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Transforming Good Teams Into Awesome Ones

Scrum Expert - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 10:33
This is not a talk about teams. This is a talk about you and your role in developing a great team. No matter whether you are a Scrum Master, Project Manager or CTO, at least part of your job is to help your team or teams grow. In order to make this happen you need to work on two levels: The Zen Level and The Operational Level. The Zen Level is mostly about maintaining the right attitude. The Operational Level is mostly about taking the right steps. We will share our experience from Agile transformations we worked on recently, success and failure stories and steps we make while working with the teams. Join us to master the two levels while working with your people. Beware, they may become an awesome team that hardly needs you to succeed. Video producer:
Categories: Agile

Xanpan – Team Centric Agile Software Development

Scrum Expert - Mon, 12/05/2016 - 15:40
At the beginning of his book, Allan Kelly describes Xanpan as both a method and a philosophy, his philosophy on how software is, or should be, created, and how Agile works, or should work. If Xanpan is basically a mix of XP (eXtreme programming) and Kanban, it contains ideas and techniques of other Agile and Lean approaches, focusing on how teams should work together to deliver better software and value. The book explains how to apply the Xanpan principles and perspective on all the aspects of Agile software development like planning and estimating. It proposes also a set of technical and non-technical practices that should help teams. Xanpan offers also a tool to plan beyond the next two-week iteration, giving teams a perspective of what would be done in the next quarter and even further with roadmaps. One of the most interesting part of the book is the final appendix where Allan Kelly discusses his own definition of software quality and presents the “quality onion”. With this book Xanpan, Allan Kelly presents his own very personal and interesting perspective on Agile software development. This is a book that I will recommend to every ScrumMaster, Agile Coach or software developer that thinks that improving the software development process of a team is more about doing the right changes to the current process than blindly adopting a new approach. Reference: Xanpan – Team Centric Agile Software, Allan Kelly, 200 pages, Web site: Quotes Saying Xanpan is team centric also helps [...]
Categories: Agile

Agile on the Beach 2017 Call for Speakers

Scrum Expert - Mon, 12/05/2016 - 09:38
Agile on the Beach is a two-day conference on Scrum and Agile approaches that Falmouth in Cornwall (UK) on 6th and 7th July 2017. The call for speaker has just been opened and submissions should be made by 4 January 2017. The Agile on the Beach 2017 conference will focus Agile working, software creation and delivery, teams, practice and new business thinking. These themes will be organized as six tracks, some on different days: * Software delivery: including programing, testing and operations * Team Working, e.g. culture, personnel management, self-organization, leadership * Agile Practices, e.g. agile basics, applying agile tools and methods, writing user stories. * Product Design, e.g. user experience, front end design * Product Management, e.g. requirements gathering, the product manager role * Business, e.g. applying agile beyond software Get more information about Agile on the Beach 2017 Call for Speakers on
Categories: Agile

Technical Dependency Communication in Scaling Agile

Scrum Expert - Mon, 11/28/2016 - 16:43
Developing large software systems automatically generate some technical dependency issues. If this is often managed by software architects in traditional projects, how do you communicate this technical dependencies when you are organized using an Agile approach? This is the topic discussed in the paper written by a Swedish research group. As Agile approaches are increasingly adopted by large software development organizations with distributed teams, the Agile breakdown of complex tasks create large challenges due to the technical dependencies between teams. This is not new, but with Agile the technical dependencies do not become more or less, they just become more obvious and this is actually a possibility for practice to deal with them. The research paper tried to answer two main questions based on a case study: * What are the challenges associated with technical dependencies between teams in a large-scale agile software development? * What affects the likelihood of a challenge to occur? The following technical dependencies are considered: * Unpredictability: teams find difficult to know beforehand what changes, issues, surprises, failures and successes they will come across during the development of a feature. * Conflicting priorities: a team might depend on a component that has lower priority in the backlog of another team. * Difficulty to understand overlapping and short release cycles when teams are constantly changing priorities in each sprint To mitigate the challenges created by these technical dependencies, the authors wrote that “one has to start with mitigating one challenge and then continue to exploit the [...]
Categories: Agile

1st Conference, Melbourne, Australia, March 2-3 2017

Scrum Expert - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 07:00
The 1st Conference is a two-day event aimed at people starting out with Agile and Scrum run by practitioners of the Agile Melbourne community. The format of the 1st Conference is a one day of presentation and one day of workshops presented by Australian and overseas Agile experts. In the agenda of the 1st Conference you can find topics like ” Heart of Agile”, “Is there a future for business analysis?”, “Influence and inspire with stories”, “Goals on Every Level”, “Recruiting for Agile or Agility”, “Effective Agile Leadership: A practical model for Agile Managers”, “Road Mapping your way to Agile Fluency”, “The first 18 months of our Agile transformation”, “Infrastructure for Agile teams”, “Agile Governance”, “Large Scale Agile – LESS”, “Large Scale Agile – SAFe”, “The heart of Scrum”, “What is Kanban”. Web site: Location for the 1st Conference: RMIT University Storey Hall, Building 16, 336–348 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Categories: Agile

Why Promising Nothing Delivers More

Scrum Expert - Tue, 11/22/2016 - 17:08
Why do so many IT projects fail? And what can we do about it? Most companies and organizations know (or at least have heard) that they should work in a more Agile manner. But it’s generally a hard sell to the people in charge. This talk dissects the Agile practices from an economic standpoint, showing that it actually makes business sense even if the project itself was to fail. By adjusting the metrics from what is easily measured to what actually matters, we can create the correct incentives for producing real value. But, as it turns out, implementing the steps necessary for making IT truly profitable also has profound implications for some of the tools and practices we tend to take for granted. Video producer:
Categories: Agile

Free Online Kanban Tools

Scrum Expert - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 18:11
In the context of software development, Kanban is an approach based on Lean that tries to limit waste and work in progress to the actual capacity of the software development team. The aim of Kanban is to create a context that balances capacity and demand through a value stream. Thus the work is not “pushed” to developers by project managers, but “pulled” by the development team according to priorities. Kanban is the Japanese word for visual card and visualizing the current situation is very important in Kanban. If collocated teams can use simple dashboards and cards to track the work in progress, this is not the same for large or distributed Kanban teams that need to use tools. As for Scrum, a certain number of software tools have been developed to help team manage their Kanban flows. This article presents a list of “pure” online commercial Kanban tools that can be used for free, even if there are limitations regarding this free usage. We also tried to select tool that integrate some of the actual Kanban concepts like WIP or swimlanes and not tools where you can just “move cards on a board” in a Trello-like style, even if you might certainly find value in these tools for simple visual project management. Some commercial tools that provide both Scrum and Kanban features have already been listed in our “Using Commercial Scrum Tools for Free” article. The tools listed in this article are: Clubhouse, Kanbanery, KanbanFlow, LeanKit, Kanban Tool, Online Kanban, [...]
Categories: Agile

Evaluating the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

Scrum Expert - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 09:49
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is one of the best know approach for scaling Agile practices. In a recent article, Al Shalloway proposes his own assessment of this framework, explaining which parts are good and which parts could be counter-productive or difficult to implement. The article starts by listing the good parts of the Scaled Agile Framework. Al Shalloway thinks that they are absolutely essential for scaling Agile. They include a system thinking approach, the importance of having business strategy, well-defined roles, a A global view that covers the full value stream and a planning method that facilitates coordination of teams. On the negative side, Al Shalloway explains that “SAFe is presented as a complete solution and actually discourages modifications to it. This unfortunately creates a “one-size fits-all” solution approach and focuses organizations more on implementing SAFe than on solving their own challenges.” Not enough importance is given to the assessment of organizational issues and the challenging of the current approach. Al Shalloway also thinks that “While SAFe addresses many important issues, the solutions it provides are often not the best available, or not deep enough.” The conclusion of the article is that SAFe provides some value but should not be used as a dogma that restrict software development organizations to look for other practices. The final wise words are that “Critical thinking and modifications are needed to expand from the initial SAFe implementation. Both are definitely needed if a SAFe implementation stalls. . One must remember that no single [...]
Categories: Agile Launches Global Professional Training Network

Scrum Expert - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 16:59 has announced its new Professional Training Network (PTN). The network consists of a group of organizations officially recognized as providers of training. PTN members leverage the premium brand, courses and Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) community to provide a superior learning experience to their customers. “It is estimated that over 90 percent of organizations that are using agile methods to deliver software use Scrum today and that number keeps growing. However, we continue to see inconsistent teaching of the Scrum Framework, causing teams to struggle with the concepts as they learn from different teachers or companies,” said Dave West, CEO, “That is why the more than 160 PSTs all use the same materials and go through extensive training and testing before they can be licensed to teach our courses. Now, through the new Professional Training Network, companies can offer best-in-class training courses through their own in-house PSTs or by working directly with PSTs globally to ensure that clients receive consistent, high quality Scrum training.” To become a recognized member of the PTN program, companies must have active PSTs on staff or contract with existing PSTs. The PTN member must also adhere to a code of conduct which has put in place to ensure that students are receiving only the highest quality training experience. By offering courses, PTN members will now be able to provide training to their clients, including preparing participants for the industry-recognized Professional Scrum certification. Each course includes one [...]
Categories: Agile

Agile India, Bangalore, India, March 6-12 2017

Scrum Expert - Mon, 11/14/2016 - 07:00
Agile India is an intense conference lasting four days (with pre- and post-conference workshops) where you can learn from local and international Agile and Scrum experts. You will be also able to network and share your knowledge and experience with over 1500 international participants practicing or exploring Agile, Scrum and Lean. In the presentation and tutorials of the Agile India conference, you can find topics like “Agile Portfolio Management”, “Disciplined Agile In A Nutshell”, “Agile Leadership Academy: Scaling Agile”, “To Estimate or #NoEstimates, That is the Question”, “Measuring Team Performance At Spotify: From Gut Feel To Hard Data”, “Develop Agile Managers, or Agile Dies”, “7 Sins of Scrum and other Agile Anti-patterns”, “Prioritizing backlogs across diverse stakeholders simply and easily”, “Minimum Viable Coaching: an experience report”, “Agile Maturity Model – Using Your Organizations Dark Data to Measure Agile Performance”, “The transformational power of LeSS and SAFe”, “Expanding an Agile Culture in organisations with Design thinking”, “Product Owner & Development Team – A Tango in Communication”. Web site: Location for Agile India conference: TITC Gardenia, No.1 Residency Road, Bengaluru – 560025, India
Categories: Agile

What to Do When Scrum Doesn’t Work

Scrum Expert - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 19:55
Henrik Kniberg goes through a handful of concrete steps for diagnosing and debugging Scrum problems. He talks about using the process wrong, blaming the messenger, being impatient, not adapting the process or using the wrong process. Henrik Kniberg also introduces some new Scrum terminology such as Scrumdamentalism, Sadoscrumism, and Scrumbutophobia. Video producer:
Categories: Agile

Play4Agile, February 16-19 2017, Johannesberg, Germany

Scrum Expert - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 07:00
The Play4Agile conference is a four-day event taking place in Germany. This conference is for Agile, Scrum and Lean coaches, facilitators, game and innovation experts who want to exchange questions, ideas and experiences on using games in Agile project management teams and organizations. Play4Agile follows an unconference format where the participants can create their own conference, proposing their own discussion on Agile topics: sessions, games you want to play, game ideas you want to develop, evening activities. The Play4Agile conference provides an open playground to inspire each other and to learn how using serious games can help us achieve our goals. Play4Agile is a gathering of experienced peers from all over the world to create and play games in an inspiring environment. Web site: Location for the Play4Agile conference: Seminar Center Rückersbach, Kolpingstraße 1, 63867 Johannesberg, Germany
Categories: Agile

Agile Teams Coaching in Methods & Tools Fall 2016 issue - Agile Portal - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 21:45
Methods & Tools – the free e-magazine for software developers, testers and project managers – has published its Fall 2016 issue that discusses alternatives to acceptance tests, Agile transformation, software project estimation, Agile coaching and the following free software tools ...
Categories: Agile

Women In Agile

Scrum Expert - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 17:25
Women In Agile is a movement partly supported by the Agile Alliance that aims to get more women involved in the Agile community through blogging, speaking at events and networking. On the web site of Women in Agile you will find links to various resources about women in Agile, like a list of blogs of Agile women. There are also various pointers to the Women In Agile discussions held at the Agile conference and their videos. The purpose of the Women in Agile initiative is to encourage, support, and expand women’s presence in the Agile community. The Agile Alliance organized a Women In Agile Workshop. Get all the information and participate to this community on
Categories: Agile

Agile Open Northwest, Portland, USA, February 8-10 2017

Scrum Expert - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 07:00
The Agile Open Northwest conference is a two-day event about Agile practices and techniques that takes place in Portland. Participants will be able to start, discover, and share discussions around Agile and Scrum topics. The Agile Open Northwest conference follows the open space format for conferences. Open space is a simple methodology for self-organizing conference tracks. It relies on participation by people who have a passion for the topics to be discussed. There is no preplanned list of topics, only time slots and a space in the main meeting room where interested participants propose topics and pick time slots Web site: Location for the Agile Open Northwest conference: Leftbank Annex, 101 N Weidler, Portland, OR 97227
Categories: Agile

Agile Requirements: a Definition of Ready Checklist

Scrum Expert - Tue, 11/01/2016 - 16:30
We all know the “Definition of Done” used in Scrum for items that should be potentially shippable to the customer at the end of the sprint. In his book Essential Scrum, Kenneth Rubin discusses the “Definition of Ready” that applies to product backlog items that should be ready to be developed before the start of the sprint. Grooming the product backlog should ensure that items at the top of the backlog are ready to be moved into a sprint so that the development team can confidently commit and complete them by the end of a sprint. Some Scrum teams formalize this idea by establishing a definition of ready. You can think of the definition of ready and the definition of done as two states of product backlog items during a sprint cycle. Both the definition of done and the definition of ready are checklists of the work that must be completed before a product backlog item can be considered to be in the respective state. An example of a definition-of-ready checklist for product backlog items is given below. Definition of Ready * Business value is clearly articulated. * Details are sufficiently understood by the development team so it can make an informed decision as to whether it can complete the product backlog item (PBI). * Dependencies are identified and no external dependencies would block the PBI from being completed. * Team is staffed appropriately to complete the PBI. * The PBI is estimated and small enough to comfortably be completed [...]
Categories: Agile

Agile Pracitioners Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel, January 24-25 2017

Scrum Expert - Mon, 10/31/2016 - 07:30
The Agile Practitioners conference is the first community-led Agile and Scrum conference organized in Israel. The first day is dedicated to workshops and the second day will be full of interesting presentations from local and international Agile software development and Scrum project management experts. In the agenda of the Agile Practitioners you can find topics like “Rock, Paper, Stories”, “Agile mind games and the art of self delusion”, “Individuals, interactions and improvisation”, “BDD – Balloon driven development”, “Fostering diversity and inclusion in agile teams”, “Violating scrum – how far can you go?”, “The Spider-man antidote to the anti-pattern of agile leaders”, “How to successfully fail”, “Continuous product improvement”, “Technical… user stories?!”, “Architecting large features and products in an agile environment”. Web site: Location for the Agile Practitioners conference: Tel Aviv, Israel
Categories: Agile

CodeFreeze, Inari, Finland, January 15-19 2017

Scrum Expert - Mon, 10/31/2016 - 07:00
CodeFreeze is a two-day unconference taking place in Finland that defines itself as a ” time and place for software craftspeople to meet”. It is part of the international group of SoCraTes conferences that are focused on software craftsmanship. The CodeFreeze Finland event follows the open space format for conferences. Open space is a simple methodology for self-organizing conference tracks. It relies on participation by people who have a passion for the topics to be discussed. There is no preplanned list of topics, only time slots and a space in the main meeting room where interested participants propose topics and pick time slots. Web site: Location for the CodeFreeze conference: Kiilopää Fell Center, Inari, Finland
Categories: Agile

Hansoft Launches Favro Enterprise

Scrum Expert - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 21:01
Favro, an online planning and collaboration tool, is launching its enterprise platform bringing agile management practices to global, large-scale workforces. Favro Enterprise comes from the Swedish project management software firm Hansoft. Favro Enterprise allows organizations to add features and workflow power-apps where and when they need them. Teams can integrate Favro with other apps they currently use including services from Google, Slack, and GitHub to automate and stay synchronized. Teams can also use webhooks and the REST API to connect Favro to even more data sources, ensuring work is always relevant and up to date.
Categories: Agile

VersionOne Fall 2016 Release Announced

Scrum Expert - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 20:36
VersionOne Fall Release includes several new and enhanced features that provide insight and traceability across the entire software lifecycle and support leading methodologies like the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), including: Program Increment (PI) Objectives and Program Predictability Reporting; Delivery at a Glance visibility at the Portfolio Item level; Strategic Theme Reporting and Visualization; Continuum Package Metrics; Bugzilla 5.0 integration and more. For organizations practicing SAFe – or any large-scale agile initiative – PI Objectives provide visibility into the specific business value being planned in each Program Increment and an assessment of what value was actually delivered. The agreed upon PI Objectives help ensure alignment between the development teams and the business so all understand the goals driving the plans and the relative importance of them. The Program Predictability Report uses the PI Objectives to compare the potential business value to the actual business value delivered for each Program Increment. The report gives you the ability to review each team’s performance on delivering the established objectives within each PI and assess the performance for each PI as a whole.
Categories: Agile