Sunday , October 22 2017

Optimizing the Daily Standup into Oblivion

The daily standup, rather fittingly, does not put people at the edge of their seats. It just serves an important and respectable function. But some optimization-minded people will try to “improve” standups—and these improvements run the risk of causing damage. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Jack Reed describes some instances of standup “improvements” not working out. Better Fix It Firstly, some scrum teams really do decide to sit down for standups, adopting an attitude …

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How to Fix Three Mistakes Scrum Masters Make

Everyone is fallible, except maybe Mr. Rogers or Fonzie from Happy Days, and neither of them was ever a scrum master. That means everyone is going to goof up in scrum at one point or another. So in a post at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn describes three common mistakes scrum masters make and how to fix them: Letting work drag on into the next sprint Actively running the daily standup him or herself Allowing …

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It’s Okay Not to Use Scrum

People say all the time that “agile” does not have to mean “scrum,” but not everybody really means it. For some, scrum (or kanban) is all they can imagine. HubSpot’s VP of Product Christopher O’Donnell however reveals that their business stopped using scrum six years ago. In an article for ThinkGrowth.org, he explains the processes they have adopted instead. Nimble New Shapes At HubSpot, O’Donnell says they reached a point where sprints began to feel …

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Dealing with Technical Debt in Agile

As Judge Marilyn Milian says on The People’s Court—the cheap comes out expensive. This is an easy way to describe the problem of technical debt. Code gets deployed because it provides a quick fix for little effort at the time, but it is not designed to scale to the level that the project needs. If that code is not replaced in a timely fashion, then the cost of replacing it once it becomes a problem …

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6 Habits for Business Leaders to Succeed with Agile

Although executives now understand the value of agile, they are often led to believe that agile is just something for software developers to figure out. They do not realize they too play a crucial part in agile success. McKinsey aims to rectify this. In an article, Santiago Comella-Dorda, Krish Krishnakanthan, Jeff Maurone, and Gayatri Shenai describe six habits that business leaders should embody when getting agile: Put skin the game. Shape the product together. Cheer …

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How to Take the Bloat out of Your Backlogs

Is it possible to be too good at identifying backlog items? Maybe. After all, if you identify multiple dozens of user stories all at once, you are probably halfway to having planned a waterfall project. In an article for AgileConnection, Michelina DiNunno discusses how to take the bloat out of your backlog. Weight Loss DiNunno believes that bloat occurs when you take on too many stories of low priority or stories that are just unnecessary …

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4 Steps to Agile Success in Government

If there is anyone who could stand to work faster and more efficiently, it is government offices. Gradually, agencies are coming to realize that agile could be the injection of vitality that they desperately need. In an article for GCN, Matthew Schenck shares four steps to introducing agile successfully: Build teams the right way, with overlapping roles. Implement the right tools. Use data to track progress. Be patient. Speed Eventually Team members need to be …

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Why the Whole Team Should Participate When Estimating

The whole team is expected to participate in estimating the size of product backlog items, but not everyone on the team is always going to have the experience to know how to estimate a certain item. How can you still be useful in such a situation? In a post for Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn explains how team members can be useful during estimation even when their skills do not apply to the item at …

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3 Ways to Make Agile Work in the C-Suite

Not just any area of business will benefit from adopting an agile approach. In fact, it takes a lot of analysis and deep understanding of the business to really know where agile will be a home run. However, as Eric Garton and Andy Noble explain in an article for Harvard Business Review, there actually is no danger in having the C-suite itself adopt an agile mindset. Here are three tips for the C-suite to effectively …

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Capacity Planning Is Not Sprint Planning

As agile practitioners know, not all planning is good planning. But it is not just “too much” planning that causes issues. Trying to plan the wrong way is a recipe for disaster too. In this case, a quick article for Scrum Alliance serves up a reminder that capacity planning is not sprint planning, and we must not treat it as such. The Right Planning Scrum teams operate as a collective unit at all times. Capacity …

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