distributed agile teams

Distributed Agile Teams: 9 Hacks That Make Them Work

By | Scrum & Agile | No Comments

The world is going insane. Thousands and thousands of things we have in our brain every day; new stuff to do, new trends to discover, new team members, projects that you have to catch up with, self-education, etc. It seems like everything is aimed to stress us and it actually affects the quality of the projects we are working on. However, we see the quality jump due to agile methodology adoption. And as in most of the cases, successful companies have more than one office and teams all over the world, today’s article will be focused on Distributed Agile Teams in order to see how we can work more efficiently. Read More

two ways to add detail to user stories

The Two Ways to Add Detail to User Stories

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From Mike Cohn’s fantastic blog at Mountain Goat Software.

User stories often are deliberately vague at first. If work won’t begin on a story for a couple of iterations, agile teams have learned there is little value in adding detail to the story so far in advance.

But the time comes in the life of any user story when adding detail is appropriate. And there are two ways a team can add detail to a user story: split it or add acceptance criteria. Let’s look more closely at both methods. Read More

Nine Questions Scrum Masters and Product Owners Should Be Asking

Nine Questions Scrum Masters and Product Owners Should Be Asking

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From Mike Cohn’s fantastic blog at Mountain Goat Software.

Before becoming a Scrum Master, I had worked as the technical lead on a number of teams. Part of my job on those teams was to make decisions. And I think I did it well. Being decisive and assertive is part of my personality.

But those personality traits didn’t serve me as well once I became a Scrum Master. I realized that to succeed as a Scrum Master, I needed to shift from making assertions toward asking more questions. Because that wasn’t my natural style–and it wasn’t what had earned me any success I’d had through that point in my career–I struggled at first. Read More

Why the Whole Team Should Participate When Estimating

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A well-established best practice is that those who will do the work, should estimate the work, rather than having an entirely separate group estimate the work.

But when an agile team estimates product backlog items, the team doesn’t yet know who will work on each item. Teams will usually make that determination either during iteration (sprint) planning or in a more real-time manner in daily standups. Read More

Eight Tips to Become the Scrum Master Your Team Needs

Eight Tips to Become the Scrum Master Your Team Needs

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Fantastic post sourced from Mike Cohn’s blog on how to run a sprint retrospective.

As a Scrum Master, do you ever feel like you’re not doing all you can for your team? Are you doing the basics of the job, yet feel you could do more?

This is a very important question to ask. We each have blind spots that prevent us from seeing some of things we could do to better help our teams.

In my work with great Scrum Masters, and those who may not be great yet but are working to get there, I’ve identified eight things people often need to be reminded of in order to become the Scrum Masters that teams need. Read More

DevOps

Top 7 Benefits of Establishing DevOps Within Your Organisation

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Any organisation adopting a DevOps approach is, by definition, also embracing a new way of working. One of the core aspects of DevOps, is the breaking down of traditional silos to create an environment in which developers work closely with operational colleagues and other key stakeholders involved in software delivery. This in itself requires significant changes to reporting and communications structures. Read More

Get Teams to Estimate Better

How to Get Your Teams to Estimate Better in Scrum

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“We need to get better at estimating,” an experienced member of a Scrum development team once told me. “Management is getting concerned that we keep coming up short on our commitment.”

“Really?” I responded. “What have you been committing to?”

“Thirty story points” she said. “We get there about 50% of the time. In a couple of recent sprints, we’ve even exceeded thirty points, but the last sprint marked the third time this quarter that we fell short of our target.”

“Why was your forecast off target, do you think?” I asked. Read More