Monthly Archives: April 2014

Really important to estimate initial velocity?

Niels asks: “Is it really important to have a SP estimate before the first Sprint starts?”  I think he means an estimate of the initial team velocity before the first Sprint Planning Meeting. Answer: The short answer to his immediate question: Yes, it is important. Why?  It makes it a tighter meeting (SPM, Part1), and […]

What to tell the Executives – Part 2

Last week I discussed this issue with the Agile-Carolinas group.  Wonderful conversation.  Many great comments. One thing I was struck by was that there are many many different types of situations.  And that we need to address, possibly, many different things, depending on the situation (including the people). In the session, I focused on the […]

Estimating Initial Velocity

Here is a method for estimating initial velocity that may work for you. I expect you to use it in the context of Agile Release Planning. (Anything useful should be credited to Jeff Sutherland; any issues should be credited to me.) First we take some assumptions or identify the facts.  Imagine the following situation: Implementers […]

Charlotte Apr 2014: Public impediments

The following impediments were identified by the Charlotte CSM class this week.  Again, we may have dups, although that probably is an indicator of relatively higher occurence. Business – IT not aligned Poor test practices Set date before project begins Over documentation Poor communication Unclear roles Lack of resources Disengaged customer Uncontrolled team member egos […]

Question: Advice to a beginning ScrumMaster

Virginia asks: “I am a beginning ScrumMaster in a tough situation.  I have some ideas, but I am unsure what to do, and unsure what to do first.  What can you suggest?” Answer:  I think this is common. In reality, there is no end to the things a ScrumMaster can do to help the team. […]

Organizing a small-ish company to do Scrum and ‘regular work’

Holly asks: “I am relatively new to this methodology, and I would like to learn more about how resources are assigned to Scrum teams.  Resource allocation – do Sprint team members need to spend 100% of their time in a Scrum Team?  If so, how do we account for existing job responsibilities?” *** Good question […]

Learning from the Toronto Scaling Workshop

Last week we had a Scaling with Agile Workshop in Toronto. More and more I am convinced this scaling workshop is necessary for many people to apply Scrum well, in their business model.  They need to work through how to make it work in their context.  And many of the issues in ‘making it work’ have […]

Halifax: Public Impediment List

As some of you know, I am a strong proponent of aggressively attacking the impediments.  It starts, I think, with a good public impediment list. So, as examples, here are the impediments identified by the class in Halifax. Team is working on too many things No prioritized backlog Uninvolved PO Keeping everyone in the loop […]

Peter Drucker on Knowledge Worker Productivity

In the Winter of 1999, Peter Drucker published an article on “Knowledge Worker Productivity: The Biggest Challenge.” Here is access to the article. “The most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st century is similarly to increase the productivity of knowledge work and knowledge workers.” He was looking for a 50 times increase […]