S, M, L estimate should not start with a date span

Many teams I visit nowadays have ditched story points and start to use Small, Medium, and Large (aka T-shirt sizes) estimation instead. I like that. But very often a smell is creeping into the estimation, removing the “relative” out of “relative estimation”. Here’s how this problem will reveal itself. When someone suggests that you’ll use S, M, and L for your estimates you will soon hear:

Ok - so a S is 1-2 days, M 3-5 and L 5-10 then or what’s the scale?

Don’t do that - it’s the wrong way around. In this post I’ll explain why and what is a better, more trustworthy, candid, and transparent approach.

Why attaching day-span to the estimate is bad

Well, it’s quite obvious isn’t it; doing that (S = 1-2 days) is just giving “1-2” days another name. From that follows “resource-days”, then Gantt Schemes and the suffering...

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The hidden agenda of agile....

Recently I’ve been in many discussions about using agile in bigger enterprises that shows that one message of agile has been lost. It goes right to the basis of using agile (or lean for that matter, more on that later) in the first place.

I think I speak too little about this, or at least I feel the need to be much more open and transparent about it. This post is a first attempt to bring some clarity.

NOTE I know that this will come out like a rant. Sorry. It’s not. It’s just the state where I’ve seen it. If anything I think that I have not been candid, clear and transparent in how I communicated.

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First AWS Lambda steps - using ClaudiaJs

First time I heard about AWS Lambda my mind was blown to pieces. Quite simply AWS Lambda gives you the opportunity to run a piece of code without concerning yourself about the infrastructure - AWS will handle deployment, configuration, scaling and all of that stuff. You just push your code.

That “just” in the last sentence proves to be quite a lot of grunt-work, sadly. That is, until you meet ClaudiaJs; your Node flight attendant for AWS Lambda - ensuring a smooth flight to the clouds.

In this post I wanted to describe how I got started with Claudia and Lambdas. It will be loads of fun - let’s get on it!

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What is important, really?

The team I’m currently part of is under immense pressure and stress, a situation that predates my arrival. I’ve been in meetings where none of the five attendees could even sit down due to stress. Just two weeks after joining, I found myself consoling a tearful colleague who had been berated by the “customer,” despite her best efforts. Personally, I’m apprehensive about conveying any news, whether good or bad, to the customers, as they seem perpetually irate. It’s a concerning environment.

What is important? Really.



Before delving into my thoughts, let me share a few glimpses—recent and past—that have prompted me to ponder this question:

  • In Indonesia, an important meeting was abruptly interrupted by news of the death of one of the foundation’s board members.
  • Just fifteen minutes ago, my friends and I were at McDonald’s, amidst chaos—fighting and screaming. Shortly...
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My day off

As you might now the last couple of years have taken quite a toll on my personal life. It was work and my work situation that wore me (and my wife) down.

Before we moved back to Sweden Elin and I decided to try to do something about it, so that we didn’t fall back into a work-life-situation that wore us down again. Therefor we decided to not work full time when we get back.

Wednesdays are my day off. I wanted to share some initial reactions and … eeeeh … symptoms.

Just to be clear - I’m ok. I don’t feel bad, stressed or depressed now. But I don’t want to go there again. This is my ways of protection.

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... what does that say about me

I more and more realize that what I’m doing is about change management. It’s involved in more or less every gig I get and I feel that I know just a fraction about what I need to handle it.

However I have three thoughts that have helped me immensely in how to approach change. They calm me down around the nervosity I’ve felt about “changing people”, since both have to do with changing perspective, putting me on the other side.

In this post I wanted to share these ideas, that are not mine mind you, and maybe you will feel a bit calmer too.

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Indonesia, Agile, Kanban, Lean - its a new book

Never in my life would I dream of writing a book. But that have happened and we (me and Joakim) are super proud of the result and very humbled by the good reception the book has got.

Never in my life would I dream about me writing another book… But it’s happening. Again. I can’t believe it, this time around again.

This will be a story about my experiences in the hospital that I helped during my two years in Indonesia. I’ve blogged extensively about it here and many of those posts will resurface in the book.

There will soon be a site for the book and I’ll make sure to update this post with the link to that.

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What if only small works?

In my church, Vasakåren of the Salvation Army, there’s some amazing work being done for people outside the church. All along the lines of William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army);

Soup, soap, Salvation

One of the more impressive ones are led by my good friend Johan. It’s a program that helps people to get job. It’s called “faith, hope and work”1.

They have had amazing results. About 75% of the people that comes to “Faith, hope and work” gets a job!

My mind was blown away. I learned that the governmental job-finder facility has a hit rate of about 10-25%.

And I did the same erroneous assumption as many of the organizations where agile is started to be used, does. I tried to scale it.

  1. With a hint towards this famous passage 

  2. ...
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Prioritization - some thoughts and tools

Basically we have a lot things to do, many different wills and opinions as to what is more important and 3 hours to get it done. Can you facilitate that for us?

The end of the first email from my “new”1 could not have been more direct and to the point. And yet part of me found it a bit scary too.

This is one of the hardest things you encounter in a project or any organization, and now I was going to do it as the first impression.

Therefor I thought that I could list a couple of thoughts and tools that have helped me through the years. Just to revise them for myself at least. You can peak if you want.

There’s high and low stuff here. Some of it might not be suitable for the kind of prioritization that you’re doing. Your...

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