Category Archives for Agile

Agile Release Planning as a range of probabilities

A lot of people find release planning difficult and confusing in Agile. How can we plan out our releases when we don’t have fixed scope? When will we know something is ready for release? How do we use velocity to help our planning? Are releases tied to iterations? I’m going to try and answer these […]

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Are story points really about value?

I used to think story points were about work When I started doing Agile, I was introduced to the idea of user stories and story points. They seemed pretty clear to me; user stories were defined pieces of work, and the story points was an estimation of how much work there was to do in […]

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Difference between Agile and Lean

What is the difference between Agile and Lean? A lot of people are asking about the difference between Agile and Lean. Are they the same? Which came first? Which is better? Better for what? This article attempts to answer all of these questions. Lean came first. It is Japanese and old Lean is old. Very old. […]

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Why Continuous Delivery is so important

Scrum is a (pretty) good framework for managing requirements, how they move into and out of backlogs, and how we inspect and adapt the outcome of those requirements. But one of its weaknesses is it has very little to say about engineering practices. One of those engineering practices is Continuous Delivery, or CD. This discipline […]

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Servant Leadership and management by measurement

I was reading a bizarre post on Linkedin Pulse about some wacky new system for story point estimation. The details of it aren’t interesting or important. What is interesting is the motivation behind it. The imaginary problem that many people think needs to be solved is that traditional managers, when moved (kicking and screaming) to an […]

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Pricing of technical debt

I talked recently about technical debt and the importance of cleaning it up via regular refactoring. This article will explain the pricing of technical debt and why we should do it. Any information system will probably at some point suffer from large scale or “macro” technical debt. This often happens when a project is implemented […]

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Scrum-but and Agile anti-patterns

There are many stories and anecdotes about Scrum-but and agile anti-patterns. If you’re wondering about the term,  it comes from the idea “we’re doing Scrum, but we” [do something that is completely the opposite of what it says to do in Scrum]. Here are some common ones to look out for. Big up-front design “We […]

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Misconceptions around Minimum Viable Product

One of the most controversial topics in Agile / Lean thinking at the moment is the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. This article will try and clear up the misconceptions around Minimum Viable Product. What is a Minimum Viable Product? This concept came from Eric Ries’ influential book, The Lean Startup (which you should definitely read if […]

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