Category Archives for Scrum

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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. […]

Continue reading

The strengths of Scrum

scrum agile strengths

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. To […]

Continue reading

The problems with Scrum

scrum agile problems

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. […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

Two methods of sprint planning in agile / scrum

Sprint planning in agile is one of the essential Scrum ceremonies and is absolutely vital to any team doing Agile software development with Scrum. Successful sprint planning gives a team a clear and realistic goal and a sensible pipeline of work. It also helps teams understand stories and their flow. However, many teams get tripped […]

Continue reading