Category Archives: Scrum

The Agile Response to a P1 Incident

emergencyHow should  a team respond to change?

The simple answer is “they should respond by being agile”.

If there’s one concept about agility that sceptical managers have caught onto it’s this one. When change happens, they expect that a truly agile team will be able to turn on a dime. You can hardly blame them, it sounds like a great idea. It suggests that perhaps managers don’t need to stabilise the working environment. They just need to pass change on. The teams will be able to deal with the impact…if they’re any good.

After all, aren’t they meant to be agile?

Of course, team members will have a rather different interpretation of this. They’ll tell you that agility isn’t about being reactive – it’s about responding to change in a controlled manner. With seemingly limitless demands on the team, and clearly finite resources, prioritisation becomes essential. Agile teams will work from an ordered backlog, and they’ll plan to deliver value by drawing work requests out of that queue. In other words they plan to follow an agile process…and that means things like “Sprint Planning” can still happen.

So let’s ask the question again – how should a team respond to change?

Why Stretched Teams do “Scrumban”

15842087_sA few years ago Corey Ladas wrote an article about an Agile approach he called “Scrumban”. As the name suggests, this is a variant of Scrum with certain Lean-Kanban characteristics. What he proposed was a graduation of Scrum teams to leaner and more pull-based ways of working than Scrum itself allows.

Whereas Scrum will “batch” work up into Sprint Backlogs and potentially releasable increments, a leaner Scrumban approach will seek to minimize the batching of work as far as possible. Each work item will be processed in response to a clear signal for demand, and not because it has been planned into a Sprint backlog. In strictly Lean terms, holding on to such inventory is a form of waste.

What Corey proposed was the gradual facilitation of leaner practices in Scrum. He sought “…to incrementally enhance Scrum with more and more pull-like features until all that remains of the original process is vestigial scaffolding”. For example, he argued that “if your iteration backlog contains 20 work items, then that’s still about 19 more than it needs to be in a pull system”.

The result was an agile approach which makes a Leaner way of working an end in itself. Since then though, Scrum-Kanban hybrids have taken off in ways that were perhaps not entirely foreseeable at the time when Scrumban was floated.

An Introduction to Continuous Integration

jdowdleOne of the great Agile ‘promises’ is the ability to “satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”

But what does it really take to achieve this end goal?

In this video, ‘The Continuous Deliverist’ and AtTask Inc Director of Development Jesse Dowdle shares some continuous integration insights, including…

7th Annual State of Agile Development Survey

7th Annual State of Agile Development Survey

7th Annual State of Agile Development Survey

VersionOne’s 7th Annual State of Agile Development Survey is out and includes some very interesting stats/results, including:

  • 3 out of 4 respondents said that their agile projects where successful.
  • 90% of respondents said that implementing agile improved their ability to manage changing priorities
  • 70% are reporting faster time to completion using agile methods
  • 90% of respondents said implementing agile improved their ability to manage changing priorities
  • Scrum/Scrum variants are still the most popular agile methodology in use (72% of respondents)

7 Agile Myths That Could Cost You Your Job & Reputation

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. “

Winston Churchill

The famous writer Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

In other words, what we think we know can sometimes keep us from knowing what we need to know.

Let me demonstrate this by asking you a simple question:

What animal is king of the jungle?

Everyone knows the correct answer is “Lion”, right?

But there’s a fundamental flaw with this answer.

Do you know what it is?

The fundamental flaw is . . .

Lions don’t live in the jungle.

They never have.

Their natural habitat is, and has always been, the savannah and grasslands. And although they might occasionally venture into the bush or forest, most lions have never seen a jungle, let alone been in one.

That’s an example of how what we think we know can prevent us from knowing what we need to know.

So before we take a look at the techniques and strategies that will give you more power & influence in your organisation and greater control over your career, let’s start by first dispelling 7 common Agile myths that could cost you your job and reputation.