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The views expressed in these blogs written by our Authors are the views of the individual posters and do not necessarily reflect HSE or the views of Holisitic Software Consulting Ltd. - although they probably do.


  • Holistic Software Development – the book

    Holistic Software Development – the book The HSD book is currently in it’s final editing phase. If you’d like to purchase the book then please bookmark this page and come back soon. What’s inside? The book covers a detailed introduction to Holistic Software Development and it’s principles. Covering the H-Model and how it us used to map levels of decomposition to […]

  • Holistic Software Development @AgileInABag London 12 June 2015

    Holistic Software Development @AgileInABag London 12 June 2015 I’ll be presenting with my friend and colleague Steve Handy about Holistic Software Development at the Agile in a Bag conference in London on the 12th June 2015. If you can make it, do come along to this great 1 day conference to have some fun, share some thoughts and ideas and meet some interesting […]

  • The rise of the Chief Software Architect

    The rise of the Chief Software Architect Software is increasingly important to everyone, it’s everywhere. It’s in our phones, runs our cars, our cities, our healthcare, entertainment and utilities. There are few businesses without a software element and many that are critically software dependent. What these organisations are finally beginning to understand is that the business of doing software is difficult, in […]

  • How to write a good strategy

    How to write a good strategy Strategy is a plan that provides overall direction for an organization and a framework for decision making. Strategy is the instrument by which executive decision makers communicate and drive the future direction of their organization, without clear well-communicated strategy the organization becomes directionless. The purpose of strategy is to set the overall direction that an […]

  • The Hybrid Dynamic Model

    The Hybrid Dynamic Model The Hybrid Dynamic Model is a modern approach to structuring an organisation’s portfolio that allows for multiple ways of working to co-exist from innovation to utility work and for that work to change which processes, cultures and practices it uses over time. An “Operating Model” describes how an organisation does its business in terms of […]

  • A man’s perspective on feminism in the technology industry

    A man’s perspective on feminism in the technology industry I normally avoid posting on controversial things but this is a topic that shouldn’t even be controversial. The world is full of a marvellous variety of people and they come in all shapes and sizes, with a staggering range of ways of thinking. People are different due to things like gender, race, ability, sexual orientation, […]

  • HSD Introduction SlideShare

    HSD Introduction SlideShare A quick introduction to Holistic Software Development (HSD). Holistic Software Development is a free process framework that combines agile, agile at scale, lean as well as portfolio, programme and project management into a single cohesive model.

  • What is HSD? #hsd

    What is HSD? #hsd HSD stands for Holistic Software Development which is a process framework that extends the principles of agile philosophy throughout the entire software development enterprise. Similar to “agile at scale” ideas HSD goes a few steps further integrating software development concerns from business strategy to continuous development, structural organisation to governance on the H-Model of software […]

  • Epics or Integration Scenarios?

    Epics or Integration Scenarios? Many teams I’ve worked with struggle to make sense of their huge backlogs of stories, struggle to explain the scope of a release and current work – and most importantly, struggle to explain how the stories they’re working on contribute to business value! All of these problems are killers when it comes to joining up […]

  • What’s new in HSE 1.3

    What’s new in HSE 1.3 We’ve released an update for Holistic Software Engineering (www.holistic-software.com) which: deprecates use-case diagrams in favour of scope diagrams emphasizes Integration Scenarios instead of “Scoping Use Cases” for Programme Backlogs updated versions of the Big Picture, Small Picture and COTS Implementation variants  

  • Collective nouns for software development roles

    Collective nouns for software development roles An embarrassment of Project Managers An impasse of Architects A confusion of Business Analysts A mob of Developers A silo of Testers A brethren of Scrum Coaches A waste of Lean Consultants A conspiracy of Process Improvement Consultants People are important, not roles! But recently I saw a weekly team meeting for a project that […]

  • Video: holistic approach to scaling agile in 46 seconds

    Video: holistic approach to scaling agile in 46 seconds

  • The Customer Delusion

    The Customer Delusion It’s pretty pointless building things that your customer doesn’t need or want. The first steps necessary in understanding how to deliver value to the customer: 1. Identify the value. – This must be done from the customer’s perspective. 2. Identify how that value is actually created. Lean thinking describes this as identifying and mapping the value stream – the […]

  • What is agile architecture?

    What is agile architecture? Architecture is a high level view of a system in the context of its environment, dependencies, technology, structure and behavior. Architecture must be solid, useful and beautiful. Software architecture is typically hard to define as the term software architecture is used to describe many facets of software structure, behaviour, design, activity and documentation. The concept […]

  • Guidelines for good architecture and design

    Guidelines for good architecture and design Having a common understood architecture, regardless of the format of that understanding (documents, models, sketches, whiteboards, implicit team knowledge), is described as “Intentional Architecture”. Holistic Software Engineering described “good” architecture and design as having the following characteristics: Intentional structure and behaviour Highly modular: consisting of separate services, components, classes, objects or modules Elements are highly […]

  • Scaling agile is the wrong approach

    Scaling agile is the wrong approach The heart of agile software development is feedback loops. Doing a bit of software, looking at it, at how we did it and then improving things as we do another bit of software. The “things” that can be improved can be quality, scope, usability, performance etc. etc. Perhaps most importantly, relationships and ways of working […]

  • How to Measure Business Value

    How to Measure Business Value We’re often asked the question “How do I quantify value?” For many businesses this is a matter of balancing risks against (Estimated Sales – Cost of Development). It is the quantification of the risk element that poses a problem, but if the potential reward significantly outweighs the cost to develop then the decision to proceed […]

  • Agile Contracts: The Big Secret

    Agile Contracts: The Big Secret There’s endless debate in the industry around contracting models and which is the best model, to further confuse the subject there’s always a “Yes but” in the mix, over the last 10 years its been “Yes, but what about contracts with agile” before that it was “Yes, but what about contracts with iterative development” In […]

  • #Devops – A sticking plaster for a bigger problem

    #Devops – A sticking plaster for a bigger problem Why not StratDev, BusOps, etc.? The term “DevOps” refers to tight integration between the Software Development and Operations parts of an organization. As I mentioned in my article on Conway’s Law the reinforcement of there being two separate parts “Dev” and “Ops” causes a separation in the way we think about these problems and then […]

  • Change by Assertion

    Change by Assertion I’ve been involved in process improvement for around twenty years, I think I’ve had some successes. This is a problem “I think I’ve had some successes” ? Last year, I was having a conversation with my friend and colleague about how we could approach a particularly tricky question, Mike and I were challenged with understanding the performance […]

  • Is your project a Death March?

    Is your project a Death March? Death March projects are those projects that everybody has heard about where everyone on the team knows the project is pointless yet all the team members persist despite the feeling of impending doom. The team may make attempts to correct the problem but are usually thwarted in their efforts to change. Death March projects persist […]

  • And about me

    And about me I’m some way between a tools geek, process geek, (post-)agile geek, psychology geek and programming geek. I work with both private and public sector organisations worldwide to help improve the way software is done. I’m a UK based consultant with over 10 years experience in the software industry enabling teams in the adoption of various […]

  • About Me

    About Me I’m a lover of history, a follower of technology old and new, I love the fells of Northern England. My professional life is almost exclusively focused on helping organisations large and small operate more effectively. I’m a coach, mentor, and a listener, thinker and sounding board for ideas. My greatest pleasure is in seeing the […]

  • Launch: Holistic Software Engineering

    Launch: Holistic Software Engineering How do we join up business strategy to agile development? Is program management relevant? Where do project managers fit in? What about architecture? Holistic Software Engineering (HSE) answers all of these questions – for free. Agile and continuous flow are great for small teams or a small number of inter-related small teams working on exploratory […]

  • No more Project Managers, bring in the Movie Producers

    No more Project Managers, bring in the Movie Producers I was reading some course material recently that was trying to teach people something to do with software development and it was using the same old tired “ATM machine” example. I’ve worked with hundreds of projects, many in the finance sector and none of them are anything like an ATM machine.  One of the reasons […]

  • Testing is dead

    Testing is dead Long live testing! There’s an apparent conflict between the idea of a cross-functional team collaborating together on their work and specialist testers that only do testing. There’s an awful lot wrong with the “them and us” attitude between developers and testers (in both directions) in some organisations. One of the biggest problems in isolating testing […]

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