Friday , September 22 2017

What Else Does the Scrum Master Do?

Scrum masters guide their teams, remove impediments to team success, and ensure the principles of scrum are being properly upheld. Can they do anything else? Sure! They can also provide coaching to management. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Daniel Dojcinovski describes how scrum masters can be of strong use to the business beyond their immediate teams. Scrum at the Top Dojcinovski notes how, once a team truly understands how agile works, they typically become …

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Are You Misreading Team Velocity?

When you give yourself a cheat day on a diet, that is alright. When you give yourself multiple cheat days and your integrity starts to erode—that is not alright. Such erosion can occur in our use of velocity too if we are not careful. In an article for TechBeacon, Matthew Heusser reminds us of the right and wrong ways to use team velocity. Wrong Number Story points are a wholly relative unit of measure whose …

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4 Steps to Fix a Broken Deployment Process

When you are managing potentially hundreds of applications across different environments, developing a rhythm for releasing code at the right times is a challenge. Technical Delivery Manager Colleen Stock has gone down the road of trying to smooth out a bumpy deployment process before. In an article for AgileConnection, she shares four steps that have worked for her in creating improvement: Find the bottleneck. Don’t get in the way of development. Automate testing with useful …

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Is Agile the Answer to the Government’s IT Skills Deficit?

Skilled, ambitious IT workers aspire to work in a dynamic, challenging setting like Google. They seldom rub their hands together at the prospect of working for the government. As a result, government IT skills can be lackluster at times. In a quick article for FCW, Steve Kelman muses over whether agile might be able to shake up the status quo and empower government IT to take greater control of its operations. More Understanding with Less …

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Is Agile Creating Pockets of Efficient Darkness?

We are long past the attitude of thinking that agile does not work; we know it does work. But like anything that works, it is not perfect. Agile particularly can offer challenges of visibility. In an article for CIO magazine, Andrew Lientz describes this issue and what can be done to push past it while maintaining agility. Trust in the Dark Waterfall offers a lot of documentation and generally a lot of things that are …

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Should You Use the Chaos Story?

Once the scrum team has committed to enough work to fill up the sprint, then the backlog gets sealed tight, never to be altered until the next sprint. This can create some sticky situations when new, unanticipated demands emerge mid-sprint. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Erik Hansen proposes using and inserting a “chaos user story” into sprints as a means of directly addressing these unexpected challenges. Dealing with Madness To emphasize why the ability …

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Implementing Agile for the Most Gain

Since we only know as much as our experiences have taught us, I suppose it is not surprising that some people still shun agile: One bad experience can spoil everything. So it is important to introduce agile into the IT organization correctly the first time. In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels relates how Tarah Lourens, CTO of Wonga, has used agile to positive effect in her business. The example might help you with your …

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Three Environments Where Agile Adds Value

Agile never works out in the long term without management support. Shrewd managers will understand the right applications for agile and will not just force it onto everything like putting ketchup on chocolate. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Lynda Bourne describes three environments where agile could particularly excel: Maintenance environments Contractual or legal environments Projects that lack a defined scope Agile Habitats In maintenance, agile can go straight to work without a …

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9 Questions Scrum Masters and Product Owners Should Be Asking

Questions are like a magnifying glass. Point them the right way, and you will uncover something you did not know was there. In a post for Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn shares nine questions to illuminate every aspect of your agile work. Question Everything First are two questions about estimates: “In the vaguest possible terms, would you estimate this work takes hours, days, weeks, months, or years?” This is a healthy, noncommittal way to get …

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What Is the Scrum Master’s Duty?

We can all benefit from a reset to our expectations from time to time. For instance, there are lots of different ways that people view scrum masters, and not all of the perceptions are accurate. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Christian Bisson briefly overviews all the right and wrong ways that people picture scrum masters. The Real Identity Bisson has heard of people describing scrum masters as “elves of happiness,” as “coordinators,” …

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