Top 5 reasons teams struggle with adopting agile engineering practices

Agile Engineering practices are not new. They originate from extreme programming back in the late 90s. XP specifically calls out these practices as things you should be doing. And here we are 20 years later still trying to get teams to adopt them. Why is that? We do Scrum not XP People might find these practices…

Comments Off on Top 5 reasons teams struggle with adopting agile engineering practices

Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – The Code Freeze

Developer: “We do a code freeze 2 days before the end of the Sprint so we can start testing.” A statement like this typically means the team is not applying agile engineering practices, the team doesn’t properly break out product backlog items into small vertical slices, and the team is working in a mini-waterfall approach with…

Comments Off on Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – The Code Freeze

Top 5 Agile Engineering Practices

Let’s take a look at the top 5 Agile Engineering practices that are essential to succeeding with Scrum and overcoming the struggles team face with trying to deliver a Product Increment at the end of each and every Sprint. Test Driven Development (TDD) TDD is a development practice where we start with a very small automated…

Comments Off on Top 5 Agile Engineering Practices

Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Isn’t Scrum Just a Team Level Thing?

Executive: “Isn’t Scrum just a team level thing? Why do we need to train and coach the management team?” This sentiment is a common misunderstanding. However, for Scrum to be effective, it requires a change in organizational culture and operations. Without these changes, organization end up implementing Scrum-fall, Scrum-but, or Dark Scrum. It’s where everybody is…

Comments Off on Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Isn’t Scrum Just a Team Level Thing?

Top 13 Patterns to Split a User Story

Here are the top 13 patterns to split a user story. When clarifying user stories with the team during product backlog refinement, run through the following questions: 1. Can a business person understand the user story? If not, consider re-writing it from a business perspective. 2. Does the user story include a value statement? If not,…

Comments Off on Top 13 Patterns to Split a User Story

Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Assigning Points to Everything

Development Team Member: “I’m taking a bio break. I’ll mark that down as 1 point!” This of course is an exaggeration and I truly hope no team is doing this. However, team members are doing similar things when it comes to estimating using story points, especially when velocity is being tracked by upper management. When this…

Comments Off on Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Assigning Points to Everything

Top 5 Reasons Teams Struggle with Delivering a Product Increment at the End of the Sprint

Here are the tops 5 reasons teams struggle with delivering a Product Increment at the end of every Sprint. Lack of understanding of what a Product Increment is There is a general lack of understanding as to what a Product Increment is and how we build things iteratively and incrementally. Many teams adopt Scrum but still…

Comments Off on Top 5 Reasons Teams Struggle with Delivering a Product Increment at the End of the Sprint

Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Yes, We Are a Self-organizing Team

Development Manager: “Yes we are a self-organizing team. I task out all the activities and then I let the team decide which tasks they want to work on. I don’t assign any of the tasks myself.” Not assigning tasks is a good first step, however, it falls short of what is means to be a self-organizing…

Comments Off on Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Yes, We Are a Self-organizing Team

4 Stages of Agile Adoption

I typically see teams in one of 4 stages when adopting Agile practices. The Multi-Sprint Hand-Off Teams here are working in Sprints. 2 week Sprints. They have a requirements Sprint, a Design Sprint, a Coding Sprint and a Testing Sprint. This might be better than what they were doing before but it is still taking 8…

Comments Off on 4 Stages of Agile Adoption

Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – The BAs are Holding Us Back!

Developer: “I don’t have much to do. I’m still waiting on the BAs to finish writing the user stories. They always hold us back!” A comment like this highlight siloed thinking among team members. There are only 3 roles in Scrum. A Product Owner, a ScrumMaster, and a Development Team. Note that business analyst, developer, tester,…

Comments Off on Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – The BAs are Holding Us Back!