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Splitting User Stories vs. Rally's "split" feature (that has nothing to do with it!)

I recently came across a "split" feature in the popular Agile tool Rally that they recommend to handle unfinished work. Manage Unfinished Work - Split user stories http://www.rallydev.com/help/manage-unfinished-work Screenshot http://www.rallydev.com/help/sites/default/files/multimedia/Screen%20Shot%202012-03-02%20at%2011.17.11%20AM.png UPDATE: The above links don’t work anymore (apparently since CA acquired Rally). Rather than change the links (because I’m not sure if the new links correspond to the old articles I was responding to), I’m just going to share the new links: https://help.rallydev.com/manage-unfinished-work#split Below are my observations on the "Split" feature in Rally (following by a few excellent articles on Splitting User Stories): This has numerous problems: 1. Nothing to do with Splitting User Stories It has nothing to do with "Splitting a User Story" which is an advanced but fairly well-understood field in Agile, and a tool for Product Managers…
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Agile Project/Engineering/Product/Organization

I just came across a very good article on achieving Agile proficiency.

True Agile proficiency requires a radically different way of managing Projects, Engineering, Products, & Organizations.

Agile methods sometimes get a bad rap ironically because of the huge growth in their popularity and adoption. To meet the demand, a lot of organizations hire "Agile Coaches" and "certified" practitioners who are recycled Consultants & Project Managers from the world of waterfall and PMP and have merely re-branded themselves instead of truly reinventing themselves.

Lean Startup

The following are my initial thoughts on "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries - before I had read the book. I have read the book since then, and will post a detailed review later.

I'm the founder of Agile Entrepreneurs. I started Agile Entrepreneurs in 2006 to share my lessons -failures more than successes, but also successes built upon those failures - with my fellow bootstrapping entrepreneurs. We had a few initial hiccups, we really got going in 2007, and over the next several years, nearly every Friday evening I sat in a room with a variety of entrepreneurs with only one thing in common - they were all bootstrapping founders of hi-tech startups building products. None of them had anything more than a polite interest in each others' companies, but they were all bound by empathy for each other - they were bound by our motto: "Make Your Own Mistakes, Learn From Mine". I had - and have - plenty of lessons to share, the two most fundamental of them bein…

Keep Fear Alive! Or Restore Sanity!

As I became more and more familiar with the politics and rhetoric in the US - and its history, I'm beginning to realize that none of this is new. But that's part of the greatness of the system in the US. In spite of its flaws and ...the mean-spiritedness of various people and parties involved, this country keeps making progress overall, over a sufficiently long period - about 10 years.

The society and the political system has had the resilience and character to overcome any challenge it has faced. On the flip side, nostalgia can often be misleading- there is no such thing as the "good old days". Things were almost always worse in the past.

Here's one thing that absolutely symbolizes what I'm talking about:
http://www.RallyToRestoreSanity.com/
And of course, this:
http://www.KeepFearAlive.com/

Uniquely American responses to American problems!

No Legal or Official Reason to Trust the Rating Agencies

I had posted this on my facebook wall some time ago, which is not easy to search through nor is it well-suited for blog-size posts. Hence reproducing here as the information is eye-opening.

“they’re winning because this is not a level playing field.”

The Ratings agencies (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch):

1. have NO duty to be correct.
...'the companies didn’t owe ... a “duty” — a legal obligation that could form the basis of a negligence claim'

2. have NO shared responsibility.
'judges have rejected the idea that the rating agencies worked so closely with the investment banks that they were essentially co-underwriters'

3. are NOT experts
'a regulation exempts rating agencies from the definition of “experts” who can be sued'

4. have NO conflict of interest - because you already know about it!
'it has been around so long and is so widely known that it isn’t a cause of action'

5. are merely expressing OPINIONS
'their grades are just opinions ab…

Redistributing power to the people

Reporter: What do you think of western civilization?
Mahatma Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.
What Gandhi once said tongue-in-cheek, you can say also about American Democracy today."We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-Louis D. Brandeis, US Supreme Court Justice from 1916 to 1939. I agree - except I would substitute "power" for "wealth".Balance of power is a desirable goal in itself. That's what Democracy is about. But concentration of wealth is not a problem in itself; it becomes a problem when it's part of a system that enriches a few who exploit the many to get rich, get elected, to get away with committing crimes (white collar or not).

In other words, it's about the power imbalance that comes with money - not money itself. An ideal democracy wouldn't have this problem.

I don't care how rich the richest get…

Mariage Insurance

I have often spoken with my friends about a business plan to sell "marriage insurance". It would make getting a divorce as automatic and simple as getting your car insurance company to handle a collision claim. It would also focus on making getting married at least as difficult as getting a driving license (indicative of knowing the rules & having the minimum qualification) and as much a responsibility to maintain in good standing as a car insurance policy (indicative of a good "record".)

In other words, we need to educate and counsel couples before they get married - and periodically during it - rather than what's common practice today, doing it when a marriage is already troubled and couples are more likely to fail at it and divorce rather than successfully work it out.

The idea is to give people who choose to marry the tools to increase the chances of making their marriages work, and likewise allow them the dignity of a quick & relative…