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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Let’s stop talking about requirements

I get a bit sad when I hear the word “requirements”. It is a word that strongly reminds me of the bad old Waterfall days. The origin of requirements Back then, we would talk about “requirements” all the time. Projects would start with a big scary BRD (Business Requirements Document), which sometimes spilt over into […]

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The myth of culture change

A lot of people talk about culture change in organisations. “We want our place to have an innovation culture!”. “Our leaders keep telling us about culture change initiatives”. “The problem with that company is its culture”. “How do we copy Google’s culture?”. You hear these phrases all the time. People write books, go to conferences, […]

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The most common reason Agile fails

There are plenty of examples of Agile going wrong. Big government projects trying Agile and crashing and burning. Or “Zombie scrum”. Or “Cargo Cult Agile”. These are all sad stories and all too common. So what goes wrong? There are lots of reasons. Some of them are cultural, some of them are technical, some of […]

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Agile product funding

Agile Product Funding and Teams I’ve talked before about the problems with project teams and project funding. To summarise: projects are generally short-lived affairs, and can often leave a mass of technical debt and half-finished work behind them project teams are generally short-lived affairs, and project managers can willfully set them on death marches, since […]

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Cargo Cult Agile

You sometimes hear about “Cargo Cult Agile”, and you might be wondering what that means. It’s a cute term with an interesting and funny history. But the thing itself is not funny at all. This article will explain what it is, where it comes from, and what to do about it. What does “cargo cult” mean? […]

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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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Obligation to dissent and the circle of safety

I read an article recently about “obligation to dissent“. It’s an interesting phrase with some important concepts behind it. Some of these concepts tie closely into the principles of Agile. Some organisations foster a culture where dissent is welcome, others don’t. This is an important clue into the overall health of that organisation. What is […]

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Go see. Stop and fix it.

I’ve read a fair bit about Lean Manufacturing and Lean Software Development. Lean Manufacturing is old and Japanese and not really related to Agile at all. Lean Software Development is an attempt to apply some of those ideas to software development. It shares a lot in common with the values and principles of the Agile […]

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2016 in review

Well it’s been a bit over a year since I’ve started this blog. 2015 I was just getting my toes wet and trying out blogging. In 2016 I have put in much more of an effort and it has shown. I’m generating a bit of traffic and interest and starting a few discussions and that’s […]

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