People who have experienced good stand-ups will generally know what can be done when things aren't working well. This capability is obviously less likely for people with limited experience to reflect on. I've written this paper as an attempt to partly compensate for inexperience by describing the benefits and consequences of common practices for daily stand-ups. These patterns of stand-ups are intended to help direct the experimentation and adjustment of new practitioners as well as provide points of reflection to experienced practitioners.
If you have, as most people do, two-week iterations, you will hold, more or less, 20 retrospectives in a year. Running such a number of retrospectives becomes an interesting challenge. How do you keep your team focused during retrospectives? How do you avoid retrospective monotony? How do you find ideas for a different and original retrospective in each iteration?
There’s a lot of buzz on Kanban right now in the agile software development community. Since Scrum has become quite mainstream now, a common question is “so what is Kanban, and how does compare to Scrum?” Where do they complement each other? Are there any potential conflicts? Here’s an attempt to clear up some of the fog.
As a ScrumMaster/Agile coach, at times I find making decisions in groups (or making groups make decisions) rather difficult, particularly in meetings where the decisions are made at the end by impatient, tired people. Applying the wrong technique often leads to having to postpone the decision, making matters even worse. This article aims to give novice ScrumMasters a guide to steering people and groups toward making good decisions effectively.
When an organization starts to explore Scrum, there’s often an uncomfortable moment early on when someone points out that the role of "manager" seems to be missing entirely. "Well I guess we’ll have to just get rid of ‘em all!" wisecracks one of the developers, and all the managers in the room shift uncomfortably in their seats. Scrum defines just three roles – Product Owner, Team, and ScrumMaster – and the basic direction given to others in the organization is to "support them, or get out of their way." This is not very detailed advice, especially if you’re a manager expected by senior management to ensure everything goes well.