Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Process Alphabet

Process Essentials

We always need a common language to describe the process. Find more about various attempts in Modeling the process: Rolling wave with Practices. There are better options than a reductionist description of the software process as a set “independent” of (unrelated) practices. 

Starting Ideas


  • People first
    • knowledge work: people over processes and tools 
  • Process fundamentals are inter-related 
    • e.g., we cannot decide about the requirements management approach without thinking also about the solution, quality, or the life-cycle.
  • Process state evolution is always an Information Rolling Wave
    • we always acquire/craft/validate the information incrementally, no matter our beliefs. It is not just a simplistic state transition.
  • Core Agile Practices are essentials for a Lean & lightweight process
  • Context matter
    •  different teams, products, target businesses will require different approaches 
  • Continuous improvement is fundamental 
    • we cannot really adapt without that
    • we cannot face competition and challenges without continuous improvement.

      Copyright © 2018 Valentin Tudor Mocanu

Process "Alphabet"

Basic elements that could be used to model the process:
  • Life-cycles 
    • which life-cycles are used, definitions and selection criteria
  • Core Agile Practices 
    • coverage and guidance to acquire core software domain-level skills
  • Adapt to context 
    • guidance about selecting practices in context and selection criteria
  • Teal Teams & Organizations -
    • Cellular, self-organizing, adaptive, self-awareness, with evolutionary purposes. Be Awesome by respecting the others and willingly collaborate with them.
  • Information Rolling Wave  
    • life-cycle, practices, context, value stream - all must fit together in our information rolling wave toward building a Consumable Solution
    • Looking ahead and feedback dimensions should be both represented for all disciplines and all timing levels by appropriate practices
  • Continuous Improvement  
    • should be an explicit goal with explicit guidance


Process "alphabet" fundamentals should be addressed by:
  • any Agile/Lean method
  • any process customization in a specific team/product/business context.

Practices Selection Criteria

Sources of guidance for practices selection:
  • Industry-proven experience
  • Context: product, business milestones, team, etc.
  • Life-cycle used in the context: timing aspect

INTER-DEPENDENCY - Life-cycle and practices are interdependent:
  • The selected life-cycle becomes a context for practices selection 
    • Example: you cannot select manual testing & comprehensive non-executable specification/documentation for Continuous Delivery. The feedback cycles for all kinds of information must be much shorter: specific timing must be reflected in the selected practices
  • The team set of known practices it is a context for life-cycle selection.
    •  Example: you cannot select/perform Continuous Delivery if you do not have skills for the practices that make quick validation and testing as TDD, to fit in the short CD life-cycle.

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