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Showing posts from October, 2013

Review Constraints before Projecting Desires

I find Scrum practices to be very self-similar at various scales of granularity. For example the Sprint appears to start with a planning sessions. Yet within the flow of a sprinting team the planning sessions actually starts with a Sprint Review and Process Retrospective and only then do we look into the future. So in the big picture, planning starts with review. Just like in the Scrum Standup meeting - the 3 questions - it starts with a review. What did you get done (past tense)? Next, what will you do (future tense)? And last, what impedes your progress (current tense)?

The Scrum Standup meeting has a flow of past, future, now. When laid out end to end sprints have a similar pattern: Review & Retro (past), followed by Planning (future), followed by sprinting or doing the work (every day, the now). This self similar pattern can be found in many of the Scrum practices. Practices that mature agile teams use to deliver working tested product increments in a few weeks. For example: …

Retrospectives trump Planning

I was in a CMMI adoption process meeting today and I might have argued that the Scrum Retrospective activity (process step) is more important than the Scrum Planning activity.  Yet, know-one took the bait.  What would be a better piece of bait?

We were discussing what process steps we should define to meet CMMI something something... and the list on the board look like:
Sprint planningbacklog groomingrelease planningproject planningrisk mitigation planning[note - only one is a Scrum activity] I was trying to point out that as a subset of Scrum practices this list is interesting, yet not sufficient.

I believe that planning is way less important that the activity of reflection (learning).  I could refer you to some wonderful quotes by US Army Generals about the uselessness of plans.  But let me skip that meme and jump to the assertion that Retrospectives are more important that planning activities.

WHY?

Because with just that one practice, Retrospectives, a team that was doing no planni…

The Usability of James Bond's Gadgets

Ever wonder about the usability testing that all those inventions of Q in the 007 movies must go through?
Well, so did Ben Judy and he presented his finding at the Big(D)esign conference this year.  
Watch the video:  http://www.bondusability.com

Learn Scrum - a video series

How do you want to learn about Agile/Scrum?  This question is a 21st century problem.  Only a few years ago (last century) there was practically one way to learn a new skill or domain of knowledge - study via the printed page, e.g. buy a book.  But today we have alternative ways.  And yes they very well may be better at teaching than books.  Heck, I know a woman that learned English by watching cartoon network in Poland.

So when people want to learn about Scrum (or Agile - they are not the same thing) I typically ask how they would like to learn.  Do you want a book, or a google search term, or perhaps a video?  Most people are responding to the question with a request for a video.

Here's my best resource:  http://scrumtrainingseries.com.  The Scrum Training Series is 6 video cartoons that follow a new team into the daily activities and learning of a newly forming team with a Scrum Trainer (facilitator or coach) by the name of Michael James of CollabNet.  And yes, he wears a cowbo…