So Agile It Hurts Sometimes

Sharing my Agile successes, failures, and pains--in all their forms

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

This One Goes To 11

My starter list of eleven potential blog post topics One of the more fun parts of being a scrum master is coming up with ways to get your teams to think about their process from different angles.  This blog provided just such an opportunity.  Here’s how.  Every sprint, we retrospect on what went well, what […]

Another Agile Blog? Why?

There are a large number of blogs out there about Agile–some positive, some negative, many awash with the same information you can get by reading any of the hundreds of books written on Agile.  There are many good ones out there–very positive and trumpeting the successes of Scrum Agile. However, there is a segment of […]

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