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Monthly Archives: September 2015

When Backlog Items Are Finished Too Early

There are lots of ways a project can go wrong. Would you believe that a project can go wrong by finishing too early? In a concise article for Scrum Alliance, Giuseppe Decandia discusses the difficulty he ran into when his team had time to spare. The Early Bird Gets the Boot Decandia’s team had a fixed-price project, and their initial backlog was logically built from estimations. What ended up happening though is that the team …

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The Agile Product Owner vs. the Scrum Master

Teams just starting to become agile may have some questions about who runs what. For instance, it is not always clear what powers and responsibilities the product owner has versus that of the scrum master. In an article for Huffington Post, Brian de Haaff helps to explain the breakdown of obligations. Separate but in Sync We can at least agree that the product owner holds the vision for the product, and the scrum master is …

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Take Agile Methodology Beyond the Team

Agile works among other reasons because teams are small enough to pivot effectively. As a result, efforts to apply agile across the organization actually mean applying dozens of individual implementations of agile. In an article for InfoWorld, Dave West explains some of the steps to realistically taking agile beyond the software team. Agile Bit by Bit The two most well-known ways of applying agile to more traditionally structured companies are SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) and …

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Teaching Scrum for COBOL—Hey, Why Not?

Anderson Diniz Hummel teaches Certified Scrum Developer training, and he does it pretty well. But in an article for Scrum Alliance, he shares a story of how he taught scrum when faced with a class full of COBOL developers. Where there is agile, there is a way. New Meets Old Hummel usually spends his first training day explaining all the fundamentals of agile and scrum, touching on product vision, requirements, estimates, and test-driven development. Beyond …

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How to Help Your Agile Team Succeed

If you do agile right, it works. If your implementation keeps failing, could it be your management style that is to blame? Sharon Florentine writes for CIO.com with a few tips to guarantee you are championing agile thinking. Some Tips for Success Since you as the project manager are the joint that connects the team to senior management, it is important to build trust with both groups. Keep abreast of each side’s needs and try …

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How Agile Teams Should Use the Definition of Done

Is it done, or is it done done? Agile teams come together to agree upon the criteria that constitute when work is “done.” In an article for AgileConnection, Allan Kelly discusses how to decide upon the best definition of done, in addition to clearing up the difference between this and acceptance criteria. Doing, Doing, Done Acceptance criteria and definition of done do go hand in hand, and one can quietly be implied to be an …

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7 Steps to Highly Effective Scrum Ceremonies

What can you do to make scrum ceremonies more effective, aside from maybe dressing up in big robes and chanting to the elder code gods? Ken Coomes outlines seven pointers to help in an article for Scrum Alliance. The big robe is optional (but still preferred). Steps to Better Ceremonies Have a purpose. Set times. Facilitate. Introduce variety. Limit technological distractions. Follow up. Set actions. Not everyone at a ceremony is necessarily highly versed in …

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Budget When You Can’t Estimate

Estimates can be a bundle of laughs if you are the optimistic sort, but no matter how #YesEstimates you are, there will still be times where making a good estimate just is not possible. In such situations, Mike Cohn says you need to budget. He writes in a post at his blog how smart budgeting can help circumvent the dangers of having incomplete estimates. Reframe the Conflict Cohn finds that the only two situations where …

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Scrum and the Enterprise: Where Are We Now?

Scrum adoption has come a long way over the years, and new benefits of it are still being realized. In an article for CIO.com, Sharon Florentine interviews one of its creators, Jeff Sutherland, about the current state of scrum in business. The prognosis for scrum and business both is good. Scrum’s the Word Sutherland first clears up the confusion about the difference between “agile” and “scrum.” Agile is an overarching framework whose principles can actually …

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