Posts Categorized: SCRUM

Prioritising stories within a sprint?

In a recent post Karl Scotland drew my attention to this post by Craig Dickson on Agile DZone. Karl and Craig differ on their approach (when working with Scrum) to prioritisation of stories by the product owner within a sprint.
Craig has a valid concern that we might loose sight of our Sprint commitment if we [...]

Tale of two SCRUM stand ups

I walked past two teams doing their daily SCRUM standup today. Both teams claim to be agile. I didn’t join in (even as a chicken) but just observed for a minute or so.

The first team was sitting down in a breakout area. Their body language spoke volumes. There was not one single participant maintaining eye contact with anybody else. Two people were playing on their phones. One developer had his head in his hands. Most had bored expressions. The team leader who is also the SCRUM master was the only person who spoke for the entire time I watched.

The second team was stood in a space near their desks. They were gathered round a task board which appeared to be up to date and the focus of several of the individual’s updates. One person spoke at a time. Almost everybody appeared to be paying attention to whomever was speaking. Most updates were short and concise. A couple rambled on.

Other than both teams calling their meeting a SCRUM I could see no similarities.

As our agile adoption has spread beyond the original teams I suppose it is inevitable that as the experience gets spread a little thinner that people will simply label their existing activities with agile sounding names. Often we have no clear remit in those teams to supply a mentor and to try offer advice would result in rebuttal as team leaders guard their territory. Does this matter? Is there a risk that these teams who are not practicing agile correctly will diminish and discredit agile in the eyes of our programme managers? This is sounding a bit like an excuse for an Agile Inquisition going round checking that no team is using Agile’s name in vain. This cannot be a good thing either.

Task boards and kanban boards

Karl has offered this post explaining the difference between a task board and a Kanban board.
He draws attention to the common task board focus of tasks to do this iteration. No WIP limit, only tasks currently in development.
This differentiator becomes less apparent when we look at how teams develop their use of task boards. Personally [...]

To SCRUM or to Kanban? – Which one fits.

SCRUM and Kanban (as applied to software development) are different. Proponents of the two drift from staunch opposition to declaring Kanban as a special case of Scrum.
I have been practising and coaching Scrum for a number of years and I delight in the effect it has on project teams. While I practice Scrum I find [...]

Managing WIP with Scrum

Recently I’ve mentioned, both on groups and blog posts, the fact that many limiting Work In Progress in reserved for those taking on Kanban Software Development.
In this post I’d like to share a couple of the techniques / approaches that I use in managing WIP within a Scrum framework. These tools may be useful to [...]