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Large decision making groups are ineffective – work around them

Large decision making groups are ineffective – work around them

At many companies decisions and prioritization tends to be done by committees, in fact Agile itself tends to be very committee driven (the team estimates together, the team determines how things will get done, etc…). But the Product Owner (or Product Manager in traditional terms) is the key person who’s accountable for the results. They prioritize the projects and features, define desired outcomes, ensure profitability, and...

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The development guestimate and the business actual paradox

The development guestimate and the business actual paradox

Michael Wolfe on Quora posted an amazing analogy explaining why software development estimates are routinely way off, which results in developers padding their estimates to factor in the fudge of such inaccuracies. Another thesis I’ve been pondering over lately are the terms “Software Engineering” and “Computer Science”, which imply that software development is purely scientific and engineering in nature. Most colleges run those programs...

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Daily Scrum stand ups – creating a plan for the day

Daily Scrum stand ups – creating a plan for the day

The purpose of the daily stand up meeting in Scrum is for the team to synchronize with each other. The standard format is to time box the exercise to 10 or 15 minutes at a fixed time daily to ensure it happens, and happens quickly by not allowing people to sit down and get comfortable. It’s organized by the Scrum Master, and each team member briefly recaps: What they worked on yesterday What they’re working on today Any...

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Handling stories with blocking business issues

Handling stories with blocking business issues

One of our teams that is undergoing the transformation towards Scrum came across an interesting situation:         A Sprint, and all its stories have completed all development, testing, acceptance, sign-off, product owner acceptance, etc… One Story in the Sprint cannot be released with the Release – because there’s a dependency on the business to have completed end-user training, which the business...

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VersionOne overhauls their Agile PM tool’s UI

VersionOne overhauls their Agile PM tool’s UI

VersionOne, one of the juggernauts on the Agile tool industry, is prepping to launch a total overhaul of their user interface. And judging by the teaser images, it looks like a big leap in the right direction.   Last year we at Amcom Technology had evaluated a number of Agile tools, including V1. Our thoughts at the time were that it was incredibly feature laden which would suit a very mature agile shop, and our team was relatively...

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Blessing your CSM

Blessing your CSM

Earlier this year (Jan 2011) there was a lot of hoopla over an article by Scott Ambler on Dr. Dobbs Journal asking Certified ScrumMaster’s to denounce their CSM. Scott writes: My hope is that all Certified ScrumMasters (CSMs) will denounce the CSM designation if they haven’t done so already. You attended a workshop; it’s nothing to brag about. Also, if you work for an organization that still wants their agile staff to have the CSM...

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