One of the main tenets of agile and lean is a short feedback loop. Sprint reviews, retrospectives, and other communication give us important qualitative feedback. For trending and comparison against goals, metrics can be very valuable. But metrics can be dangerous as well. The wrong metrics can give false data or even have a negative impact. It is important to select the right metrics and to use them correctly.Continue reading “How to Select Agile Metrics and Some Examples”
Early in 2019, I participated in an excellent game facilitated by Bonsy Yelsangi which provided us a lot of insight into estimation and story writing. I have facilitated the game several times with very positive feedback. The game can be played in less than an hour.Continue reading “Fruit Estimation Game”
A colleague asked me some time ago for retrospective ideas. Life got in the way and I never got back to her. Today, when I was looking for an idea for our team’s next retrospective, I finally got around to share my list of retrospective ideas. I have not tried all of them. Some ideas seem amazing and I would love to try them with the right team and in the right circumstances. Others seem a bit Pete and repeat. I have added a * to my favorites. Let me know what you like or has worked well for you.Continue reading “30 Retrospective Ideas”
Sometimes the best way for the team to improve is by improving the individual members, “Do you think what I believe you think of me?” is a simple retrospective for teams up to 6 members. The team members rate each other’s most important contributions to the team and what behaviors or skills impact the team negatively. Recently I facilitated the Do you think what I believe you think of me? retrospective with a high performing team that has been together over three months. Every member of the team learned ways to improve. And to my surprise, the team enjoyed it.Continue reading “Do you think what I believe you think of me?”
Recently someone related to me that “their new scrum master / agile coach insists on two week sprints.” What happened to “people over process“? Too many companies do the scrum ceremonies almost like a cargo cult and are very far from an agile culture.
Confused about agile at your company? Some of the better blogs I have read on related topics may help you. Forward the ones you agree with to people who can help you drive change.Continue reading “Not all “agile” is agile”
Velocity is an excellent planning tool for longer projects and stable teams that are not very small. It allows you to ignore details like vacation and bad estimates. The law of averages smooths out the bumps allowing you to make a reasonable directional estimate of what can be achieved by a given date.
For smaller teams on short projects of four to six sprints the vanilla velocity does not work as well. If a developer goes on a two week vacation both the sprint capacity and release projection can be significantly off. In a recent case we needed a larger team to complete the project but the fifth member was not available until the third sprint. You can manually adjust for these situations but I prefer to automate when it saves time.Continue reading “Template for Automated Release Burn up”
Would you like to get a feel for what the team thinks of many aspects of the team processes in less than 15 minutes? What does the team really think of your work? Continue reading “Comprehensive Team Health Check”
Our team decided against estimating stories or tasks in real time (eg hours) during sprint planning. We assign relative points during backlog grooming and may change that number later or during the sprint planning as more information becomes available. I was wondering: How good are our estimates? How do we measure that? How do we improve? Do we care?
Many teams follow the three questions for their stand-ups: “yesterday I did …; today I will do …; I am blocked by …”. Time and again I see the same anti-patterns: It is not a planning meeting but a status report to the PO or PM. The team is not listening to other team members. Continue reading “Is your stand up working for you?”