Top Five Tips for Successful Agile/Scrum Transformation, and How I Learned Them
Jan 20, 2021
What’s the easiest way to screw up a Scrum or agile adoption at a company? Simple. Tell people “we’re agile”, give them a one-hour overview of how things work, and then let them loose. This post discussed my first agile project, and the five steps I’ve implemented at mulitple companies to ensure a successful Scrum transformation.
Make Your Remote Daily Scrums More Productive
Mar 5, 2016
I recently wrote about 4 secrets to a successfully daily scrum, which covered the basics for ensuring a productive daily scrum meeting. However, what do you do if your team is distributed?
Managing Bugs in Scrum and Agile Projects
Jan 2, 2016
As I was revising and writing new content for The Scrum Field Guide, 2nd edition, I emailed my friend Bill Hanlon at Microsoft to get his feedback on my existing chapter on bugs. Bill and I worked together years ago and I often value Bill’s opinion more than I value my own. The guy constantly innovates on things that others would say are good enough. Things are never good enough for Bill, and he’s constantly experimenting and trying new things.
The Scrum Field Guide, 2nd Edition Sample Chapter
Dec 31, 2015
We’ve all heard the common myth, Agile means no documentation. While other agile fallacies exist, this is a big one, and it could not be farther from the truth. Good agile teams are disciplined about their documentation but are also deliberate about how much they do and when.
How to do Effective Sprint Planning for a Scrum Team
Feb 5, 2015
Sprint planning does not need to be challenging. It is often fun and a time for the entire Scrum team to build camaraderie by working together to answer the question of “What can we commit to?” Here I provide examples and strategies for keeping sprint planning focused and effective, and detail potential solutions to common problems teams encounter when planning a sprint.
Why Rework in Agile Projects is Key to Success
Feb 12, 2014
How to integrate rework into your everyday life while building software and why it’s key to success.
Technical Interviewing - You’re Doing it Wrong
Feb 3, 2013
Last week at the ALM Summit, Microsoft colleague Jonathan Wanagel and I presented a talk titled “Technical Interviewing – You’re Doing it Wrong!” and it was one of many highlights of the event. Download the slides here.We identified eight anti-patterns that people should avoid. As Jonathan stated in the talk, “many of them were likely created at Microsoft” – and while I can’t say that, I can say that I’ve seen all of them at many companies around the world.
The Big Wall: Prioritizing and Estimating Large Backlogs
Jul 3, 2012
You’ve just finished a great story-writing workshop with your stakeholders. You’re excited about the new product and are anxious to get started. Until, that is, you get back to your office and look at the mountain of stories that you’ve somehow got to estimate and prioritize. All your excitement disappears as you face the hard truth: You have no idea where to start.
The Case for a Full Time Scrum Master
May 15, 2012
We hear quite a bit that Scrum teams \“need\” full time Scrum Masters, but rarely do we see teams that get them. Why? Several reasons, but the biggest one is usually money. Why should a company pay for someone to keep a team healthy?
Determining Sprint Length
Apr 14, 2012
There is no one-size-fits-all, magic bullet for determining a sprint length that works well for every team. Originally, Scrum called for one-month sprints, but nowadays many teams have been successful with two-week or even one-week sprints.
Combining or Mixing Roles in Scrum: A Recipe for Failure
Apr 1, 2011
We put a lot of emphasis on being Renaissance workers, able to step comfortably from one job role to the next. But, as I describe here, not all roles play nicely with each other, and trying to combine them may lead to disaster.
How does Scrum Help the Individual?
Jan 9, 2010
People often ask why they should work on a Scrum team if their companies base rewards on individual efforts. This raises the question, how does Scrum help the individual?
Scrum for Managers
Nov 9, 2009
I am always amazed when I ask people what they think the job of a manager is. I get answers like “to tell people what to do” to “stay out of the way” to “do my performance review” to “lead”. The last one is always of interest to me. Do companies hire managers or do they hire leaders?
Agile Adoption: Structuring and Building an Agile Team
Nov 5, 2009
Colleague Jean Tabaka posted a question recently that asked “How we can motivate these people as much as possible before having them leave the newly anointed agile organization?” The context around this question is that there are people who are viewed as hero’s in organizations. These individuals “are very specialized individuals with knowledge outside just the software development realm (physics, mathematics, fluids mechanics…) These individuals are used to being highly prized for their very specific subject expertise. They have a sense of significance hooked onto their unique role.”
Scrummerfall - Mixing Scrum with Traditional Software Development Methods
Oct 13, 2009
Mixing Scrum and Waterfall will provide you an interesting mix… This is one of my older MSDN posts from August, 2006. Enjoy. :)
Using Scrum and Agile in the Home; Tips for Kids / Managing Homework
Jul 6, 2006
As parents, we can all relate to the challenge of keeping kids motivated and on track. To make it easier, why not use agile techniques right in your own home? This tried-and-true blog post from 2006 shows you how - trust us, its timeless advice has been put into practice with a variety of families since then!