Category Archives for Scrum

Production support in agile / scrum

A common question I see asked is “how do we do production support in agile / scrum?”. This is a harder problem than it might at first seem. It definitely adds some complexity to the problem of prioritizing work. There are three stages to solving it properly. What actually is production support? Production support or […]

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Misconceptions about Kanban

There is an enormous amount of confusion and misinformation about Kanban. This article will clear up some of the major misconceptions that surround this topic. Let’s go through them one by one. You have to choose between Kanban and Scrum The most common misconception I’ve found is that people think you have to choose between […]

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The walls are glass, but you can’t come in

glass house

Sometimes teams have good times, sometimes they have bad times. Sometimes things go well, sometimes they don’t. No matter how bad things get, it is important that they be transparent, always. The walls around the team are made of glass: information flows freely in and out. But we need to make sure that while they […]

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Retros are not continuous improvement

retros are not continuous improvement

Retrospectives are one of the hallowed traditions of Agile software development. They are mentioned specifically as one of the twelve principles in the Agile Manifesto. They are one of only four regular activities prescribed in the Scrum guide. Extreme Programming says you must “fix XP when it breaks” (and talks a bit about retrospectives in that […]

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Alternatives to Planning Poker

planning poker alternatives agile

Planning poker is a common way of doing story point estimation. It has some advantages but some problems too. Let’s see what they are. What is planning poker again? Planning poker is often used in teams doing Scrum (though it is not mentioned anywhere in the Scrum guide, despite popular belief). It was popularised by […]

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Backlog Refinement in Scrum explained

backlog refinement in scrum

A lot of people are confused about Backlog Refinement in Scrum. I’d say it is one of the most frequently misunderstood and misused topics. It doesn’t help that the Scrum guide has very little to say about it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and is for a fairly good reason: we are now […]

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Scrum bad smells

Scrum bad smells

There are a number of “bad smells” that you might encounter while doing Scrum. These are generally signs that might seem innocent, but suggest something is badly wrong. You need to watch out for these signs. Standups going over the timebox The bad smell This is a classic one to watch out for. The Daily […]

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Misconceptions about the Product Backlog

misconceptions about the product backlog

There are a lot of misconceptions about the Product Backlog. In fact, I would say it is probably the least understood artefact of Scrum. Getting it wrong can cause big problems, not just for your product and its roadmap, but for your developers too. Being a product owner is a hard job, and easy to get […]

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When to use kanban vs scrum

when to use kanban vs scrum

If Scrum is the most widely used Agile methodology, Kanban would have to be second place. It’s old, it’s elegant, it’s effective, it’s simple and it works. This article will explain when to use Kanban vs Scrum. It really depends on what type of work you are doing. Some people use straight-out Kanban, no scrum […]

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Alternatives to Scrum

alternatives to scrum

I’ve talked a lot about Scrum on this blog recently. Scrum has some strengths and some weaknesses. You need to know about those to understand it and use it properly. I think Scrum is a good tool and a great start for people new to Agile. But you might be interested in alternatives to scrum. […]

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