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07
MAR
2024

What is a User Story?

A user story describes a small feature that one or two people can finish in two to five days.  I like to describe a user story as a chunk – or chunklette – of value that a Scrum Team will deliver and demonstrate to the customer by the end of a Sprint.   History of...
22
APR
2020

Agile Product Playbook – how to make one

It’s necessary for product development teams of different skill sets and years of experience to be on the same page when it comes to the tools they use and approach they take.  A product playbook is a customized set of tools adapted to you organization. This removed the...
15
JAN
2018

Top Ten Blog Posts for 2017

Happy 2018!!!  It’s difficult to believe 2017 is already over!  Since I had a little free time, I looked back at 2017 to see which of my blog posts, out of all my blog posts, were the most popular last year.  here are the results: Fourteen Scrum Case Studies – this is...
28
AUG
2017

How to manage documents? Should that be a new story?

Continuing with our discussion of documentation, I wanted to address how we actually build these documents within our Sprints (or iterations).  Remember our key Agile principles related to documentation: “working software is the primary measure of progress” and...
03
JUL
2017

How does the traditional functional and technical documentation work in Agile?

In Scrum and Agile, there is not much guidance given on functional and technical documentation.  The Agile Manifesto states that Agile teams value “working software over comprehensive documentation.”  That provides clear guidance on what is the focus of an Agile team,...
13
OCT
2015

A Visual Control for the Masses – A Task Board

One of the greatest challenges to trust, collaboration and self-organization in the workplace is visibility.  This is because most of software development is intellectual work without physical representation.  We take complex ideas on what a software product should do and express...
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...
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...
31
MAR
2015

If You Only Need to Know One Thing as a Product Owner…

… what would it be?  There is a really insightful thread on the Certified Product Owner LinkedIn group from last week.  I thought it would be beneficial to capture the best response and share the excellent wisdom from experienced Product Owners all over the world. Involve...
03
MAR
2015

How to Fix Weak Retrospective Action Items

If your Scrum Team regularly cites “Better Communication”, “Improve Quality”, “Less Stress”, “More Teamwork”, etc., etc. as Retrospective Action Items, consider me completely unimpressed.  I like fixing those things, but as Action...