su wizard

Su the Wizard – a short walk with a “Scarce Resource”

    You know Su. Su’s the person everyone needs all the time.  As you scale Agile, or any other development approach, you face the age old challenge of optimizing the return from high value scarce “resources”. The variety of well-intended, logical, and marginally unrealistic solutions you can try range from Lean based allocation models

Scrum Meeting Success for Distributed Teams

In a previous blog, I discussed ways to make distributed daily scrum meetings more effective. This blog reinforces those ideas and provides additional tips to run successful scrum meetings with geographically distributed teams. Productive, timely, 15-minute Daily Scrum meetings, remain a challenge. As many practitioners will attest, co-located Daily Scrum meetings are nearly as challenging

Lean Startup: The Product Assumption Map

Today’s product development efforts focus on testing, experimenting, and getting feedback on features and functions before developing them. These new techniques and schools of thought are exciting and (if the posits guiding the features are good) should improve the abysmal success rate projects experience in delivering stuff people actually use. All too often, though, user

Hours-Remaining Burndown Charts: An Agile Anti-Pattern?

The hours-remaining burndown chart is a planning tool that allows the Scrum team to know how well they are using their time in delivering the working software. Hours-remaining burndown charts track the time remaining on each task, and show at-a-glance whether the team’s sprint plan is on track to finish all of their stories by

Scrum, Agile or Waterfall? What if the answer is none of the above?

Owning a sailboat can teach you a lot about working on projects lacking goals, vision, or commitment. Buying a sailboat is a huge learning experience, particularly if you bought it because you too wanted to enjoy an ecologically sound way to whisper across the water and actually have control over what happens. Sailboats are, in

The ScrumMaster 3-Step Dance

The other day, someone asked.  “So how do I do this servant leader role ? How do I develop self-organized teams,  not use command and control, and still have the capability to meet organizational expectations?” It’s not the first time, in fact it may be the most persistent question asked over the past ten years. 

Scrum Purists, Posers, and Pragmatists

Scrumsters in the Scrum community are breaking into three major groups. Which camp are you in? Purists are all about what Ken said 10+ years ago. They represent the once radical movement that launched Scrum. Problem is that even Ken doesn’t practice what he advocated in “the day”. Take a look at this list of early terminology.

Why a ScrumMaster is like a Quarterback

The other night as I was taking my evening break from the Agile World, I was confronted by 2 aliens who were very upset with our regard for sports in general, the Human Race overall, and for some reason me in particular.  In fact they were so irritated they didn’t try to put a probe

There is more to Done than we know about.

Since the Agile Community is looking to manufacturing for so much wisdom these days, let’s look at what Done means when spoken by a manufacturing professional.  First there is Done at a workcenter, meaning what I built there meets a predefined acceptance criteria that apply to one some or all of the parts made there.