Agility != Speed

This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read on software estimation and engineering project management. My favorite paragraph:

The intent of story points is to focus on relative sizing independently of other expectations of time. The problem is that, in being numeric, story points become a currency susceptible to arithmetic, especially once they’ve been aggregated. Rather than the approximation an estimate is intended to be, story points invite conversion while offering the illusion of precision. Once a conversion rate is established, the converted value becomes how people think and talk about them, whether tacitly or explicitly. Story points degenerate into a measure of time, albeit one abstracted enough from real time that, like any currency, they become subject to speculation and inflation. Although a looser fit, T-shirt sizes (S, M, L, XL, etc.) can also fall into the same trap.

Highly recommend reading the whole thing.

Wednesday Assorted Links

  1. We are no longer a serious people. Choice quote:

In short, an unserious country mired in the most masturbatory hysterics over bullshit dramas waged war against an insurgency of religious zealots fired by a 7th-century morality, and utterly and totally lost.

  1. How many pets (projects) do you have? What to do with them?
  2. California’s dry season is turning into a permanent state of being (phys.org)
  3. Instead of being ahead of their time, many ideas are behind their time
  4. Simple systems have less downtime
  5. Gwen.net on improvements in life since the 90s
  6. The Gulf Stream is really important. And it could collapse. This would be bad.
  7. Conan Took the Hard Road: As the country became more polarized, we undervalued his nonpolitical comedy (highly recommended)

And, some embeds:

The Real Story of “The Central Park Karen”

This is well worth a read. Read it.

To tell this story is to address a different set of problems. Among them: our collective intoxication with public shaming. Our willingness to dispense with due process when we think we “know” the truth in the absence of evidence. The media’s complicity in perpetuating public judgments, even when the facts directly contradict those judgments. The lack of proportion in the punishments meted out to perceived offenders. The absence of any avenue for redemption or reconciliation when a breach has been made. And the mercilessness shown to those at the center of these storms, often leaving them suicidal and broken.