Red Hat Agile Day

Typically, this blog is devoted to questions about Agile or problems that teams encounter and how they resolve them.  I’m making an exception because a pretty cool thing just occurred and I want to share it. We just hosted our first annual Red Hat Agile Day yesterday, and the turn out was fantastic.  We had […]

The Heart of Agile: the individual people

Agilists Are People Too The other day, I found myself in an argument about the best way to do scrum Agile.  We both had strong views, and neither of us wanted to concede the other’s points.  Yes, it was an actual argument.  I believe it went something like this: “Well fine.” “Fine.” “See if I […]

Guest Post: Raymond, A New Scrum Master

I’ve invited a fellow Agilist in as a guest blogger, something I think I’m going to be doing more of.  Raymond is a newly minted CSM, and he’s a voracious reader of Agile books. He’s off on the right foot–using his CSM as the foundation for Agile and always looking for ways to expand his […]

The Nature of Scarcity

The Nature of Scarcity I heard this great little anecdote on NPR about a Economics book entitled Scarcity, by Eldar Shafir, and all kinds thoughts about Agile came rushing in.  That comes as no surprise though.  Economics is, at its core, about supply and demand, and Agile software development is about the supply of working […]

It’ll Only Take a Couple of Minutes, I swear”

or, Why Context Switching Needs To Be Taken More Seriously Any time I sense that someone is interrupting one of my team members to ask them something unrelated to their current sprint work, I feel the hair on my neck bristle.  I’m their scrummaster, and my job is to protect them.  Beyond that fact that […]

I say Pareto. . .

Thank You Vilfredo Vilfredo Pareto publicized an observation in 1906–that 80% of Italy’s wealth was in the hands of 20% of its citizens.  Applied at a broader level his observation indicates that 80% of the affects come from 20% of the causes. I want to be clear; the Pareto principle is a rough guide about […]

Scrum Master Reality Drift

 How Spiking Got Me Thinking The other day, one of my teams was talking about “spiking” in some work in the current sprint backlog, and a relatively new member asked me about what we meant by the term. I explained that we were using it as a delineation between a) work that, due to emergencies, […]

So What’s The Big Deal About User Stories? Part I

Part I–Why Do “Stories” Matter?After my first long post on Grooming (No Bride, Just The Groom ), I have had a few off-line questions on User Stories and User Story Writing. (Even one from my son-in-law, all the way from Afghanistan! How cool is that?) User Stories are at the heart of our work, so […]

So What’s The Big Deal About User Stories? Part II

Applying Stories In Agile From Part I of this series, we know the purpose that stories should serve. What’s next? Sometimes its easier to learn from mistakes, so let’s take a look at a couple of poorly written stories masquerading as good stories. As a cafeteria employee, I can use an employee dashboard online and […]

No Bride, Just The Groom

Or. . . Do We Really Need A Grooming Session? The “Grooming Session” isn’t taught as an official “ceremony” of scrum Agile.  It’s not because it isn’t Agile; it’s because early theory did not take into account the even more dynamic nature of stakeholder requirements and the efficiency of adding a feedback loop into the […]

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