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28
NOV
2016

Why estimate the size rather than the duration of a user story? Are story points better than hours?

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...
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...
26
JUN
2014

User Story vs. Use Case (and Why Use Cases Are Still Important)

A while back, I made the claim in one of the Agile LinkedIn groups that writing use cases was one aspect of being a professional software developer.  That naturally received a bunch of push back from people who felt use cases were too heavyweight.  Many people claimed user...
27
NOV
2013

Where are the System Specs in Scrum?

This was a really good question in the Scrum Practitioners LinkedIn group.  What started out as a short response, became a blog post so I decided to share my ideas here as well. Scrum is silent on the topic of specifications – it neither requires them nor prohibits them.  I...
08
OCT
2013

Why Sprint Zero is Bad, but Lift-Off is Better

I have never been a big fan of the concept of Sprint Zero.  Recently, I heard a story from a colleague that got me thinking about Sprint Zero and I wanted to share her story with you.  She told me on the first day of working with a new client she was invited to attend their...
04
APR
2013

Integrating Innovation Games Into Certified ScrumMaster

Last week I had the opportunity to co-teach a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course with Jason Tanner.  Jason is a candidate to become a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and has deep connections with the Innovation Games® community.  When I work with CST candidates my goal is to create...
14
MAR
2013

[DELETE] User Story

I have written on user stories before, so please understand that I love user stories.  When used thoughtfully, I feel user stories can be a very powerful way to create a collaborative dynamic between the business and product developers.  User stories have the innate ability to...