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Does Agile Deliver Value? Yes And You Can Prove it!

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I participated in a panel today that had to wrestle with the question of why companies use agile. There are lots of good reasons, including improving delivery performance, increased ROI, and higher retention.  What is generally missing is context-specific proof. Realistically, all of the magazine articles or happy stories from consultants trying to sell you on adapting agile (or any other framework) pale in comparison to the ability to measure the impact of change. Which brings me to a re-edited version of an essay published two years ago.  

Does Agile Deliver Value? Yes And You Can Prove it!

Organizations and teams embrace a framework or technique for a purpose. That purpose is generally to address a real or perceived problem.  When you get very specific, each change is done for a different reason.  When teams or organizations are asked whether they attained their goals, solved the problems they intended, or realized the promised benefits, very few have gathered more than a handful of success stories before losing focus and moving to the next big thing. Unless you can answer whether the framework or technique delivered tangible value,  leaders will be reluctant to spend money on changes.  Best practices are a point in case.  Best practices are, by definition, practices that some have found useful (or at least that someone has professed are useful).  Every process improvement and/or best practice adoption that is not legally mandated needs to follow the following high-level feedback loop.

Decide why you are making the change and what the outcome of the change will be in tangible terms. Developing a solid reason for why you are making a change may sound like a trivial step, however, the rationale will often directly impact the passion for making the change. People pursue survival changes with a lot more vigor than incremental quality of life improvements.Develop a hypothesis of why the change you are making will satisfy the rationale for the change.  Changes that actually work rarely are the outcome of magical thinking or dumb luck. If there is no logical reason the change you are proposing will have an impact you are very likely wasting time and money.  Use the scientific method!Set SMART goals that will be used to track and evaluate the change.  As a reminder, SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.  The goals should cover the journey and outcome based on the hypothesis crafted in step 2.Benchmark the process you are changing.  Consider collecting data specific to the change and data to evaluate the impact on the overall system.Make the change.  You still have to make and support the change.  Your journey measures will be helpful to make sure that the change is being implemented well.Collect the data to show the impact (compared to the benchmark developed in step 4) for several cycles after the

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By: tcagley
Title: Does Agile Deliver Value? Yes And You Can Prove it!
Sourced From: tcagley.wordpress.com/2020/08/06/does-agile-deliver-value-yes-and-you-can-prove-it/
Published Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 23:55:19 +0000

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Alleged NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Enthusiast Ampere Gaming Graphics Card PCB Pictured – Triple 8-Pin Connectors, Tons of Next-Gen G6 Memory

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An alleged pictured of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card’s PCB has leaked over at the NVIDIA subreddit (Via @harukaze5719). The GeForce RTX 3090 is rumored to be flagship offering in the Enthusiast Ampere gaming graphics card lineup which will be unveiled on the 1st of September during a digital event hosted by NVIDIA’s CEO, Jensen Huang.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Graphics Card’s PCB Leaks Out – Dual-Sided Next-Gen G6 Memory, Triple 8-Pin Connectors & A Secondary Chip

The leaker reports that the PCB is from a non-reference board by Colorful which would serve as its flagship iGame GeForce RTX 3090 Vulcan-X series graphics card. The leaker has blurred out lots of PCB area as he mentions that some of the details of the PCB are classified & cannot be mentioned by him.

With that said, there’s a lot to talk about so let’s start. Just looking at the PCB, we can see that we’re looking at the backside of the board. The graphics card is powered by three 8-pin connectors which will supply power to all of the components on the PCB. This confirms that at least the custom cards won’t be featuring the rumored 12-pin power connector that was reported a while back as it could just be a Founders Edition only design choice (that also hasn’t been confirmed yet).

Looking at the card itself, there are at least 11 memory modules on the backside which seems to indicate dual-sided memory. Historically, cards with dual-sided memory chips feature the same amount of dies on either side so this would indicate 22 memory modules on the card. Considering these are 1 GB modules, the card could end up with 22 GB of VRAM across a 352-bit bus

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By: Hassan Mujtaba
Title: Alleged NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Enthusiast Ampere Gaming Graphics Card PCB Pictured – Triple 8-Pin Connectors, Tons of Next-Gen G6 Memory
Sourced From: wccftech.com/nvidia-geforce-rtx-3090-ampere-gaming-graphics-card-pcb-pictured/
Published Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2020 08:12:44 +0000

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Agile Teams In A Waterfall Environment: Steps Away From Fixed Everything Work

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A waterfall precedes and follows rapids

In Agile Teams In A Waterfall Environment: Fixed Budget, Fixed Scope, Fixed DateI talked about a panel discussion that I participated in that was asked: 

“We have been presented with a project with a fixed budget, fixed scope, and fixed date — can we use agile to deliver this project?” 

Interpreting the question as can we “be” agile, the answer is no (heck no if you want to be emphatic).  However, does that mean we need to take our ball and march off the field — never to be or do agile? Again, the answer is also heck no. There are several strategies that a team or even an organization can take to make progress toward a better way of working. 

Walled Garden, which is adopting agile values and techniques at a team level and then constructing approaches to interface with entities outside the bubble you create.   This is the most extreme approach, but it is a way to explore and exhibit agile values. At a team level, a leader or manager often has a substantial amount of leeway to affect how work is done. Everything outside of the team is outside of the leader’s sphere of control, therefore handoffs and data sharing arrangements must be negotiated. The walled garden can be dangerous if the team does not control how they work and if experimentation is acceptable behavior. In the real world walled gardens are often used for experiments but if left to run too long they can cause a team or team of teams to be cut off from the rest of the organization.

Shift Left moves the involvement of engineering employees to the front end of work entry. An example of this type of behavior would be to include a person that will be involved in doing the work in the sales process. Work entry problems will mess up the best-laid plans whether agile or plan-based approaches are used. The acceptance of work into the queue is a sales exercise whether you are dealing with cash-carrying, external customers, or taking orders from internal stakeholders. Determining what is needed, whether it can be done, when it will be done, and how much it will cost are all subject to negotiation (that is what sales is all about). Involve current engineers in the process. The term current is used purposefully, don’t assume that since you coded or tested a few years ago that you understand the nuances of the profession today. Involving a sales engineer will help shape the buying or ordering process so that it is based more on technical information and rational analysis and less on saying anything to get the order. Making work entry more purposeful will reduce the number of fixed everything projects. 

Hybridize your approach to building and managing work.  Visualize your flow and adopt a kanban”y” version of Scrumban. Most kanban methods can be overlaid on any process and do not require you to change how you are working. Once you have visualized

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By: tcagley
Title: Agile Teams In A Waterfall Environment: Steps Away From Fixed Everything Work
Sourced From: tcagley.wordpress.com/2020/08/13/agile-teams-in-a-waterfall-environment-steps-away-from-fixed-everything-work/
Published Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:55:49 +0000

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https://getinvestmentadvise.com/tech/intel-confirms-sapphire-rapids-processors-in-2021-with-ddr5-pcie-5-0-and-cxl-1-1/

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Intel Confirms Sapphire Rapids Processors In 2021 With DDR5, PCIe 5.0 And CXL 1.1

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At their Architecture Day 2020, Intel also confirmed the launch of its upcoming Sapphire Rapids CPU platform in 2021. Sapphire Rapids will feature support for DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 and will truly be a “next-generation” data center chip with the addition of the CXL 1.1 interconnect. The company has also plans to release the OneAPI (going gold) later this year which should tie up their master plan of a unified datacenter ecosystem quite nicely.

Intel Sapphire Rapids, Alder Lake and 144 Layer QLC confirmed at Intel Architecture Day 2020

While the company did not reveal the exact process Saphire Rapids is based on, we can infer that it will likely be based on the company’s 10nm SuperFin Enhanced process because it succeeds Ice Lake processors (which are based on vanilla 10nm) and because it uses TME. Total Memory Encryption is an architectural design that encrypts the memory completely so even if someone dumps the RAM – they would just get garbage data. This feature is also present in Tiger Lake – which is based on 10nm SuperFin – which lends credence to Sapphire Rapids being based on the same (or more advanced) process as well.

The company also confirmed that they will be shipping a new 144 layer QLC later in 2020 which should be higher than the industry average and offers a 50% density increase over the third generation QLC that Intel produced. This is something that once again ties in with their datacenter unification efforts. The entire platform would be competing against AMD’s Zen 4 based EPYC Genoa lineup which would also be moving to a newer platform known as SP5.

AMD has promised new memory along with new capabilities for the Genoa lineup which would include support for DDR5, PCIe 5.0,

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By: Usman Pirzada
Title: Intel Confirms Sapphire Rapids Processors In 2021 With DDR5, PCIe 5.0 And CXL 1.1
Sourced From: wccftech.com/intel-confirms-sapphire-rapids-processors-in-2021-with-ddr5-pcie-5-0-and-cxl-1-1/
Published Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2020 13:41:10 +0000

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