Opening Day!

The Major League Baseball season is finally underway!!  This never used to be a major event in my year, but that was before I joined a Fantasy Baseball league last year.  I was hesitant to do so because I was worried about the time commitment.  But I found it to be great fun to pour…

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Fourth Graders – the Ultimate Challenge in Self Managed Teams!

I’ve posted multiple times about the importance of self managed teams in Scrum, including my last post .  Through a recent non-Scrum experience, I think I’ve discovered the ultimate test in developing self managed skills for a ScrumMaster… please read on. My ten year old daughter is participating in a program called Destination Imagination (DI). …

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Initiating Scrum from the Top Down

Scrum continues to gain traction within Microsoft.  While it initially started with a grassroots movement in teams, Scrum’s success has resulted in it being more frequently being initiated from the top down.  I did a small, informal survey of people on an internal ‘agile’ alias last fall.  The result of this survey was about 40% of…

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A Modification Taxonomy for Application Customization

Customization is a very broad topic.  One thing that our predecessors working on MBF Customization did was create a Modification Taxonomy.  This taxonomy helps to break down the topic and gives us some vocabulary for discussion. Here are the key elements of the Modification Taxonomy and a short definition for each. Personalize – An end…

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Results – Engineering Competition #2 – Tower Building

We spent two hours last night destroying what many of us spent many hours building for Engineering Competition #2 – Tower Building .  As was the case last year, the winner was the event host, Michael (aka ‘Mary’, see comment in this post).  Several of us have agreed that there should be a new category…

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We’re collecting this metric – what should we do with it???

Have you ever found yourself collecting information on your process, but are unsure exactly what to do with the information?  We had a discussion about a metric like this in the past week and it reminded me of a good technique to help avoid this situation. The metric in question was Actual Hours Applied to…

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Engineering Competition #2 – Tower Building

It’s that time of year again.  My co-worker, Michael, has once again concocted a mid-winter competition to challenge our minds and our sanity.  Last year, it was a Bridge Building contest.  You can read about the results of this competition here.  The contest this year is Tower Building.   The tower needs to fit the form…

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Custom Fit, Upgrade Safe, Software at Off-the-shelf Prices

The title of this post seems so obvious, yet also seems like the Holy Grail.  Why should it be so hard for a customer to get software that aligns with the way that he runs his business without paying a fortune for it?  And if he was so fortunate to get what he wanted, why…

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Move to Fargo?!?! You have to be kidding…

Four years ago, I was asking myself the question in the title.  After 15 years in the Minneapolis area, my family was seriously considering a job offer to join Microsoft in Fargo.  I wasn’t really job hunting, and we certainly weren’t looking to move out of an area where we had put some roots down. …

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