written to be published as a chapter in an upcoming book on IT architecture. The book will be presented at the Landelijk Architectuur Congres 2009 in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. This post will likely also be published in two parts in Software Release Magazine. Ondanks dat ik inmiddels al zo’n twintig jaar in dit vakgebied rondloop, blijven […]

Serviceorientatie vormgeven met smart use cases [In Dutch]

Posted Posted in Agile SAP, Documentation, Modeling, Project management, Publications, SAP, Service oriented architecture, Smart estimation, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software architecture, Software estimation

This post was originally written to be published as a chapter in an upcoming book on IT architecture. The book will be presented at the Landelijk Architectuur Congres 2009 in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. This post will likely also be published in two parts in Software Release Magazine. Ondanks dat ik inmiddels al zo’n twintig jaar in dit vakgebied rondloop, blijven […]

International SOA Symposium (Rotterdam, Netherlands. October 2009)

Posted Posted in Conferences, Documentation, Modeling, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software estimation, Talks

International SOA Symposium, World Trade Center, Rotterdam. (www.soasymposium.com) On October 22 and 23, 2009 the second international SOA Symposium will take place at the World Trade Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Just coming out of a highly successful agile SAP service oriented project (likely the first in it’s type in the Netherlands or even a wider area), Twan van den […]

SDC (Arnhem, Netherlands. October 2009)

Posted Posted in Conferences, Service oriented architecture, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software architecture, Software estimation, Talks

Shaping service oriented projects using smart use cases SDC Conference, Papendal, Arnhem (www.sdc.nl) Next week the annual SDC conference will take place at Papendal, Arnhem. As usual the organising SDN community has put together a long list of international appraised speakers, and challenging subjects on the matter of software development and software architecture. A bit to my surprise, this year […]

May 2009

Posted Posted in Frameworks, Service oriented architecture, Smart use cases, Software estimation, Talks

The months May and June are notorious for the number of talks – as Rick van der Lans describes: May and June are speaker’s season. Just to remind me not to forget any of my upcoming talks, here’s a list: May 12. Project estimation with smart use cases. At Capgemini, Utrecht. Presentation at internal software estimation seminar for Community of […]

Some of my talks in 2008

Posted Posted in Agile, Model driven development, Software estimation, Talks, Waterfall

Smart use cases. Past present and future Keynote at Smart Use Case Conference, Capgemini Conference Center, Utrecht, Netherlands, May 28, 2008 Capgemini has organized an inspiring conference on the subjects of smart use cases. This event took place at Capgemini’s conference center in Utrecht. The large number of delegates witnessed talks on smart use cases, smart estimation, smart use cases […]

Measuring agile progress in smart use case points

Posted Posted in Agile, Agile SAP, Project management, Scrum, Smart, Smart use case points (SUCP), Smart use cases, Software estimation

Smart use cases serve as a very good unit of work in agile projects. The agile process Smart relies on smart use cases, from start to end. Moreover, the progress in Smart projects is measured and managed using these use cases, and the associated straightforward estimation technique smart estimation. First cut smart use cases A first cut smart use case […]

Delivering products in agile (Smart) projects

Posted Posted in Agile, Documentation, Domain driven design, iteration, Project management, Smart use cases, Software architecture, Software estimation

In most cases where a form of agile software development is applied, projects are challenged with difficult issues, such as a swaggering scope, unclear and incomplete requirements, unstable software architecture, are quickly approaching dead lines. Within these strict boundaries projects try to deliver high quality software at high productivity – or velocity. This is not an easy challenge. Delivering just […]

Mission impossible? Applying agile to the world of SAP enterprise resource planning

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Agile SAP, Scrum, Smart, Smart estimation, Smart use cases, Software estimation

Early in March Twan van den Broek, SAP solution architect at TopForce, got in touch with me if I would be interested to coach an agile SAP project at a very large logistics organization. We have been using accelerators from our agile Accelerated Delivery Platform in SAP project before, including smart use cases, smart estimation and Tobago MDA, our model […]

Software estimation. Do I apply user stories or smart use cases?

Posted Posted in Agile, Agile SAP, Scrum, Smart, Smart estimation, Smart use cases, Software estimation, User stories

The process of creating a sound estimate for your project will take some time in any agile project. You will have to define what work to do in the project. In general this work can be split up into two parts: Project related work. There’s project related work, such as creating a project proposal or setting up your development environment. […]

So much to write, so little time

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in .Net, Agile, Anti-patterns, ASP.NET MVC, Blogging, C#, Crisis, Design patterns, Frameworks, Java, Model driven development, Project management, Service oriented architecture, Smart estimation, Smart use cases, Smells of bad code, Software architecture, Software estimation, Waterfall

It’s too bad there’s only 24 hours in a day. There are so many ideas in my head that I still have to write down, that I have to make a (short) list now to keep my head from exploding. So here it is: White paper on how to do agile SAP projects using smart use cases. Article on applying […]

Smart software estimation. How does it work?

Posted Posted in Agile, Smart estimation, Smart use cases, Software estimation

The general idea around (Smart) estimation is to be able to express project effort at any given time before or during a project. Doing so, you should be aware of something which is called the Cone of Uncertainty. This simple but valuable graph demonstrates that estimates will get better as the project progresses, but also that when estimating a project […]

Contingency en bierviltjes [in Dutch]

Posted Posted in Agile, Anti-patterns, Book reviews, Software estimation

Alhoewel ik het liefst code schrijf, heb ik een zwak voor het schatten van projecten. En dan niet een academische functiepuntenanalyse, maar elke pragmatische aanpak verdient mijn steun. Tijdens mijn loopbaan heb ik aardig wat schattingen gemaakt en gezien. Van tenenkrommend tot waar-halen-ze-die-getallen-vandaan? Waarom rekenen veel organisaties voor projectmanagement een toeslag van 20%? Waarom geen 14.81%? Zouden schriftgeleerden in die […]

Why software estimation is an ongoing process

Posted Posted in Agile, Smart estimation, Smart use cases, Software estimation

Maybe you recognize the following situation: you are asked to estimate a new project. So you dive into the – often incomplete and unclear – specifications. After trying to understand the specifications and hopefully having a lot of meetings with the customer and end users you create an neat Excel spread sheet with a work breakdown structure, and some formulas […]