Monthly Archives: January 2014

Our Daily Stand-Up

In our continued attempts to provide the most value to our (internal) customers in the shortest time possible we are always looking at possible improvements to our process. Due to the limitations imposed upon us by the organization as a whole we do not run as a “pure” Agile team. We have borrowed some structure and process from Scrum.

Our processes are something that we do have some ability to change. In a mildly ironic turn of events as I was completing studies for my PSM 1 certification we realized the daily stand-up was not adding value equal to its cost. Continue reading

PMI-ACP Exam Prep by Mike Griffiths

PMI-ACP Exam Prep Cover PMI-ACP Exam Prep by Mike Griffiths

This book was a primary part of my study plan in pursing PMI’s ACP certification. The certification is fairly new which results in slim picking for study aids. One thing that drew me to this title was the author. Mr. Griffiths was on the steering committee for the certification. He did not get involved with development of the exam questions but was involved in choosing what knowledge makes for an Agile Certified Professional in the PMI world. His ties to RMC (publishers of the book) also spoke to me. This well-known organization was specifically mentioned to me by my manager as I started on a journey away from software development.

The short version of the review is simple. The book was a great resource and I would recommend it to all and use it again myself. Continue reading

Back to the Basics: Prologue

“Fundamentals are the building blocks of fun.” – Ray & Molly (Dakota Fanning & Brittany Murphy), Uptown Girls 2003

If you haven’t seen the movie I forgive you. The quote is used twice. The first time by Ray (pre-teen girl) to justify herself (to Molly – her 20-something Nanny) spending a lot of time doing the same basic dance move over and over again instead of just having fun. The second time is by Molly to explain why she is taking an entry-level job in the fashion industry when her resume suggests she could skip ahead to a mid/high career level position. There are times when I read forums and blogs online where I feel as if Scrum is that higher level job or the more advanced dance moves. The problem is that successful Scrum should build on a Manifesto and Principles.

While reading a blog post by Mario Moreria I felt he may have found part of the root cause.  I have pointed out the danger of Agile being seen primarily as Scrum in previous posts. That post and my own thoughts inspired me to explore the heart of Agile. This week I am starting a series of posts that will go over what I consider to be Agile basics based on the Agile Manifesto and the twelve principles used to uphold it. Continue reading

PSM Versus CSM Revisited

Previously I talked about the differences between Certified Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Master. In that post I concluded that from a hiring stand-point they were functionally the same. The big difference comes for the person seeking the certification. One certification requires a class costing $1200 followed by a short, reportedly easy, test and the other requires a difficult test costing $100. Since the company just spent more than those totals combined to send me to PMI-ACP training followed by the exam fees I opted to self fund my certification. Lack of spare vacation days means I needed one that didn’t require 2 days of my time. As I ended that post I pointed out that my money is on the PSM. Continue reading