Why you need to customize your agile methods

by on September 19, 2013 · 0 comments

You’re starting off with a new laptop. The OS is installed, but using it feels awkward. Nothing looks like it used to on your previous one. You’re really frustrated how slow you move around just because you’re missing your beloved customizations.

A few days later you feel the flow again. You’ve tweaked your OS and apps to best fit your workflow.

Your agile process also needs to fit your workflow

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Has your Scrum implementation caused more problems than it solved?

by on July 5, 2012 · 2 comments

Implementing Scrum helps your development department but breaks the old way of doing things, so the overall process actually slows down.

Everyone was bashing your development department. You were too slow, you were the bottleneck – if only development would be faster, we could earn so much more money … you know what I’m talking about. It was time to change something so you introduced Scrum. A couple of months (and quite a few crises) later your team churns along with impressive speed and better quality. The bottleneck is gone. Surprisingly though, the business results haven’t moved an inch. What’s wrong here? Weren’t we supposed to be swimming in money if development was faster?
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Why projects fail and how to make them succeed with more transparency

by on May 24, 2012 · 0 comments

© Matthias Marschall

Imagine you’re driving your car through uncharted territory to a destination only vaguely described by “That Guy” who told you to go there. “That Guy” was kind enough to give you an absolutely non-negotiable deadline too. With that in mind, you race to the first waypoint – you should already be able to see it by now. But you find yourself in a heavy mist, with your windshield fogged up and broken wipers. In this situation, should you really speed up and to try and reach your destination on time?
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Where Agile Falls Short

by on October 13, 2011 · 1 comment

It’s amazing. Talking to a bunch of fellow CTOs I heard a lot of them saying: “We introduced Scrum and it works really well” and “we’re too slow to bring new features to our customers”. This piqued my curiosity. Scrum is supposed to speed up feature delivery through short iterations. How can an organization claim to run Scrum successfully but not deliver customer value fast?
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Getting Lean with Weekly Sprints

by on August 18, 2011 · 4 comments

In Scrum, sprints are time-boxed delivery cycles that help keep the team focused on the goal. If you don’t know which goal I’m referring to, check out Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s novel “The Goal” (hint: I think it’s something about making money).

For web development, I run weekly sprints and this surprises a lot of people – “How can you get anything done in just one week?” Truth be told, if I could, I’d run shorten this to daily cycles, but then I think it wouldn’t be Scrum anymore (Kanban, anyone?).

You’d be amazed what you can accomplish in a week – even if it’s only to convince your team that you should try your damnedest to ship one meaningful feature every 5 days. I want to challenge the idea that longer sprints help you get more done.
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Ground Zero: Starting Agile Development from Scratch

by on July 12, 2011 · 0 comments

One of the most challenging things about introducing Agile in the workplace is that it’s not very widespread. People have heard mixed reviews about it’s implementations, and are hesitant to exchange the known (no matter how bad it may be), for the unknown. More and more companies, however, are adopting Scrum for their project management. The “scrum flu” usually starts in one department, and, if implemented successfully, begins spreading throughout the rest of the company. Nevertheless, kicking off any form of Agile Development for a team with no prior experience in Scrum, Kanban or even XP, has to be done with thoughtful deliberation since a poorly managed migration can quickly result in disillusionment.

Here are a few technical steps which have to be made before you change project management styles.
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Scrum Meetings – Relief or Burden?

by on July 7, 2011 · 1 comment

Scrum defines a set of required meetings: Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Scrum Review, and Scrum Retrospective. Additionally, there might be a Scrum of Scrums, if you’re running multiple Scrum teams in parallel. If you’re doing two week sprints you spend at least half-a-day per week in Scrum meetings. Isn’t that a lot of additional overhead?
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Scrum or Kanban – It does not matter

by on May 31, 2011 · 2 comments

This is a guest post by Boris Gloger (@borisgloger)

A couple of days ago I commented on Matthias’ post about the myth that Scrum forces a team to release new functionality only after a sprint is finished while Kanban would is more flexible.

I wanted to know the difference between Scrum and Kanban, and why people start to blame Scrum as the enemy saying that it’s too disciplined, too inflexible, and, and, and… So, I attended David Anderson’s intermediate class about Kanban.
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The three essentials of any agile process

by on May 24, 2011 · 1 comment

In the heat of introducing agile practices like daily stand-up meetings, retrospectives, unit testing, or defining “Done”, you can get easily overwhelmed by all the new and shiny ideas. It’s a real danger that implementing these new practices creates huge overheads, slows you down, and frustrates the team. They forget why you actually introduced agile in the first place. To be able to judge, which processes and procedures are worth introducing it’s important to remember the three essentials of agile.
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Scrum vs Continuous Deployment or why Scrum falls short for web applications

by on May 10, 2011 · 10 comments


Product development needs consistency

The basic idea of Scrum is to create a safe and change-free environment to enable a team to concentrate on the planned development tasks. The team plans out a sprint of typically two weeks and the idea is that they work uninterrupted during this period. This process really helps to get things done. It avoids the “new == important” trap where everyone thinks that this new idea is much more important than the one they came up with a month ago. Feature development needs consistent priorities to be successful.
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