surveys about agility and success

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

at this years w-jax conference i attended a keynote by scott ambler, who’s one of the guys pushing the agile movement for several years now. in his talk he presented results of surveys about adoption rates of agile techniques and success rates of agile it-projects. there are some interesting numbers in it, despite the fact that they are mostly covering the situation in the states. it would be even more interesting to collect data for these topics in europe, too, and draw some comparisons. for me the most important findings are:

  • 69% of organisations have adopted agile techniques so far
  • the most effective agile practices are “iterative development” and “regular delivery of working software”
  • one-third of projects are done with two week iterations
  • 44% of organisations had a success rate of 90% or above for agile projects
  • project success rate for agile projects is 10% higher than for “traditional” projects
  • only 42% of offshoring projects are successful, but they are considerably more succesful in asia than in the rest of the world
  • the number of successful projects is dropping significantly for teams larger than 10 members
  • 80% of it-managers and 70% of project managers put the needs of their staff over beeing on time and on budget
  • 70-80% of it-personnel see a healthy workplace beeing more important than beeing on time and on budget, but only 53% of business stakeholders share this opinion :-(

how to improve your presentation skills

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

on projectmanagement source there is a nice post on how to become a better public speaker. they list up 27 hints in form of best practices which can help to improve one’s presentation performance. i think there are two more important aspects:

28. try to get feedback: once you’ve finished your speech try to get feedback from your audience in form of a standardised questionnaire that you can hand out before. you can ask about

  • the form or quality of your presentation,
  • the innovativeness regarding the topic,
  • the auditors’ gain of experience,
  • the auditors’ readiness to recommend your speech to friends,
  • the auditors’ overall opinion,
  • and suggestions for improvement.

this gives you some important information about the things you still have to work on, and an impression on how successful your presentation really was.

29. be prepared for equipment failure: let’s assume you want to use some state-of-the-art presentation equipment like a mike, a notebook, a beamer, powerpoint and a wireless presenter mouse. the first thing is that you should allow for some extra time before you start your speech in order to get all this stuff working. if you encounter problems, you must be ready for an alternative solution (i.e. slices for an overhead projector).

there’s also a website which deals with “the art of speaking” and has some more nice hints.

five half-truths about teams and teamwork

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

when it comes to teams and teamwork, there is a lot unfounded belief and intuition. some aspects of team building and team performing are commonly accepted, and are therefore not questioned or scrutinised. but there are truths that, when we look closer at them are not really true.


aufwandsschätzungen in der software-entwicklung

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

als ich vor ein paar tagen auf der bonner runde einen vortrag zum thema “aufwandsschätzungen” präsentiert habe war das interesse groß. für viele schien es sich um ein kritisches und akutes thema zu handeln.
dabei sind einige prinzipien guter schätzungen nicht besonders kompliziert und gut zu erlernen. trotzdem konnten sie sich anscheinend in den letzten jahren nicht besonders gut durchsetzen bzw. verbreiten.


criteria for success and failure

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

in the developer.* robert glass has published a nice article on surprises and predictables regarding factors of it-project success or failure. the mentioned findings are the result of a survey by prof. june verner of 400 projects in the u.s., australia, and chile.


wie motivation wirklich entsteht

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

vor kurzem bin ich auf einen interessanten beitrag im blog von esther derby gestoßen. sie berichtet dort über das buch “Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management” der beiden stanford professoren bob sutton und jeffrey pfeffer.