Author Archives: Assaf Stone

About Assaf Stone

My name is Assaf Stone. I'm a senior ALM consultant in Microsoft's Premier Support for Developers Team. When not being kept busy by work, my wife, or my four kids, I like to practice archery, read books, and listen to 70's and 80's rock music. I would also like to just relax, if I had any more spare time!

Learn How to Ask the Right Questions!

One thing that sets high-performing individuals and teams apart from lower performing teams is experience. Experience is a shortcut. It saves time. It helps you skip the time and effort required to research a particular problem. Experience lets you cut … Continue reading

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4 Ways to Integrate Development and Operations Efforts

So you’ve heard about DevOps. That is great. You’ve decided that your organization could really benefit from a “DevOps transformation”. Even better. You’ve even gone above and beyond, and memorized the following definition for DevOps: DevOps is the union of … Continue reading

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DevOps and Your Definition of Done

Regardless of the agile methodology you are using to drive your software development efforts, you should have an explicit definition of done. I say explicitly, because you will always have one – whether you define it or not. Regardless of … Continue reading

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How to Maximize the Value of Your Planning Session

By now it is commonly accepted that the old way of developing software, in silos, with a big up front plan and design, with only a single true delivery to customers at the end of the project, also knows as … Continue reading

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The Importance of Limiting Your WIP

In the previous post we discussed what WIP (Work In Process/Progress) is, and how to track it. In this post I want to discuss why WIP limits are so important and how they contribute to improving the team’s effectiveness and … Continue reading

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WIP Your Product into Shape

What is WIP? WIP simply means work in process (also sometimes, Work In Progress). This metric simply measures how many items (features, stories, backlog items, tasks) your team have started to develop, but have yet to complete. In other words, … Continue reading

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5 Ways to Reduce the Impact of Failure

In the previous post we discussed risk management, how many of us manage it today by attempting to control the likelihood of failure, and why we should instead focus on reducing the impact of failures, as a way to manage … Continue reading

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Risk: You’re Managing it Wrong!

No offense, but despite your best intentions, you might not be handling risk properly. In this day and age, everything is software-dependent; even if you do not consider yourself a “software-firm” per-se, even if you are just running a small … Continue reading

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How to Track Impediments in VSTS

Note: While this post discusses impediments in VSTS, everything mentioned can be applied to TFS as well. Visual Studio Team Services (or VSTS) has great tools to support Scrum teams. The product owner can use the backlog and board to … Continue reading

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How to Set Up Multi-Level Hierarchies in VSTS

Background Both VSTS (Team Services) and TFS (Team Foundation Server) have a set organizational hierarchy. An individual developer belongs to a team. A project (also called Team Project, or TP) has multiple teams, and a VSTS account – as well … Continue reading

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