Quality is a choice: the case of the Next Generation Apps

Over the last year I’ve had the privilege of overseeing the development of the next generation of mobile apps (iOS and Android) for the major commercial radio brands in the UK. The most amazing thing about this experience was the priorities – UX&D was #1 priority – something I’ve never had before.
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35 person-years worth of prototype is a fantastic spec

I once invested 35 person-years worth of effort on prototyping. From my perspective this was time and money well invested. By the end of that time we knew, really knew, what problems our customers were facing and how to solve them.
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Scope Creep v Flexible Scope – Undisciplined v Agile

Bart asked “What do I do when agile is abused as an excuse for scope creep?” with the sub-text “You’re agile so you’re flexible, no?”. I say point out the difference between scope creep and flexible scope. Agile makes changing scope a zero sum game – that gives flexibility without the creepiness.
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Purpose Finding: Only solve problems you need to

Brian Williamson has commented that although “problem-solving is important and good when you are stuck. I’m convinced we are in need of some more purpose finding.” I agree and finding purpose manifests in several places in my approach.
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How to spot a Product Owner’s Pet Requirements

Everybody has pet requirements and product owners, being human, are no different. Unfortunately pet requirements are a real risk to software projects. We should all resist these pet requirements and do everything possible to kill them off ASAP and avoid building them. So how do you spot pet requirements
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Who is Specification by Example for? Everybody!

I was talking to Pedro Santos on the train the other day. Pedro is my technical lead, an expert in his field and a keen advocate of automated testing and software craftsmanship in general. We were talking about Gherkin and Pedro was saying he doesn’t see Gherkin tests adding value because it doesn’t help him as a developer. Of course I disagree. The way I look at it is the Gherkin tests are not for the developers. The Gherkin tests are for the organisation – they are for everybody.
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It is ALL Number One Priority / It is ALL Must Have. Not true!

If the customer claims everything on the product backlog is top priority, and by implication must have, then you’ve a bit of an education job ahead of you. You have to get the customer to the point where only one thing is top priority and even “must haves” are sorted into a priority order. There is a good chance some of those “must haves” turn into “would like to have” and in time disappear.
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Solution Convergence: Marrying Business, User Experience and Technical Input

My product owner was upset when I told her she couldn’t have the widget that she had agreed with the User Experience (UX) Designer. The problem was the design was not technically feasible. To get a great solution to meet the business requirements three parties – business, user experience and technical – must agree on the approach. That negotiation is what I call “Solution Convergence”.
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