In Sprint planning for teams using Scrum I often observe stories broken down into tasks.. Tasks estimates done in hours and tasks assigned to people throughout the sprint. The sprints are carefully planned and loaded to achieve as close to a 100% utilisation as possible. Usually the end result of the sprint looks very different to what was planned… But why?Read More
Lego Scrum is a great way for teams to learn and understand Scrum... By doing Scrum!Read More
It’s a very common scenario - as a team you have uncertainty around an estimate you need to give, possibly due to dependencies or other technical risk.. However you’ve been forced to commit to a date estimate and declaring uncertainty is not allowedRead More
The term agile coach is as misunderstood as the role of Scrum Master… Probably much more so! with titles such as Team coach, Enterprise coach and Lead agile coach to name just a few further complicating this space.Read More
Design Sprints come out of Google and are used widely within Google Ventures - Their Venture Capitalist division. Design sprints are 5 days in duration running from 10am to 5pm in the following format.....Read More
"It's meant to be an agile project why are we still making changes?" "Why didn't you capture those requirements earlier?" "It meets MVP why can't you release?" "Why are we only discovering these issues now? It needs to hit this deadline so no more changes!"
Does any of that sound familiar? It's something I've heard lots of times.Read More
Clean Language is a technique developed by David Grove in the 1980's which was a result of clinical work helping to resolve clients traumatic memories - Encouraging clients to develop and build metaphors which are then explored using clean language questions.Read More
I've been trying to design a game which will teach some agile & lean principles around running a portfolio of work.. And to be honest I've been struggling!! So many learning points to get across whilst making it fun.Read More
Metrics are important... They allow you to safely change the workings of a team and understand the effect. Management typically prefer's this way of working, it's safer and you have evidence to back up decision making.
At the planning level metrics are invaluable - And allow you to plan with some confidence.... Although planning when you have actual metrics suddenly becomes a much more complex and tiring process than just guessing it!
But you have to them use metrics responsibly and remember Goodhart's law - "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."
Kanban thinking is a methodology for understanding systems. When I introduce Kanban I like to run a number of workshops.
The first is to understand the purpose of the system and to create a shared understanding and context…
Last night I was having a quick browse through one of the most famous essays ever written on Software engineering, "The Mythical Man Month”... I don't think I've read the book in over ten years during which time its been sat quietly collecting dust on my bookshelf! To my surprise when flicking through I noticed that the original version was published in 1975 making this year the 40th anniversary - However despite being marginally older than myself it shows perhaps how little has changed in the last 40 years!Read More
What is Agile? What's meant by being Agile? When you think about it... It's amazing this question isn't asked more often! It's almost certainly not asked enough especially by companies who suddenly decide to go Agile in an attempt to fix all of their problems!Read More
I've read several articles and blog posts recently which have been questioning the need for story points and estimating techniques such as planning poker - Indeed the last last few conferences I've attended I've partaken in several conversations on this subject - #noEstimatesRead More
One of the things I can't over emphasise enough when coaching agile techniques or working with a team is the importance of keeping everything 'real' and 'physical'Read More
Introducing WIP limits has an immediate psychological advantage - If a team can only work on a limited number of features it forces a prioritisation to take place... likewise at the department or organisational level - Such restrictions whilst unpopular encourages better decision making and ensures that only those tasks with a clear business case are undertaken.Read More