Monday, October 28, 2013

Does your practice of Scrum support the ideals of Scrum? A review of The People's Scrum.

The People's Scrum is an informative and thought provoking book. The book is a series of essays from Tobias Mayer's blogs. The essays force you to take a look at your practice of Scrum and compare it to the original goals of Scrum.
In many organizations, the practice of Scrum has become a prescriptive process layered with bureaucracy. It has become the antithesis of Scrum’s original purpose. Instead of setting a group of self-organizing, self-managing developers free to create great software, it has shackled them to a stiff rule laden process that is called "Scrum" but is not Scrum.
Read Tobias Mayer's essays and compare them to your practice of Scrum. Does your practice of Scrum support the ideals of Scrum or has it become a burdensome heavyweight process forced onto teams?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Scrum Shortcuts is filled with pearls of wisdom

Ilan Goldstein's Scrum Shortcuts is filled with pearls of wisdom that will provide great advice for every Scrum Master.
The book is divided into 10 chapters which contain a total of 30 shortcuts. The shortcuts cover the the entire range of a team's adoption and practice of Scrum. Goldstein says that his shortcuts represent "an approach rather than the approach to implementing Scrum."
I really like the fact that the shortcuts were written so they could be read and used in a stand alone fashion without depending on other shortcuts. Goldstein did a very good job of pointing out many of the pain points that a team will face while implementing Scrum and providing a possible way to deal with that issue.
As I read the book, I was able to identify with many of the topics discussed and I found Goldstein's suggestions insightful and helpful. I enjoyed reading the book and I recommend it to Scrum Masters wherever they may be in their Scrum journey.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Agile Note - October 12, 2013

It is not Scrum if you have Test Sprints.
"Test sprints occur when you have several sprints of coding followed by several sprints of testing and bug fixing. Another flavor of this anti-pattern, is where the developers work in one sprint and the testers work a sprint behind."
Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners Agile Tactics, Tools, & Tips by Ilan Goldstein

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Agile Note - October 9, 2013

Scrum fails without planning
"By trading the big picture for the ability to change things quickly, many teams lead their projects very much as if they were making their way along a dark tunnel – we don't know exactly where we'll go but small steps ensure we do not fall down. "
Impact Mapping: Making a big impact with software products and projects by Gojko Adzic

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Thomas L. Friedman writes about Coursera the interactive online education company

In a New York Time blog post, Thomas L. Friedman wrote an interesting note about Coursera the interactive online education company. Coursera allows students from anywhere in the world take advantage of university lectures for free.

"Welcome to the college education revolution. Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary. The costs of getting a college degree have been rising faster than those of health care, so the need to provide low-cost, quality higher education is more acute than ever. At the same time, in a knowledge economy, getting a higher-education degree is more vital than ever. And thanks to the spread of high-speed wireless technology, high-speed Internet, smartphones, Facebook, the cloud and tablet computers, the world has gone from connected to hyperconnected in just seven years. Finally, a generation that has grown up on these technologies is increasingly comfortable learning and interacting with professors through online platforms.

The combination of all these factors gave birth to, which launched on April 18, with the backing of Silicon Valley venture funds, as my colleague John Markoff first reported.

Private companies, like Phoenix, have been offering online degrees for a fee for years. And schools like M.I.T. and Stanford have been offering lectures for free online. Coursera is the next step: building an interactive platform that will allow the best schools in the world to not only offer a wide range of free course lectures online, but also a system of testing, grading, student-to-student help and awarding certificates of completion of a course for under $100. (Sounds like a good deal. Tuition at the real-life Stanford is over $40,000 a year.) Coursera is starting with 40 courses online — from computing to the humanities — offered by professors from Stanford, Princeton, Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania."

You can read his entire post here: