Agile

What are Scrum and Kanban

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Simply put: Scrum is a method for delivering knowledge work Kanban is a method for understanding improving your delivery of knowledge work. Scrum tells you how to go about delivering something, Kanban tells you how to go about improving the way you currently deliver things. When you think of them like this, it’s pretty obvious […]

Agile

The “Yes” trap

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How often have you been asked a question like “Can you just do x for me?” by someone senior when you are already overloaded? If you have, then you know that feeling you get, the one that’s like having voice on one shoulder telling you to say no, and a voice on the other shoulder […]

Agile

Best practice is just the worst

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In our industry, many people are keen to suggest we all adopt “Best Practice” and it seems to be almost universally accepted as a good thing. Poppycock! In many circumstances you will be doing much more harm than good.  Think about what it means for a moment. The Oxford English Dictionary says  So in other […]

Agile

The Failure Paradox

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The Failure Paradox Human beings do not like to fail, but we learn more from failure than we learn from success. Why do we need to fail? We want to fail so that we can move from robustness to resilience. What that means is that we can detect failure early, recover from it quickly and […]

Agile

Lets get Philosophical

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In 2015 I gave a talk at the BCS London Lean Kanban Day 2015 then again in adopted version at the Kanban Coaching Exchange which was about what I learned as an Agile Coach going through the English Rugby Union (RFU) Coaching Course. While putting that talk together it occurred to me that while I have a perfectly fine […]

Agile

#NoEstimates, Sizing and Dry Stone walls

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I recently blogged here on Is Estimation Waste and I would like to come back to it. There is a movement in Lean and Agile towards #NoEstimates which has a lot of  value, but I still believe that we are risking missing something if we don’t find an alternative method to get the value we get from Estimation (shared […]

Agile

The Numbers Game

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Numbers Game Whenever I’m in a meeting talking about metrics, someone always brings up Velocity. If you’re familiar with Scrum you’ll know that in this context, velocity means the number of story points completed per sprint. If a team completes 4 stories each of which scores 5 story points in one sprint, the velocity of […]

Agile

Forecasting Your Oranges

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I’ve been struggling for a metaphor to help explain the difference between statistical forecasting and estimation, and this one came to me, so lets give it a whirl.  Let me express the scenario in some human readable BDD (Gherkin) language Given I am an orange juice shop ownerand currently have no orangeswhen I buy 25 […]

Agile

Blockers and Traffic Jams

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Imagine a motorway between Starttown and Finishcity. When it all flows it takes exactly 3 hours to get from start to finish for a car, a little longer for a lorry, and a little shorter for a motorcycle, so 3 hours ± 15 minutes. It has 3 lanes in each direction for its entire length.  […]