Learning Kanban with getKanban

Couple days ago, I had the pleasure tweeting back and forth with Russell Healy the inventor of the game getKanban. David Anderson was playing the beta of getKanban v3 at his training in London and gave Russell some feedback.

Thinking about it I decided to tell you a little bit about the game as some of you might not know it. Continue reading Learning Kanban with getKanban

Agile Lean Europe network – By the people for the people

Last week fourteen people all especially dedicated to agile and/or lean met in Munich to discuss Jurgen Appelo‘s idea of an Agile Lean Europe network, short ALEnetwork. The meet up was not a Munich phenomenon. Not at all. Everywhere in Europe people have met to discuss the idea and gather some information on what ALEnetwork is to them, what they expect and especially what they don’t expect.

The position of the Luxembourgish community on ALEnetwork is an awesome expample of ideas people came up with. Not only did they meet, Pierre NEIS also made the following very cool slideshare. Continue reading Agile Lean Europe network – By the people for the people

Testers vs. Developer – United in the Name of Quality

In my last post I wrote about how the Product Owner can help to increase the quality of the software without crossing the line, staying in the framework given to the Product Owner role. Although I wrote, there are plenty of articles about how developers can increase software quality, I still want to do a follow up on my last post. Just to have both sides covered.

So what do we have in our toolbox for developers? First there are plenty of tools and it would take me a while to describe them all. Therefore I will elaborate on just a couple of them in detail.

I assume the fact we are talking or thinking about quality means we want to write good software and don’t want our customer to find any bugs. Therefore we are all testing our software. It starts with the developer, who will run the code he just wrote and ends with somebody testing the complete software. I am writing somebody, because some people might not have dedicated testers in their project. That’s the point to start at – get a tester!

Wait, wait! Don’t leave!

Continue reading Testers vs. Developer – United in the Name of Quality

Product Owner increasing software quality

A week or two ago I got the feeling of hearing product owner complaining about software quality and developers talking more and more about fixing bugs and telling the product owner in the sprint review there “are still small things to do, to finally be done”. To be sure if my feeling was right, I asked the product owner for their opinion regarding the quality of the delivered software. I didn’t have to wait very long to receive answers to my question every single one telling me the same in different wording. In short “Yes quality sucks!”

Everyone dealing with Scrum or Agile Methods stumbles sooner or later over Extreme Programming practices like pair programming, code-review, continuous integration, unit- and acceptance tests, refactoring and test-driven development(short TDD) to name the best known. There are some more like behavior-driven development(BDD) for example and all practices mentioned are intended to help developers write better code. Continue reading Product Owner increasing software quality

Scrum.org: Ken Schwaber

As you probably all know Ken Schwaber is no longer president of the Scrum Alliance. That doesn’t mean he turned his back on Scrum – not at all. It just seems that he takes his teachings very serious. By teachings I mean the point of the ongoing change in processes.

His change is reflected by starting Scrum.org[1] surrounding himself with:

the developers of Scrum and the best Scrum practitioners in the industry

It was founded and aimed to:

  1. Help individuals assess their knowledge of Scrum and how to use it.
  2. Help organizations find the best training courses, coaching, consulting, and topical Q&A sessions to optimize their use of Scrum.
  3. Help Scrum teams and organizations learn how to optimize their Total Cost of Ownership for systems and products built using Scrum.
  4. Initiate innovative programs, such as the Scrum Developer, to accelerate the effectiveness of Scrum.

Scrum.org has only top-drawer facilities and skills aimed to help those who are dead serious about competing in the product and systems development marketplace.

Looking at the site you will find out Ken Schwaber backs away from the certifications of Scrum Masters. Instead Scrum.org is using a personal “radar map” of “competence in knowing and applying Scrum”, which is formed by taking assessments. One of the assessments is already accessible, you just have to ask for a password by writing an email to Ken.

I am very excited about how companies will react, if they still want the certification or they’ll follow Ken’s way. The happening at the Scrum Gathering in Munich will absolutely be interesting. Who would have thought the next Scrum Gathering in Germany would get so much attention?!


ScrumMaster an Evangelist

I just finished reading “Enterprise 2.0 – The Art of letting go”. Craig Cmehil contributed a chapter to the book and describes his work as an evangelist in the SAP Developer Network(SDN). His description of the way he works reminds me of a Scrum Master.

As a Community-Evangelist, it’s my job to drive community but not necessarily lead community

The Scrum Master is not an original leader either. He is a driver and mentor like an Evangelist. A mentor leads by advises. He shows the team the way, but they are in charge taking the road. That way the Scrum Master drives the team to a better understanding of their responsibility being self-organized. Cmehil also recommends to have fun and says:

Call and chat with them: stop by desks and say hi…talk…make them feel a valuable part…use your words and experiences. Be open and encourage by leading by example.

A Scrum Master needs the best understanding of Scrum, but also needs a good understanding of leading people by not leading them in the original way of thinking, but leading by example.