Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekend Reader, Week 34

A look at the United States Digital Service (USDS) - An agency to save government IT projects that got on the wrong track

The original enrollment system cost $200 million and would have required $70 million a year to maintain. The new version of the site cost $4 million to produce, with annual maintenance costs also $4 million.

There is a lot of debate whether the 10x developer is reality or not. But this article proves that the 10x team is definitely reality.
But the article also points out that it does not (only) depend on the people in the team, but also on the project setup: Is the team in a position to make a difference, or is it helplessly entangled in bureaucracy.

The biggest foe is generally risk aversion. People in government are trained to not do things differently because there’s often really bad consequences when you try something differently and it fails. We run up against this all the time

I also find the philosophy how the USDS attracts people and forms teams very interesting:

We don’t make career hires. We’re not building a career organization. […] We are relentless about trying to hang onto the ruthless mission focus here. We are built for short term appointments.

Agile: No. Agile Does Not Scale.

At small scale, Agile is great. At large scale, Agile is stupid.

Jurgen Appelo, the author of Management 3.0, gives his thought about the recent attempts to scale Agile and the fundamental flaw that at the base of all those methodologies that want to apply existing Agile practices at large:

Scaling Agile is indeed a problem, because the Manifesto doesn’t scale
in the first place. It was intended to describe small projects, not
large enterprises.

Agile: It used to be simple

It is sad where Agile has ended up:

Today consulting companies position themselves to help other companies to choose an Agile framework that fits their specific Agile needs:

Agile: Simplicity and Unscaling

As we introduce agility into larger instances, we’re losing the very essence of agility that made it attractive in the first place.

We don’t have a scaling problem, we have a “trying to throw too many people at it” problem. We have a “love of size and scope” problem.

Work: Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture

So, I guess I should feel privileged to be born in Switzerland …

Funny: Snapchat murders Facebook

… an intro to Snapchat, ideal for old people like me who are still blogging and can’t stay up to date on the latest fashon in social networking:

Tweets of the week

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