Impediment List – Inhouse Course May 15

I am a strong supporter of identifying small things that we can take action on, one at a time, to get better.  In Scrum, we call this an impediment list.  This week, the class identified these impediments. I think I have ‘translated’ them correctly …. Lack of governance 0% transparency Actively disengaged team members Competing […]

Velocity: What if a story is partially completed in one sprint?

Question: If you had a user story (Story X) with four Story Points at the start of the Sprint, which was not completed by the end of the Sprint but the majority of the work was done (e.g., just two small bugs remained), would you recalculate the Story Points when adding this into the next Sprint […]

Is It Really important to estimate initial velocity?

Question: “Is it really important to have a SP estimate before the first Sprint starts?” I think he means an estimate of the initial team Velocity before the first Sprint Planning Meeting. Answer: The short answer to his immediate question: Yes, it is important. Why? It makes it a tighter meeting (SPM, Part 1), and […]

What to tell the Executives – Part 2

Last week I discussed this issue with the Agile-Carolinas group.  Wonderful conversation.  Many great comments. One thing I was struck by was that there are many many different types of situations.  And that we need to address, possibly, many different things, depending on the situation (including the people). In the session, I focused on the […]

Agile Velocity | Estimating Initial Agile Velocity

Agile Velocity by Lean Agile Training Here is a method for estimating initial Agile Velocity that may work for you. I expect you to use it in the context of Agile Release Planning. (Anything useful should be credited to Jeff Sutherland; any issues should be credited to me.) First we take some assumptions or identify […]

Question: Advice to a beginning ScrumMaster

Question: “I am a beginning ScrumMaster in a tough situation. I have some ideas, but I am unsure what to do, and unsure what to do first. What can you suggest?” Answer: I think this is common. In reality, there is no end to the things a ScrumMaster can do to help the team. So, […]

Question: The Basics of Agile Contracts

Melinda asks: “How can SCRUM/Agile Methods be effectively leveraged for responding to RFP/proposals for Fixed Price & Fixed Date contracts especially when the Scope (i.e., Product Backlog) is more adaptive to change? When would CRs be required, if at all? How can we help customers understand and be confident that they will receive greater value […]

6 Myths of Product Development – Take 2

Months ago, I mentioned here a great article. It is the article titled: Six Myths of Product Development, by Stefan Thomke and Donald Reinertsen.  From the Harvard Business Review.  These are mostly lean product development ideas. Strongly recommended.  Especially good for managers and executives. Here are the fallacies or myths it mentions in one list: […]

Retrospectives and the role of the SM

A very bright and quick class attendee asked: Why don’t you talk in the class more about Retrospectives? And why so much about the PO? Why do you focus on the basics so much?  I want more advanced materials. *** First, I actually think we do these things, as explained below. We do talk about […]

ScrumButt Test (6): Estimates created by the Team

Another installment on the ScrumButt Test. So, the next item on the test says: “The Product Backlog has estimates created by the Team.” Why is this important and what does it mean?  Let’s consider the meaning first. So, normally in Scrum estimates mean estimates of relative size/complexity in Story Points. See Mike Cohn’s book: Each […]