Agile Makes Problems Visible

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. It’s often been said that agile project management techniques aren’t a silver bullet that will magically solve all of your problems.  In fact, their biggest strength lies is not in solving problems, per se, but rather in exposing…

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You Get What You Measure

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. I’ve been participating in more conversations internally about promoting a team-oriented culture at Microsoft.  Microsoft has a strong individual-oriented culture which works well for many things but doesn’t work so well for agile software development.  The question of…

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Learn The Why, Not Just The How

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. In another conversation on an internal email thread, someone asked some newbie questions about Scrum daily standup meetings, like do they have to be every day or could they be done every three days or so?  There were…

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Multi-task At The Team Level, Not The Individual Level

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. My current work environment is pretty typical of a lot of tools teams, IT shops, and similar groups; we have lots of relatively small projects to build and maintain.  In fact, we have far more projects than we…

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When Is A Sprint A Failure?

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. Here’s another question that was asked on one of our internal distribution lists: When do we consider a sprint to be a failure?  I don’t know the answer and have no clue about it.  We delivered 7 out…

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Hiring Managers for Agile Teams

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. Someone asked a question along the lines of, “Let’s say you were hiring senior managers for a group made up of multiple agile teams.  What qualities would you look for in an interview?” The very first thing I’d…

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Push vs. Pull in Scrum

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. Push Traditionally, software development has been built around a push model of work flow.  That is, as soon as any kind of task is identified, like “add this feature” or “fix that bug”, it’s assigned to an individual. …

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The ScrumMaster Role

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. I recently took on the role of ScrumMaster for a newly-formed team that’s new to agile project management.  We’ve had several interesting discussions about various topics that commonly come up when a team is adopting Scrum so I…

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Scrum Is Not About Tools

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. A frequent question on the internal email groups around here is, “My team is going to start using Scrum and we need to find a good Scrum tool to use for tracking everything.  What tool should we use?” …

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Further thoughts on short sprints

Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org. I wrote about my preference for short Scrum sprints last month, where “short” means no more than two weeks.  Recently there was another internal email thread on roughly the same subject where some people listed some concerns they…

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