Category Archives: Scrum

Resultaten mini enquete

Zilverline is vooral bekend van haar scrum trainingen en coaching. Zilverline doet echter meer en dit blijkt niet altijd iedereen te weten. Middels een mini enquete is hier inzicht in verkregen.

De enquete is nog steeds open en kost je maximaal 1 minuut. Klik op DEZE LINK om ook je input te geven.

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Stakeholders niet op 1 lijn

Aan Mark Suurmond, een van de agile/scrum trainers bij Zilverline, vroegen we wat hem het meest opvalt bij klanten. In het kader van prioriteiten stellen mocht hij maar 1 item benoemen. Zijn duidelijke no. 1 is dat de stakeholders niet op 1 lijn zitten en dus het doel van het project niet duidelijk is.

“Onlangs stelde ik aan drie stakeholders dezelfde vraag: wat is het doel van het project? Hierop kreeg ik drie verschillende antwoorden. De een had het over het systeem stabieler maken, de ander over kostenbesparing en de derde had het over de kwaliteit verhogen. Dit werkt contraproductief. Is het doel niet eenduidig dan neemt het schuiven met  verantwoordelijkheden en beslissingen toe en zie je bijvoorbeeld het aantal meetings om ‘af te stemmen’ toenemen”. Als het doel helder is, is er een duidelijkere backlog en prioritering. Hiermee kan het team makkelijker zelfstandig beslissingen nemen en heeft het focus.

In de praktijk merk ik dat teams en ook stakeholders snel leren om duidelijk doelen en prioriteiten te stellen en het team steeds autonomer wordt. En in mijn ogen is dat uiteindelijk wat elk bedrijf zou moeten willen bereiken: zelfsturende en gelukkige teams. En vergeet vooral gelukkige teams niet. Een team van 20 man waar er na 2 jaar nog maar 4 van over zijn is een uiterst kostbare situatie en maakt je als bedrijf uiterst kwetsbaar.”

Wil je meer weten over agile/scrum training? Neem dan contact op met Mark Suurmond via msuurmond@zilverline.com of via 020 – 754 21 65

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’ to 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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Single Wringable Neck considered harmful

This week I visited the Scrum Gathering in Amsterdam. I attended a session were the Product Owner was referred to as Single Wringable Neck. We make the Product Owner responsible for the outcome of the project, as a motivator for him to make the right choices. And if he doesn’t we will wring his neck. Like other people, I don’t like that comparison. But I had no hard evidence to back it up other then feeling related reasons like “it’s team work” and what not. But ever since I watched Dan Pink’s TED talk on motivation I think I found the evidence to safely say the single wringable neck is harmful and should not be used as incentive or motivator anymore.

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