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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.

Scrum Training Series (dot-com)
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 cowboy hat in real life also.  The videos are in 6 modules:  Introduction to Scrum; Backlog Refinement Meeting; Sprint Planning Meeting; Daily Scrum Meeting; Sprint Review Meeting; Sprint Retrospective Meeting. There are also quizzes to be taken along the way.  I suggest you watch these with a group and then discuss the topic, compare and contrast what you are currently doing or have done in the past with what the team in the video does to succeed.

Since I've been doing the Agile Coaching gig, I've never seen a successful team that didn't have an engaged and dedicated Product Owner.  This is the first role to get functioning in an Agile transition (adoptions or transformation), and sadly the most overlooked (see: 5 keys to Scrum Adoption).  Why is it often overlooked?  Because it is a leadership role, and most leaders are not willing to change how they approach doing work.  Rather they wish the teams (individual contributors) to change while the leaders are allowed to stay in status quo.  (See Also:  We Don't Hire Product Owners Here  by Rich Mironov).

A great video overview of the Product Owner role in Scrum is by Henrik Kniberg of Crisp's Blog: Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell.

video
http://blog.crisp.se/2012/10/25/henrikkniberg/agile-product-ownership-in-a-nutshell
Here is Kniberg's explanation of what your manager is doing when they optimize resource utilization rates on your team.  Is this what you really wanted?
The resource utilization trap


And another of Kniberg's videos on Spotify culture and how they have mutated Scrum.




Mike Cohn has entered this space of educational videos with a new (Apr. 2014) offering called Front Row Agile,  a pay for access site.  Currently most courses are labeled "coming soon".

Alan Dayley of Big Visible has a nice example of Release Planning:





Rally Dev has some videos on their Agile Chalk Talk series:

Iteration Planning


User Stories

Story Points

Sizing and Estimation

Agile Teams

Agile Manifesto

Retrospecting Your Iterations

Lean and Agile

Kanban and Scrum


If you find other videos on the web that are useful - please add them in the comments below.  Thanks.


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Exercise:: Definition of Ready & Done

Assuming you are on a Scrum/Agile software development team, then one of the first 'working agreements' you have created with your team is a 'Definition of Done' - right?



Oh - you don't have a definition of what aspects a user story that is done will exhibit. Well then, you need to create a list of attributes of a done story. One way to do this would be to Google 'definition of done' ... here let me do that for you: http://tinyurl.com/3br9o6n. Then you could just use someone else's definition - there DONE!

But that would be cheating -- right? It is not the artifact - the list of done criteria, that is important for your team - it is the act of doing it for themselves, it is that shared understanding of having a debate over some of the gray areas that create a true working agreement. If some of the team believes that a story being done means that there can be no bugs found in the code - but some believe that there can be some minor issues - well, …

David's notes on "Drive"

- "The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us" by Dan Pink.

Amazon book order
What I notice first and really like is the subtle implication in the shadow of the "i" in Drive is a person taking one step in a running motion.  This brings to mind the old saying - "there is no I in TEAM".  There is however a ME in TEAM, and there is an I in DRIVE.  And when one talks about motivating a team or an individual - it all starts with - what's in it for me.

Introduction

Pink starts with an early experiment with monkeys on problem solving.  Seems the monkeys were much better problem solver's than the scientist thought they should be.  This 1949 experiment is explained as the early understanding of motivation.  At the time there were two main drivers of motivation:  biological & external influences.  Harry F. Harlow defines the third drive in a novel theory:  "The performance of the task provided intrinsic reward" (p 3).  This is Dan Pink's M…

Team Performance Model - by Drexler and Sibbet

Many of you have all heard of the Tuckman model of team dynamics (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing).  It was created in 1966 and has become the most popular model for describing team behavior.  Is it time to level up in your mental model of team dynamics?  Are you ready for a richer more functional model?



Introducing the Team Performance Model by Drexler and Sibbet



Orientation - Why am I here?
"Orientation is about understanding the purpose of a team and assessing what it will mean to be a member.  you need to understand the reason the team exist, what will be expected of you and how you will benefit from membership.  In a new team, these are individual concerns, because the group is only potentially a team.  that is why these concerns are illustrated as occurring in your imagination at an intuitive level.  As a team leader it is important to provide time and space for people to answer these internal questions themselves."

Keys to when Orientation challenges are resolve…

Do You Put “CSM” After Your Name?

I’ve noticed a new trend—people have been gaining titles. When I was younger, only doctors had initials (like MD) after their names. I always figured that was because society held doctors, and sometime priests (OFM) in such high regard that we wanted to point out their higher learning. I hope it was to encourage others to apply themselves in school and become doctors also. Could it have been boastful?

The Wikipedia describes these “post-nominal initials”:
Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, are letters placed after the name of a person to indicate that the individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honor. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters. The order in which these are listed after a name is based on the order of precedence and category of the order. That’s good enough for me.
So I ask you: is the use of CSM or CSP an appropriate use of post-nominal initials?
If your not an agilista, you may wonder …

Refactoring - examples from the book

Martin Fowler's book Refactoring:  Improving the Design of Existing Code has a simple example of a movie rental domain model, which he refactors from a less than ideal object-oriented design to a more robust OO design. Included in this Refactoring_FirstExample.zip Zip file are the Java source code files of the Movie, Rental, and Customer classes. Along with a JUnit CustomerTest class. Using these example source files you too can follow along with the refactoring that Fowler presents in the first few chapters of his book.