Agile


Without a goal, it is easy to wander aimlessly!

Sprint goals are a statement of the value that teams strive to deliver.  The statement provides a guide for teams so they can focus on the “why” rather than falling into the trap of local optimization.  It is possible to complete all of the stories or work items only to realize that the team has lost sight of the goal. Alternately, it is possible to meet the goal and not complete all of the stories.  There are three general maladies that afflict Sprint Goals when they are not done well. They are: (more…)

They that control work entry, control the world!  While the statement is a bit grandiose, controlling work entry has a huge impact on both the value a team delivers as well as its physiological health.  Not allowing overt control of work entry though saying yes or no (or their alter egos, now and later) turns teams into liars. Yes stops being an affirmation or decision to proceed with any alacrity.  Three non-yes yeses are: (more…)

 

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SPaMCAST 559 part one of our interview with Al Shalloway. I am breaking two guidelines this week.  First, rarely do I bring guests back so quickly. And secondly, I have not broken an interview into two parts for 7 years (ish). The conversation with Al was full of huge ideas, s, concepts, and calls to action cutting any of the content did not make sense. Al and I talked about about the troubles dogging classic agile, the Agile Industrial Complex, using a scientific approach to change, and FLEX.  Edited, the interview was 49 minutes (with about 20 minutes of chit chat ended up on the cutting room floor – figuratively). I have broken the interview into two parts of approximately 27 and 22 minutes.  Today we have part one and next week we will complete the interview.  (more…)

The Scrum Guide states the Daily Scrum is an event which the Development Team plans work for the next 24 hours.  Far too often teams are working on a mixture of items that are not related to each other or are assigned to team members which locks in boundaries between people.  The day-to-day microplanning envisioned by the authors of the Scrum Guide slip through the team’s fingers and land directly on sharing status especially when driven by the classic three questions: (more…)

Sometimes doing what book says is out of the question!

When a Daily Scrum or daily stand-up are not used for micro-planning and collaborating to achieve the team’s goal, they are occurring for a reason.  Those meetings are scratching some other itch than planning, an itch that however unagile is often defended. When the goal of a daily meeting is something other than group planning there are more efficient and less expensive approaches even for highly agile teams to address status and have a social event. (more…)

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SPaMCAST 558 features our essay Story Points – Leave Them, Don’t Love Them.  Story Points are not evil and they may be useful in some circumstances. But like most tools, at some point, they lose focus. They have outlived their usefulness, therefore, I will leave them when at all possible.  

This week, Jeremy Berriault brings his QA Corner to the podcast.  We talked about focus. How much focus is enough and how much is too much? Mr. Berriault has an opinion and stories to back his opinion up.  (more…)

Every Day?

 

Daily Scrums or stand-ups are a fixture of teams, agile or not, whether they are fulfilling goal identified in the Scrum Guide or not. The Scrum Guide identifies the Daily Scrum (often colloquially known as a stand-up) as one the key events in Scrum.  The purpose of the event is to plan work for the next 24 hours. The meeting are short, approximately 15 minutes, therefore don’t feel like a huge investment of time and money. Wrong!  An agile coaching colleague, Anthony Mersino points out that the Daily Scrum has a cost.  His estimate of $60,000 – 110,000 annually for a typical Scrum team is probably conservative if you factor in the impact of gathering time and getting coffee afterward. Done well there is an offset to the cost.  The value of the meeting comes from micro-planning and collaboration that occurs during the stand-up. The issue is that Daily Scrums or stand-ups don’t always make sense, at least the daily part. Don’t spend the money for a daily stand-up meeting when: (more…)

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