Technical Excellence:
Why does it not stick even now?
Antti Kirjavainen
@anttiki
Test Coverage Policy: The Idea
Test Coverage Policy: The Idea
>60%
Unit Test
Coverage

Quality
Regular
reports
Test Coverage Policy: The Reality
>60%
Unit Test
Coverage

Lots of tests

doing
nothing but
adding % of
test coverage
Regu...
Technical Excellence
Technical Excellence

Continuous attention to

technical excellence and
good design enhances agility.
Examples of Technical Excellence

quality code,
sound architecture,
good test automation and
coverage,
continuous integrat...
Emphasis on Flow over Batches

Photo by Daniele Zedda
Emphasis on Flow over Batches

Photo by DanielePeople10
Infographic from Zedda
Technical Excellence

building it right
to

maximize delivery potential
Why don’t we have it, then?
Processes
Alert
And

policies
Alert!
Your organization
might be suffering from a

Legacy mindset.
Photo by Jeremiah Owyang
Test Coverage Policy: The Idea
>60%
Unit Test
Coverage

Quality
Regular
reports
Test Coverage Policy: The Reality
>60%
Unit Test
Coverage

Lots of tests

doing
nothing but
adding % of
test coverage
Regu...
Alert

Contract clauses
Alert!
Your organization
might be suffering from a

Legacy mindset.
Contract with a Warranty Period
We’ll fix all the defects for free
during these periods!

Development

Acceptance
Testing
...
Contract with a Warranty Period

Development

Acceptance
Testing

Support, warra
nty period
6 months
Prioritization by Business
value
Example from Real Life: The Plan

Product Backlog

Feature 1

15 months

Feature 2
Feature 3

Feature 4
Feature 5
Feature ...
Example from Real Life: The Reality

Product Backlog

Architectural feature I

12 months to
go

Feature 1
Feature 2
Archit...
Example from Real Life: The Decision

Product Backlog

6 months to
go

Architectural feature I
Feature 1
Feature 2
Feature...
Example from Real Life: The Effects
Old approaches do not solve the problem
Processes and
policies

Contract clauses

Business value
prioritization
Why?
Traditional Management Paradigm:
Extrinsic motivation
Desire to achieve goal G
Reward result R
Assume R leads to G

Proble...
Non-linear effects in SW dev
We are here

From Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo
What is needed instead?
New Management Paradigm:
Intrinsic motivation
Desire to achieve goal G
Where G is its own reward

No non-linear effects
Fr...
Nurturing Technical Excellence

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt
Emphasis on Flow over Batches

Understanding
Photo by DanielePeople10
Infographic from Zedda
Skills
Autonomy
Discipline

Antti Leinonen, Sirkus Magenta, photo by Tuomas Stenbäck
Requires

Motivation
Understanding
Skills
Autonomy
Discipline
How can devs support that?
Managers, Business and Developers
Shared

Trust enables

Developers can
bring

Motivation

Autonomy

Skills

Understanding...
Motivation for Managers, Business?
Shared
Motivation

?

Trust enables

Developers can
bring

Autonomy

Skills

Understand...
Manager

What’s in it for me?
Business
Example from Real Life: Legacy How-To

Product Backlog

6 months to
go

Architectural feature I
Feature 1
Feature 2
Featur...
Example from Real Life: The Effects
Your cautionary story?
How to build trust?
Shared

Trust enables

Developers can
bring

Motivation

Autonomy

Skills

Understanding

+Understandi...
Who should define indicators / metrics?

Managers

IT / architects

Business

Developers
Test Coverage Policy
>60%
Unit Test
Coverage

Lots of tests

doing
nothing but
adding % of
test coverage
Regular
reports
What would the Experts choose instead?

Leading
Indicators
Developers

Technical
Quality
Sound
Architecture

Lagging
Indic...
Micromanagement by the team
Mike Cohn
What to do if there’s no trust?
Do not be an order-taker!

Product Backlog

6 months to
go

Architectural feature I
Feature 1
Feature 2
Feature 3
Feature ...
How to grow development organization?
Shared

Trust enables

Developers can
bring

Motivation

Autonomy

Skills

Understan...
Let excellence grow in circles or guilds!

Team A

Team B

Team C

Team D
Let excellence grow in circles or guilds!

Team A

Team B

DevOps
Circle

Team C

Team D
Houston Inc. Frontend Circle

Outside
world

Outside
frontend
scene

Houston
Inc.
Feedback

Idea
s

Conferences +
events

...
Conclusions
Technical Excellence

building it right
to

maximize delivery potential
Emphasis on Flow over Batches

Photo by Daniele Zedda
Emphasis on Flow over Batches

Photo by DanielePeople10
Infographic from Zedda
Old approaches do not solve the problem
Processes and
policies

Contract clauses

Business value
prioritization
Traditional Management Paradigm:
Extrinsic motivation
Desire to achieve goal G
Reward result R
Assume R leads to G

Proble...
New Management Paradigm:
Intrinsic motivation
Desire to achieve goal G
Where G is its own reward

No non-linear effects
Fr...
Emphasis on Flow over Batches

Understanding
Photo by DanielePeople10
Infographic from Zedda
Skills
Autonomy
Discipline

Antti Leinonen, Sirkus Magenta, photo by Tuomas Stenbäck
Managers, Business and Developers
Shared

Trust enables

Developers can
bring

Motivation

Autonomy

Skills

Understanding...
Manager

What’s in it for me?
Business
What would the Experts choose instead?

Leading
Indicators
Developers

Technical
Quality
Sound
Architecture

Lagging
Indic...
Let excellence grow in circles or guilds!

Team A

Team B

DevOps
Circle

Team C

Team D
Nurture Technical Excellence

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt
Maximize the Impact
Photo by Spettacolopuro
Thank you for your attention
Antti Kirjavainen
antti.kirjavainen@houston-inc.com
@anttiki
http://www.slideshare.net/AnttiKirjavainen/
http://learningga...
Technical Excellence: Why does it not stick even now?
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Technical Excellence: Why does it not stick even now?

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Technical excellence, meaning e.g. quality code, sound architecture, good test automation and coverage, continuous integration and continuous deployment, is the pre-requisite of sustainable software development. Sustainability of software development is essential for improving the Return On Investment and extending the life cycle of software products and services.

In my talk I will explain why the majority of organizations is still not making effective management decisions to ensure they get technical excellence.

I will argue that technical excellence is impossible to buy from a software vendor and impossible to enforce in contractual terms.

The other side to this subject is my second argument: the only way to ensure technical excellence is to have a skilled and motivated team that takes responsible of it, and giving that team the responsibility and means to ensure technical excellence

I will go over my personal experiences relating to management decisions regarding technical excellence and illustrate the thinking that is behind the ineffective decision-making related to technical excellence.

In conclusion, I will describe what kind of change of mindset is required for making effective management decisions regarding technical excellence.

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Technical Excellence: Why does it not stick even now?

  1. 1. Technical Excellence: Why does it not stick even now? Antti Kirjavainen @anttiki
  2. 2. Test Coverage Policy: The Idea
  3. 3. Test Coverage Policy: The Idea >60% Unit Test Coverage Quality Regular reports
  4. 4. Test Coverage Policy: The Reality >60% Unit Test Coverage Lots of tests doing nothing but adding % of test coverage Regular reports
  5. 5. Technical Excellence
  6. 6. Technical Excellence Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  7. 7. Examples of Technical Excellence quality code, sound architecture, good test automation and coverage, continuous integration and continuous deployment.
  8. 8. Emphasis on Flow over Batches Photo by Daniele Zedda
  9. 9. Emphasis on Flow over Batches Photo by DanielePeople10 Infographic from Zedda
  10. 10. Technical Excellence building it right to maximize delivery potential
  11. 11. Why don’t we have it, then?
  12. 12. Processes Alert And policies Alert! Your organization might be suffering from a Legacy mindset. Photo by Jeremiah Owyang
  13. 13. Test Coverage Policy: The Idea >60% Unit Test Coverage Quality Regular reports
  14. 14. Test Coverage Policy: The Reality >60% Unit Test Coverage Lots of tests doing nothing but adding % of test coverage Regular reports
  15. 15. Alert Contract clauses Alert! Your organization might be suffering from a Legacy mindset.
  16. 16. Contract with a Warranty Period We’ll fix all the defects for free during these periods! Development Acceptance Testing Support, warranty period 6 months
  17. 17. Contract with a Warranty Period Development Acceptance Testing Support, warra nty period 6 months
  18. 18. Prioritization by Business value
  19. 19. Example from Real Life: The Plan Product Backlog Feature 1 15 months Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 4 Feature 5 Feature 6
  20. 20. Example from Real Life: The Reality Product Backlog Architectural feature I 12 months to go Feature 1 Feature 2 Architectural feature II Feature 3 Feature 4 Feature 5 Feature 6
  21. 21. Example from Real Life: The Decision Product Backlog 6 months to go Architectural feature I Feature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 4 Feature 5 Duct tape & chewing Feature 6 gum solutions
  22. 22. Example from Real Life: The Effects
  23. 23. Old approaches do not solve the problem Processes and policies Contract clauses Business value prioritization
  24. 24. Why?
  25. 25. Traditional Management Paradigm: Extrinsic motivation Desire to achieve goal G Reward result R Assume R leads to G Problems with non-linear effects From Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo
  26. 26. Non-linear effects in SW dev We are here From Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo
  27. 27. What is needed instead?
  28. 28. New Management Paradigm: Intrinsic motivation Desire to achieve goal G Where G is its own reward No non-linear effects From Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo
  29. 29. Nurturing Technical Excellence Photo by D Sharon Pruitt
  30. 30. Emphasis on Flow over Batches Understanding Photo by DanielePeople10 Infographic from Zedda
  31. 31. Skills
  32. 32. Autonomy
  33. 33. Discipline Antti Leinonen, Sirkus Magenta, photo by Tuomas Stenbäck
  34. 34. Requires Motivation Understanding Skills Autonomy Discipline
  35. 35. How can devs support that?
  36. 36. Managers, Business and Developers Shared Trust enables Developers can bring Motivation Autonomy Skills Understanding +Understanding Discipline +Discipline Managers Developers Business
  37. 37. Motivation for Managers, Business? Shared Motivation ? Trust enables Developers can bring Autonomy Skills Understanding +Understanding Discipline +Discipline Managers Developers Business
  38. 38. Manager What’s in it for me? Business
  39. 39. Example from Real Life: Legacy How-To Product Backlog 6 months to go Architectural feature I Feature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 4 Feature 5 Duct tape & chewing Feature 6 gum solutions
  40. 40. Example from Real Life: The Effects
  41. 41. Your cautionary story?
  42. 42. How to build trust? Shared Trust enables Developers can bring Motivation Autonomy Skills Understanding +Understanding Discipline +Discipline Managers Business ? Developers
  43. 43. Who should define indicators / metrics? Managers IT / architects Business Developers
  44. 44. Test Coverage Policy >60% Unit Test Coverage Lots of tests doing nothing but adding % of test coverage Regular reports
  45. 45. What would the Experts choose instead? Leading Indicators Developers Technical Quality Sound Architecture Lagging Indicators
  46. 46. Micromanagement by the team Mike Cohn
  47. 47. What to do if there’s no trust?
  48. 48. Do not be an order-taker! Product Backlog 6 months to go Architectural feature I Feature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 4 Feature 5 Duct tape & chewing Feature 6 gum solutions
  49. 49. How to grow development organization? Shared Trust enables Developers can bring Motivation Autonomy Skills Understanding +Understanding Discipline +Discipline Managers Developers Business ?
  50. 50. Let excellence grow in circles or guilds! Team A Team B Team C Team D
  51. 51. Let excellence grow in circles or guilds! Team A Team B DevOps Circle Team C Team D
  52. 52. Houston Inc. Frontend Circle Outside world Outside frontend scene Houston Inc. Feedback Idea s Conferences + events Frontend Circle Visibility Training Board of directors Houston Personne l Customer s & sales
  53. 53. Conclusions
  54. 54. Technical Excellence building it right to maximize delivery potential
  55. 55. Emphasis on Flow over Batches Photo by Daniele Zedda
  56. 56. Emphasis on Flow over Batches Photo by DanielePeople10 Infographic from Zedda
  57. 57. Old approaches do not solve the problem Processes and policies Contract clauses Business value prioritization
  58. 58. Traditional Management Paradigm: Extrinsic motivation Desire to achieve goal G Reward result R Assume R leads to G Problems with non-linear effects From Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo
  59. 59. New Management Paradigm: Intrinsic motivation Desire to achieve goal G Where G is its own reward No non-linear effects From Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo
  60. 60. Emphasis on Flow over Batches Understanding Photo by DanielePeople10 Infographic from Zedda
  61. 61. Skills
  62. 62. Autonomy
  63. 63. Discipline Antti Leinonen, Sirkus Magenta, photo by Tuomas Stenbäck
  64. 64. Managers, Business and Developers Shared Trust enables Developers can bring Motivation Autonomy Skills Understanding +Understanding Discipline +Discipline Managers Developers Business
  65. 65. Manager What’s in it for me? Business
  66. 66. What would the Experts choose instead? Leading Indicators Developers Technical Quality Sound Architecture Lagging Indicators
  67. 67. Let excellence grow in circles or guilds! Team A Team B DevOps Circle Team C Team D
  68. 68. Nurture Technical Excellence Photo by D Sharon Pruitt
  69. 69. Maximize the Impact Photo by Spettacolopuro
  70. 70. Thank you for your attention
  71. 71. Antti Kirjavainen antti.kirjavainen@houston-inc.com @anttiki http://www.slideshare.net/AnttiKirjavainen/ http://learninggamedev.wordpress.com/ http://www.houston-inc.com/
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