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Posts tagged ‘agile’

Train your teams in Scrum

Often companies get someone to train their team when they adopt Scrum, but a few months or years later, new staff have joined, others have left, and very few people remain who have received formal Scrum training. As a result companies suffer because people understand the mechanics of Scrum but not the principles and values behind it. This prevents them from effectively inspecting and adapting.

It’s not always feasible to get an external trainer to train your teams on an ongoing basis. I have a solution! Train them yourself :) Before you tell me you can’t, take a look at this book: Growing Agile: A Coach’s Guide to Training Scrum. It contains everything you need to run a Scrum training session from 1 hour to 2 days. Workbooks, slides, simulation, the works!

Test Plans in Agile

Talking to a test manager recently he mentioned that he often gets asked, “When do you do test plans in agile, if ever”. Since it is a common question I thought a blog post would be useful.

First let me clear up a common misconception. Agile does not mean NO documentation, the agile manifesto says “while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.” So documentation is valuable, but working software is more valuable. But you also have to ask what goal the documentation is serving. Read more

We do Agile, but not Scrum

I often hear people saw “we follow the Agile Methodology”, or “we don’t do Scrum but we do Agile”. As if it is a thing I should know about. If you have done this then please note, there is no such thing as the Agile Methodology. My husband describes it best. Agile is an abstract super class. It has no specific instantiation. For those of you who aren’t OO geeks, that means Agile is just a word which groups a number of approaches together, it is not a methodology in itself. Read more

A Development Manager’s Strategy

It’s the end of the year and as a software development manager I find myself thinking about strategy. I’ve been in this position for 5 months now, and I think it is time to start consciously working towards a strategy rather than just doing what I think is right. After a few discussions with others I think I have the foundation of something that really resonates with me, what I believe, and what I hope we can achieve. I thought I’d share it and see what people think.

I believe there are three things that our board and executive team expect from product development. These are the 3 key goals or objectives for me for the year: Predictability, Quality and Value. Read more

How Scrum Changed My Life

What did you want to be when you grew up? How about when you started your first job? What was the vision you had for your future? Is it still the same?

Recently someone asked me what my ambitions were when I started my first job. My answer: I wanted to be the CEO. I didn’t mind of what, but I knew I wanted to succeed. I was highly ambitious, and to me climbing the corporate ladder all the way to the top was the very definition of that success.

And now? Well a while ago I made a conscious choice to side step the corporate ladder and focus on coaching, and now I’ve taken a pay cut to work in a smaller, less corporate environment.

How did this happen? Well in my case Scrum happened. Read more

Release Planning with Scrum

This post has been moved to my company blog at Growing Agile – you can read it here:

http://growingagile.co.za/2012/10/release-planning-with-scrum/

Fixed Date Fixed Scope Scrum

This post has been moved to my company blog at Growing Agile – you can read it here:

http://growingagile.co.za/2012/10/fixed-date-fixed-scope-scrum/

 

Improve your Scrum implementation in one week

As a coach I have the benefit of observing multiple teams doing Scrum. I’ve noticed some basic things they often don’t seem to get right, which I think would massively improve things for them. Often the feeling is that it takes too much effort to get these things right, and they will ‘get around to them’ but they never do. I was inspired to write a post with some concrete steps teams could take to fix some of these things. Below are 5 things you can do to improve how you Scrum. You can do them all in 1 week, and none of them should take you more than 2 hours each. Read more

A Week in the Life of a Scrum Coach

Recently someone asked me what ScrumMasters actually do. They didn’t mean it negatively, they were just seeking to understand a fairly misunderstood role. I thought about this, and I feel that maybe if a few ScrumMasters or coaches could blog about what they actually do on a day to day basis it might help make the role easier to understand.

I also think some ScrumMasters get off easy. Their teams don’t hold them accountable for doing what they really should be doing, because the teams don’t really understand what it is their ScrumMaster should be doing. So I’ve decided to blog about a week in my work life as a Scrum coach. I can’t blog about a week in the life of a ScrumMaster because I’m not doing that, but I think the coach role is similar, and maybe this post will inspire others to blog about a week in their life. Read more

Understanding Coaching

As mentioned in my previous post, the deep dive workshop with Lyssa Adkins at the Orlando Gathering was a huge learning experience for me, and so I want to share some of the learning and insights I had in the session. Besides being an agilist, Lyssa is also a Co-Active Coach, and a lot of the skills she taught are professional coaching skills which are also applicable to agile coaches or ScrumMasters. Read more

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