Monthly Archives: February 2014

Daily Scrum

About a month ago I talked about why we got rid of the daily stand-up. There seems to be a lot of discussion about this Scrum Event lately. With that in mind I decided to spend a little more time on what this meeting is supposed to be.

Pro-tip: If you are interviewing someone for an Agile Coach position and they suggest that Daily Stand-Ups are a core part of Agile feel free to politely end the interview. Continue reading

6 Month Retrospective

Six months is a long time to wait for a retrospective. It is possibly the most important part of any Agile process or methodology.  It’s right in the Manifesto: Responding to Change. In fact, the 12 Principles stop just short of calling it a retrospective, “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.”  To be fair, this retrospective is different. This one is not for the company where I work, it is for this blog. Continue reading

Back to the Basics: Agile Manifesto History

Currently one of the hottest trends in software development is implementing Scrum. Scrum is a specific framework that, while predating it, adheres to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (the Manifesto). This is not surprising. Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland were two of the seventeen people whom came together and created the Manifesto. They had formally established Scrum as we know it today six years prior. The problem I see is people don’t understand why they implement Scrum or why Scrum has the roles, meetings, rules, and artifacts it does. The best way I know to start this dialog is with the Agile Manifesto.

This is the first part of a monthly (approximately) series of posts where I look into the Agile Manifesto. As Agilists this document is something we should be able to talk at length about. This is my attempt to break it down and remind us why we coach the behaviors we do whether in Scrum or not.

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Personal Agile

I’ve recently read a little about Personal Kanban. The first exposure I had to the concept was a parent using Kanban as a weekly chore board at home. I’m pretty sure this one was the first. Since then I have discovered many more. There are also many similar methods that have been in use among home life bloggers for a long time. Today we’re taking a look at the Agile Journey from a different perspective. I’ve mentioned before that Agile is an approach or a state of mind more so then a prescribed set of practices. Because of this the Agilist will naturally approach life situations outside of work in an Agile way. The one that sticks out to me the most is the family road trip.

Like many modern American families we have relatives in multiple states. They are concentrated in Minnesota and Colorado. Neither family has the level of wealth that would make this a regular weekend flight. Truth is, even before the four of us all required tickets we didn’t fly it every time. The cost for driving hovers around the 2-3 airline ticket level depending on what stops are planned and what the meal setup is. Non-stop driving puts the trip around 14 hours. (Non-stop includes gas and bathroom breaks, possibly drive-through’s as well.) Driving non-stop is difficult for two adults but becomes effectively impossible once babies, toddlers, or preschoolers are added.

What does this have to do with Agile? Everything. A long spontaneous road trip with no planning and a strictly planned long road trip with no room for flexibility are both impossible with a family. Specifically a family with young children. Continue reading