Category Archives for Scrum

Alternatives to Planning Poker

Planning poker is a common way of doing story point estimation. It has some advantages but some problems too. 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 Mike Cohn in his book […]

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Backlog Refinement in Scrum explained

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

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

There are a lot of misconceptions about the Product Backlog. In fact, I would say it is probably the least understood artifact 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 and managing this thing is hard job, […]

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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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Why technical user stories are bad

You might sometimes come across “technical user stories” when doing agile software development. These are generally a bad idea and should be avoided where possible. This article will explain what technical user stories are, and why technical user stories are bad. It will also cover the rare situations when you need to use them. What […]

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The strengths of Scrum

  OK so you might think after the last post, that I’m against Scrum and I think it’s worthless. Not true at all. I use it a lot and have a lot of respect for it. There are definitely some strengths of scrum for software development. I just think it’s worth being aware of its weaknesses. […]

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The problems with Scrum

You might be wondering why everyone talks about Scrum so much. Often when I write about Agile on this blog, I’m pretty much talking about Scrum. It is the most widely used and known methodology for Agile software development in the world. Remember, Agile is not a methodology, it is a set of values and principles. […]

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Myths of agile: “there’s no planning in Agile”

I’m going to tackle some of the persistent myths surrounding Agile software development. The first and probably most well known is that “there is no planning in Agile, you just make it all up as you go along”. This is not at all true. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here […]

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How to do Definition of Done in agile / scrum

The “Definition of Done” is one of the most important concepts in Scrum, yet a lot of people don’t understand it properly. When understood and used properly, the Definition of Done is a powerful guide for consistent delivery of quality. When not understood or used properly, you will likely end up in an inconsistent mess […]

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