Category Archives for Scrum

What is story point estimation anyway?

If you’ve read the last post I wrote and are scratching your head as to what all this ‘points’ and ‘velocity’ stuff is, this article is a quick primer on what is story point estimation. I’ll explain what it is, how it is usually done, and why we are supposed to do it. I’ll also […]

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Agile metrics – the good, the bad and the ugly

Agile teams often look at and discuss metrics. Some of these metrics are interesting and important, some of them are of questionable value, and some should only be used with caution. This article will attempt to clear this up. The use and misuse of metrics Before going into the various metrics that agile teams use, […]

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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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Don’t split people across agile teams

Why do people get split across agile teams? People sometimes get split across teams when working agile (or Waterfall, for that matter). You might hear things like “this team has two front-end developers, two back-end developers, a UX designer, a tech BA, and 50% of an architect”. Why 50%? There are usually two reasons: The […]

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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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Product versus Sprint backlog

I was reading a long and strange rant against Agile recently. It’s this one, if you’re curious and you have a lot of time to burn. It confirmed my belief that people often don’t understand the difference between the Product Backlog and the Sprint Backlog. This is a really important distinction. If people get it wrong, […]

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