Christian Miles
Christian Miles
Specialists in agile consultancy, training and coaching #thatsIntelligence

Q. What is Scrum?

The scrum guides :- “a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”

Scrum is a simple, empirical process framework based upon the principles of transparency, inspection and adaptation.

Scrum operates in short iterations (usually around 2 weeks) - Each increment resulting in a potentially releasable product increment. Working in such short timeboxes allows for rapid feedback and as result you should expect that the end solution will not necessarily be predicable! You should expect for the pivots in direction as the domain area is explored.

Read more @ my blog - The 10 must do's of Scrum

Q. What is Kanban?

This deserves many articles or perhaps even books to explain!

Unlike Scrum which is a structured framework, Kanban is closer to a set of principles. 

There are 6 practices

  • Visualise the work flow ·
  • Limit your work in progress
  • Manage flow
  • Make policies explicit
  • Feedback loops
  • Improve incrementally

The Kanban process of start with what you do now, respect for current roles and acknowledgment of the value in the current system and incremental improvements based on measurements could be argued makes it a safer way to move to being agile and will meet less resistance. 

My biggest warning with this approach is that it requires organisations to commit  to continually improve, change, evolve - In my experience this is where Kanban can fail.... Organisations find it hard to commit and execute continual change preferring a transitional phases with a defined end!  

Read more @ my blog Kanban, It's not just boards and post-it notes

Q. What is Agile?

I was at an Agile meetup a while back when this question was asked, even in a room full of Agile enthusiast we, couldn't define what the term really meant.. Let alone agree!

I suspect if I asked the question what is a Sports-car or what makes a good sports-car?  We'd struggle to come up with a definitive description that would fit every sports-car ever made!

What's my definition? A contnual commitment to becoming a learning organisation, Where we continually review and refine our methods of working at all levels based on evidence and feedback, where decision-making is visible, genuinely collaborative and encouraged" 

So no mention of stand-ups, planning sessions, user stories or even planning poker! But a commitment to learn and improve based on what works and what doesn't!

Read more @ my blog What is Agile?

Q. Is Agile just for IT?

No! I've done work with non IT organisations using agile techniques and I'm currently helping to understand how Scrum could be used within construction.