Tag Archives: ifthen

If Your Up-Front Planning is Measured in Weeks, Then a Lean Startup is Going to Eat Your Lunch

Title inspired by Michael James…see below.

One of the most powerful assumptions built in to Agile methods is that we learn by doing — that our learning, our planning, our problem-solving, and ability to mitigate risk is enhanced when planning is performed inline with active development and in the context of deliberate experimentation.  Scrum, for example, is based on empirical process control theory which means that we make decisions based on what is known.

One of the most common pitfalls we see among organizations trying to “adopt” Agile is excessive pre-planning — their assumption being that we can decide by planning, learn by planning, or mitigate risk by planning.  This sometimes manifests as an anti-pattern that people call “Sprint Zero” — a signal that an organization misunderstands Agile methods fundamentally.  More importantly, a signal that the organization may incorrectly perceive Software Engineering — or any team-based work — as predictable and repetitive rather than the complex, creative endeavor that it is.

If your organization injects a “Sprint Zero” or a planning phase (that is measured in weeks rather than days or hours) ahead of the creation/development of real product, then these two posts are of interest to you:


Affiliated Promotions:

Try our automated online Scrum coach: Scrum Insight - free scores and basic advice, upgrade to get in-depth insight for your team. It takes between 8 and 11 minutes for each team member to fill in the survey, and your results are available immediately. Try it in your next retrospective.

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

If Showcasing Technical Work, Then Remember to Keep Stakeholders Engaged

During Sprint Reviews, I’ve observed teams showcasing the results of purely technical work. Sometimes the resolution of a defect caused by some form of technical debt (“we noticed that we were making too many service calls”); or something related to development infrastructure (“we had to switch to a new testing framework”.) In such cases, the presentation frequently jumps quickly into a description of what was done showing, for example, the before and after behaviour connected to the defect or the results produced with a testing framework.

Potential problems with this are that business stakeholders attending the meeting:

  • might be left wondering what this means to them
  • feel unable to provide any feedback
  • and in the worst case scenario, might feel they’ve wasted their time attending the Review.

A team might ask themselves, “what is the reason for us to have purely technical items in our Product Backlog?” But leaving that aside, the perils of losing stakeholder engagement during the Sprint Review could be mitigated by framing the presentation around the following questions:

  • How is the world better now that we’ve fixed this defect?
  • What’s the impact on the users and the business?
  • What specific new capability does this technical work allow the team to do now for the business they serve (that they couldn’t do before)?

Submitted by Fernando Cuenca


Affiliated Promotions:

Try our automated online Scrum coach: Scrum Insight - free scores and basic advice, upgrade to get in-depth insight for your team. It takes between 8 and 11 minutes for each team member to fill in the survey, and your results are available immediately. Try it in your next retrospective.

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

If Multiple Lines of Business Have Competing Priorities, Then Portfolio Prioritization…Right Now!!

I was with a Scrum team two weeks ago who were complaining that multiple lines of business were each pushing priorities into their backlog. The results included:

  • team working lots of overtime;
  • team couldn’t make/keep commitments for any of their stakeholders;
  • team couldn’t focus;
  • team was embarrassed that their code quality had eroded.

The team had come to think they had “multiple Product Owners”. I explained that’s impossible and when I asked who in their organization has the authority to reorder or veto any items in their backlog they all were able to name one Vice President. That VP, I said, is their de facto Product Owner regardless that others may have that job title. The team came to understand that:

  • their so-called Product Owners do not have the authority required to order their backlog, yet;
  • and until they do the onus is on their VP to relinquish said authority and to have crucial conversations with all stakeholders in order to prioritize the portfolio and to set realistic expectations with regard to the team’s true capacity.

For more reading about managing multiple backlogs in an organization, check out this article: Backlogs in an Organization – Levels of Queues


Affiliated Promotions:

Try our automated online Scrum coach: Scrum Insight - free scores and basic advice, upgrade to get in-depth insight for your team. It takes between 8 and 11 minutes for each team member to fill in the survey, and your results are available immediately. Try it in your next retrospective.

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Berteig
Upcoming Courses
View Full Course Schedule
Real Agility Series Workshop: How Agility Helps Overcome Bias in the Workplace
Online
C$45.00
Jul 14
2020
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification [Virtual Learning] for BMO
Online
C$1395.00
Jul 14
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online from Toronto
C$1595.00
Jul 21
2020
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1795.00
Jul 21
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online from Toronto
C$1795.00
Jul 23
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$2199.00
Jul 24
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Online
C$1195.00
Jul 25
2020
Details
ICAgile® Certified Professional (ICP) [Virtual Learning] - Weekend Class!
Online
C$1500.00
Jul 25
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.00
Jul 28
2020
Details
Kanban Systems Improvement® (KMP II) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1795.00
Jul 28
2020
Details
Real Agility Series Workshop: Cognitive Biases That Can Undermine Your Agile Transformation
Online
C$45.00
Jul 28
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM) [1-Day Accelerated]
Online
C$1595.00
Jul 29
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1195.00
Aug 10
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1595.00
Aug 11
2020
Details
Licensed Scrum Master Product Owner® (LSMPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1695.75
Aug 18
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Aug 18
2020
Details
ICAgile® Certified Professional (ICP) [Virtual Learning] - Weekend Class!
Online
C$1500.00
Aug 22
2020
Details
**NEW** Kanban Maturity Model (KMM) {Virtual Learning]
Online
C$2120.75
Aug 24
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1296.25
Aug 25
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1355.75
Aug 25
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM) [1-Day Accelerated]
Online
C$1355.75
Aug 27
2020
Details
**NEW** Kanban Coaching Practices (KCP) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1695.75
Aug 27
2020
Details
**NEW** Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner® (A-CSPO)
Online
C$1359.15
Aug 28
2020
Details
Coach Skills for the Agile Workplace® (ICP-ACC)
Toronto
C$2020.00
Sep 2
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1355.75
Sep 9
2020
Details
ICAgile® Certified Professional (ICP) [Virtual Learning] - Weekend Class!
Online
C$1500.00
Sep 19
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1355.75
Sep 22
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1015.75
Sep 24
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$1869.15
Sep 26
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1296.25
Sep 29
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Sep 29
2020
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Sep 30
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$1869.15
Oct 3
2020
Details
Licensed Scrum Master Product Owner® (LSMPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1695.75
Oct 13
2020
Details
Coach Skills for the Agile Workplace® (ICP-ACC)
Toronto
C$2020.00
Nov 2
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$1869.15
Nov 14
2020
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMPI) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Nov 19
2020
Details
Kanban Systems Improvement® (KMPII) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Nov 26
2020
Details
Licensed Scrum Master and Product Owner® (LSMPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1695.75
Dec 1
2020
Details