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12
DEC
2016

Yesterday’s Weather: An Extreme Programming Planning Technique Using Story Points

Yesterday’s Weather is an Extreme Programming planning technique used to estimate the capacity of a Team based on their past performance. Yesterday’s Weather is a guide to help Teams neither under commit nor overcommit to a set of Product Backlog items during Sprint...
28
NOV
2016

Estimating the Size of Scrum User Stories

In Scrum, the owner of the estimates is very clear.  Only the people who do the work, i.e., the Team, have the right to offer estimates for the Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog items.  However, like many things in Scrum, the framework leaves it up to each Team to decide on what...
19
JUL
2016

How to Improve Your Test-Driven Development

Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a fundamental programming skill in short supply today.  TDD is a powerful design technique that improves the quality and reliability of software as unit tests are automated and run more frequently.  One of the key concepts behind TDD is that the...
10
MAR
2016

Four Common Scrum Impediments and Mistakes

“Scrum will highlight every deficiency and impediment that the enterprise has so the enterprise can fix them and change into [the best product development] organization [in its market].”  Ken Schwaber As teams and businesses adopt Scrum and Agile to their enterprise, they will...
07
OCT
2015

When Will You Be Done? The Release Burndown Chart

The work will get done when it gets done.  Demanding that a new product, service or upgrade be completed by January 23, 2016 is just not helpful.  Arbitrary deadlines simply cause too much stress and anguish for everyone – developers, customers and managers.  The people...
02
OCT
2015

Burndown Charts Got You Down? Meet Your Helpful Alternative – Burnup Chart

Burndown charts are bad!  Burndown charts are abused by mangers!  We hate Burndown charts (and estimates!!), so let’s get rid of them all!  If you are hearing those words, or something similar, from the fire eaters in your office, they are probably right. While I like Burndown...
29
SEP
2015

The Much Maligned, but Every Useful Burndown Chart

In Scrum, the best way to show progress is through working software.  If you do not produce software at the end of each Sprint, you are doing it wrong.  Progress is not shown through reports, documents, screenshots or charts. So what about a Burndown chart?  Can’t someone look at...
16
JUL
2015

Escape from Waterfall Island (Part 2 of 2)

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” With that classic throw back to the 1980’s, let’s wrap up our conversation on what are the key question to raise when being asked to dispatch help to Waterfall Island.  This entry is a continuation of an...
23
DEC
2014

Ask Management What Their Goals Are – Interview with Jeff Sutherland co-creator of Scrum

Want to know what executives and senior leaders really want from Scrum?  Want to know how to avoid disaster with Scrum?  In our final practitioner interview of 2014, I have the pleasure to share my conversation with Jeff Sutherland, inventor and co-creator of Scrum and the CEO of...
14
AUG
2014

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

“No one should spend their lives on meaningless work.” This was the first sentence I underlined in the latest book by Scrum co-creator, Jeff Sutherland, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.  This simple sentence speaks to fundamental reason why Scrum exists in...