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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Don’t Use the Sprint Review as a Sign-Off Meeting (Usually)

Mike Cohn’s top rule of sprint reviews is “no surprises.” This is at the heart of why he believes sprint reviews should not double as sign-off meetings with product owners or stakeholders. In a post at his blog, he goes into detail about why you should keep your sprint reviews pure of these extra elements. Just Say No (Mostly) For starters, the product owner should be working closely enough with the team in the first …

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Revisiting the Definition of Done

Done means different things at different times. Sometimes, the instant the hand strikes the hour, a guy vanishes from the office so fast that no one is sure he even existed. He is done. When it comes to the product backlog, done is not as much of a sure thing. Natalie Warnert takes a closer look at the definition of done in a post at her blog. Calling It Finito She has been asked many …

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When Does Coaching End and Doing Start?

In essence, the job of the agile coach is to make him or herself obsolete. The coach conveys to a team all the information about a successful agile implementation, such that the coach is no longer needed. It is a fine line to walk though. As agile coach John Yorke explains at his blog, a coach’s goal is not to solve a team’s problems for them. Does that make it okay for a coach to …

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Three Quick Tips for Sizing Defect Fixes

Nobody can just put measuring tape to a defect. It is more like trying to measure how much paint has spilled, based on how many new pink splotches are on your green couch. In a post at her blog, Johanna Rothman offers some help to product owners in the form of three quick tips. Perfect the Defect Calculation The first option for product owners in sizing problematic defects is to ask people to work together …

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Agile: It Took a Village

In the wake of changing technology and business attitudes, there has been talk of if it is time to update the Agile Manifesto. In a post at his blog, Alistair Cockburn, one of its several creators, says an update is never going to happen. But he has a good reason! In the process of explaining, he gives a nice, short history of what really went into the Manifesto’s creation. A Fast History The crux of …

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‘How Might We’ Crack This Problem Wide Open?

Some problems are too big or just too important to be solved by one person. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Ryan Thomas Hewitt shares a strategy for group brainstorming that is used by the likes of Google and Facebook. It is the “how might we” technique, and Hewitt adapts it to be optimally useful in agile situations. A Thought Development Framework This technique has four steps—scene setup, introducing the question, divergence, and convergence. Start …

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Can You Define the Agile Mindset?

Agile practitioners bring up how there is no such thing as “doing” agile; there is only “being” agile by thinking in an agile way. Okay, what does agile thinking entail then? Susan McIntosh takes a stab at providing an answer in an article for InfoQ. Speak Your Mind On the most basic level, an agile mindset is the perspective and attitude that enables a team to perform its best work on an agile project. But …

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What Is a Product?

In order to have product backlogs and product owners, you first need to decide what a product is. You would think the answer would be implicit, yet sometimes people disagree. In a post at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn helps articulate the confusion and pins down his personal definition of a product. Easy to Be Productive To Cohn, a product is “something (physical or not) that is created through a process and that provides benefits …

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3 Reasons to Sprint

Without knowledge of how they actually work, sprint time boxes might seem pretty arbitrary. Why package every single bit of work into specified time frames? As David Starr explains in a post for Elegant Code, there are actually very good reasons why things are done this way. He describes three of them to encourage those of little faith. Three Benefits of Sprints Focus Slack Prescribed inspection and adaptation Focus comes from time boxes in the …

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The Problem with ‘Sort of’ Doing Agile Mobile Development

Websites are large and comprehensive, and nobody minds a little bug here and there. Mobile apps are lean and focused on delivering crucial figures, and people immediately go nuts if something does not work right. In an article for App Developer Magazine, Zubin Irani makes the case that only a fully agile approach to mobile development can create a satisfying experience for users. How to Keep Up Irani breaks down how agile process, technology, and …

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