How to use your happiness metric as a information radiator?

When I started recording the happiness of my team, I found it difficult to make this information transparent. I wanted to use it as a information radiator, so that everyone who looked at our Kanban or Scrum board could see (within 1 minute) how this particular team is doing, while on the other hand not all team members were confident enough to have their personal grade for all to see.
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Flowmulator – A Kanban flow simulator

UPDATE: Now you can add workers to a column and see if it helps getting work done faster. Try experimenting with the numbers and get the best configuration!

While reading blogs about Agile games, I came across this link of Karl Scotland.
Because I always like combining programming with building something that gets across Agile principles (our Battleship game is also a good example) this seemed like a good new project for our Fridays at Zilverline HQ. Bob Forma and me started this and within a few days we came up with this (You can check the source code here)

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How to fill your happiness metric

Knowing how people think or feel about a certain subject can be very helpful in building trust, creating a team and to reveal impediments. Of course it can be very difficult to get team members to express their real opinions, especially when a team has just started. I think with patience and the right approach trust can (and will) be built and it will be easier to get real issues out in the open. The following practice can help you start this and make explicit what individual opinions in a team are.

I have used the following retrospective practice for several years now:

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Architect in Scrum

Last friday I gave a Masterclass called ‘Lean Agile Architecting’┬áto architects. Very interesting masterclass and a couple of things struck me. The issue for architects in an Agile environment is their position and responsibility.

The thing with the change from waterfall to agile is that architects feel their role is being undercut, the team just goes fast and are only paying attention to the Product Owner. The standard answer they seem to get is: ‘then join the team’, but they feel reluctant to do so, and most of the times they can not fully commit (full time). So they pass, and they feel miserable about it, since now this Agile project is going to make mistakes, and can not learn from past experiences and their expertise.

The answer lies in the closer observation of the definition of Agile and Architecture.
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The power of feedback in Scrum

Searching the web for new Agile games I came across: You sunk my Methodology. This game seemed like a strong metaphor to show the power of early feedback, while using Scrum.

In order to use this game in a presentation Bob, Daniel and I made a Javascript (standalone) version of it which uses variable iterations of shooting at the enemy’s ships. Board layouts are random and you get 40 shots in total to destroy the enemy’s fleet. After each iteration you get feedback about hits and misses. If you use iterations of 1, you are playing the regular battleship-game.

Each shot costs 10.000 and when you sink a ship you get the_ships_size * 50.000 (e.g. the submarine of size 3 will reward you with 150.000). If you keep track of the balance after each iteration, you could also try to get across the idea that stopping after a few iterations might give ‘good enough’ rewards.

It can be downloaded from our GitHub repository as a zip or you can take a look at our code. Just double click on the index.html (in the public folder) to start a game.

**Update: Now also direct playable on GitHub.

Use your Daily Scrum as a success driver

Development teams new to Scrum are introduced to a number of mandatory aspects that come with the framework. One of these is the Daily Scrum, or often referred to as the Daily Standup (meeting) or Standup in short. The purpose of this meeting is to synchronize the status of the development team and to do this in a short and focused manner. In this post I’d like to discuss an anti-pattern I see observing and being part of Daily Scrum meetings and how to overcome it.
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