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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Envisioning a Perfect Daily Standup

Most daily standups feature the same few key ingredients, with an extra gimmick or adaptation in place here and there. It helps to swap ideas about those gimmicks and adaptations from time to time though, for the sake of keeping things fresh. In a post at his blog, James Mensch discusses some of his thoughts on how to build a “perfect” daily standup. Doing Well in the Standings In addition to the standard “what I …

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Paying Off the Technical Debt in Your Agile Projects

Technical debt is a necessary evil, and its scope is expanding to include things like missing unit tests. You should have a plan in place to keep technical debt at a reasonable level. In an article for AgileConnection, Nishi Grover Garg provides a useful starting point. Needlessly Indebted Garg imagines it is not uncommon for teams to begin a new project according to a programming standard, around which they build automated tools to test adherence …

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The Importance of the Sprint Goal for the Success of Scrum

A sprint comprises backlog items. For many, those backlog items are enough information for teams to get down to work. But in an article for Scrum Alliance, Deepak Agnihotri insists that backlog items alone are not enough to accomplish the best work. For teams to deliver the best results, they must also be abiding by a designated sprint goal. Always Have a Goal A sprint goal provides the overall answer of why the given backlog …

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Do Scrum Teams Meet Too Much?

From a distance, it sounds like scrum has a lot of meetings. Heck, you have at least one meeting every single day. But when you look closer, you start to realize that scrum is actually a pretty sweet deal for the meeting-averse. Mike Cohn explains why that is in a post at Mountain Goat Software. Pursuing a Meet-less Meal As an experiment for agile teams, Cohn asks you to pick a random number from five …

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Working with Distributed Agile Teams

In the ideal case, agile teams will all work directly across from each other, albeit maybe with a few thin walls in-between. But business seldom adheres to silly ideas like convenience, so distributed teams are becoming the norm. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Rajiv Bajwala shares his tips for working most effectively in a distributed agile team. Teams Afar Distributed teams face many inherent challenges, such as overcoming time zone differences, cultural differences, and …

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Don’t Forget to Document the Why of Your Software!

Virtually anyone who has ever inherited software code from someone else has run into a weird section of code and thought, “What the **** is this?!” And it takes far too long to get an answer to that exasperated question, because documentation is missing or was written with inadequate context. So in an article for AgileConnection, David Bernstein discusses the importance of including both a what and a why in software documentation. Why Has This …

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Fitting Technical Writing into Agile Development

Technical writing is not a topic often discussed in agile, perhaps because it is not as blood-pumping as other topics. But the role of technical writers is as important on agile projects as in other projects, except that the role becomes more challenging to do well. In an article for AgileConnection, Robert Spielman discusses how technical writing changes to align with agile development. Technically Inclined The biggest change for technical writers in agile projects is …

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Product Prioritization: How Do You Do It?

How does prioritizing features work in your organization? Do you think it agrees with the ways others do it? In a post at Mind the Product, Kate Bennet shares data from a survey of 50 product managers about how they prioritize. Now you can find out how normal you are. Featured Data In 35 percent of cases, the leadership team decides what will be built next. For another 28 percent, it is the product team. …

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10 Lingering Scrum Challenges

Agile keeps evolving, but the barriers to implementation stay largely the same. With scrum in particular, businesses keep banging their heads on the same roadblocks. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Zoran Vujkov discusses 10 of these lingering challenges: Company culture Treating scrum as a silver bullet Understanding scrum principles Poorly written requirements Lacking definition of done Dysfunctional leadership Poor agile coaching Improper use of scrum ceremonies Lack of visibility Improper use of scrum roles …

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