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”
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?”
In 2015 Cheryl Hammond introduced me to the GetKanban game. The game is an awesome way for the participants to experience the impact of queues and the decisions you need to make using the Kanban framework. The players simulate 2-3 weeks of development with daily standups where the team decides prioritization and who should work on what. Life is not fair and neither is the game. But we learn through our struggles and this is only a game.
We read blogs because we want to learn, expand our horizons and keep up with new developments in the Industry. We write blogs because we are passionate about a topic, want to share some cool ideas and very often to market ourselves. There is an overlap but readers and writers are not always in sync. There is so much to read and so little time. Over the last few months I have looked at about 250 somewhat random blogs. I stumbled upon some excellent articles but the majority was either talking to the absolute beginner audience or plain mediocre.