Scrum Team

Tips for recruiting your 1st Scrum Master

This could be the most important hire you make this decade, your first Scrum Master will set the tone for Scrum in your organisation, so it’s important to get it right. However, if you’re hiring your first Scrum Master, you’re probably just starting your Scrum and agile journey, so you are probably as least equipped …

Scrum is from Mars and Kanban is from Venus

What are Scrum and Kanban

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 …

The “Yes” trap

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 …

Best practice is just the worst

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 …

fail

The Failure Paradox

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 …

Lets get Philosophical

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 …

Let’s pop the kettle on and talk about Technical Debt

Technical Debt is a difficult concept for people to understand, and I once came across a wonderful analogy and although I can’t remember who I heard the concept from, I would like to share with you all. I have taken the liberty of embellishing it somewhat.  Let us imagine we have identified a user need like this: …

The Numbers Game

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 …