Evolving Scrum with Kanban #2 – Measure What?

In the second in this series of blog posts, I would like to tell you about my journey into metrics; what difficulties I had, what I learned about the use of metrics, and how metrics will help to improve the chance of successul change.

The third Kanban practice tells us to “Measure and Manage Flow”. When I started to use Kanban, I had my dificulties with this. First, I wasn’t sure whether it would be okay to measure performance of my team (hint: it’s about measuring the performance of the system, not the team) and second of all, I just didn’t know where to start. Nonetheless, I gave it a try and was confronted with the question: “What should I measure?”. Continue reading Evolving Scrum with Kanban #2 – Measure What?

Evolving Scrum with Kanban – Where do my Tasks go?

At the beginning of the year, I introduced Kanban to two Scrum teams I worked with as a ScrumMaster and one problem I faced was how to integrate tasks into the Kanban board. Practicing Scrum for more than one year, the teams were used to tasks and refused to drop them, because they saw tasks as very helpful in order to see there progress and synchronize their work. I agreed with the team and didn’t want to change to much in order to avoid resistance as much as possible, but at the time it seemed there was no room for tasks and stories on a Kanban Board. Of course we found a first solution and started to advance from there, but somehow I wasn’t able to write it down, until yesterday.

That’s because I received an email from a friend, an Agile Coach, asking me for advice on how to tackle pretty much the same problems I had when starting to use Kanban with the Scrum teams. Needless to say I answered his questions and I guessed there are probably more people out there having trouble with integrating tasks into their Kanban System. So I decided to finally revive my blog and share my experiences in switching from Scrum to Kanban and hopefully help others with it and maybe get some more ideas and feedback. Here is my solution to how to integrate tasks known from Scrum into a Kanban board.

Continue reading Evolving Scrum with Kanban – Where do my Tasks go?

ScrumMaster in an advanced Team

My trip to the Scrumtisch in Hamburg really was a worthwhile trip. Thanks to Christian Dähn we had a great time with a lot of interesting discussions. Christian tried an open space for the first time and it worked great. Two topics where especially interesting, both addressing a similar issue, whereby they ended up being discussed in the same breath.

1. Is an advanced self-organizing team still in need of a Scrum Master?
2.How much pressure does a team need?(Evolved to: How do we keep the pressure on the team and whose job is it?)

The thought behind 1. is that if a team is self-organizing at the highest level, what’s the job of the Scrum Master? Is it confined to moderating meetings the team has or not even that because the team takes care of it, too?
This thought is followed by the second topic. The topic owner suggested that a team advancing in a project is simultaneous getting unchallenged and therefore lazy. Continue reading ScrumMaster in an advanced Team

Scrumtisch Hamburg

Scrumtisch Hamburg

Wow last weeks were pretty busy didn’t find the time to write anything. My job is keeping me busy. Worst thing is I wasn’t able to finish a paper I promised to finish until last weekend.  Note to myself: Get it DONE!

This week is very busy, too, but most important is the Scrumtisch in Hamburg. I am looking forward to new people, good talks and learning new things. This event will be very interesting especially, because it is so short after the Scrum Gathering in Munich. Just take a look at the count of people attending even the place had to be changed. Even a new location had to be found.

Talking about Munich I just received an invitation to the Scrumtisch in Munich, Don’t know if I am attending, because Munich is a little to far for me.

So long, see you in Hamburg

Scrum Gathering Munich

Today the Scrum Gathering in Munich opened its gates. If you are not able to attend like me :( follow on Twitter with hashtag #scrumgathering and/or #scrummuc

That way you get first, although small, impression. Already read some nice and interesting things and can’t wait to read more about it.

The equation(s) behind Retrospectives

Sometimes the management doesn’t understand the meaning of retrospectives. Why is the team spending time talking about problems, although there seem to be no problems, instead of heading into the next sprint? For them it’s barely comprehensible, to hear there are impediments though the team managed to deliver all backlog items they committed to do.

Show them a variety of impediments you discovered in previous retrospectives or ask them to wait for the next retrospective(if it is the first). Important: Tell your team you will show the impediments to the managements and why. Maybe they don’t feel comfortable with and would see it as a stab in the back! Also tell the management they are not allowed to join the retrospective unless the team wants it! The equation the management will understand is: Continue reading The equation(s) behind Retrospectives

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?!

[1]http://www.scrum.org/

Review: ScrumNinja

Today I got a beta invitation from Internautdesign to have a look at their Scrum Tool ScrumNinja[1]. You can choose between a hosted or installable version. Everything is built on the idea of an actual taskboard. Every project has 3 submenus – ‘Backlog’, ‘Card Wall’ and ‘Burndown’. Continue reading Review: ScrumNinja

Let them do own experiences

I have a little brother and at the time he was a kid I took care of him so he wouldn’t do anything stupid. My dad always told me to let him do(as long as he wouldn’t kill himself) and added that my brother would feel the consequences of his doing and learn from it. This rule counts for a scrum team the same as for my brother.

Both Sprint Planning were set for the day, four hours each. I started the meeting by reminding everybody, what the Sprint Planning I is all about, namely figuring out WHAT exactly the team will do in the next sprint. Continue reading Let them do own experiences