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Scrum thoughts

I’ve just spent the afternoon reading the updated Scrum Guide from Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. There are some great points in it – some of which I have recorded here because in my experiences working with the various Agile teams that I have met over the years it is good to have a reference…
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Performance agreements when you are on projects

I was happily running a class when someone asked about how performance agreements work if you are on projects. “Really well” I replied, “you just need a new one for each project you are on. ” My answer didn’t seem to go down well though. After all, who wants yet another piece of administration to…
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Splitting stories and exploding scope in Agile projects

 We used the  “Abstract to concrete” approach to splitting stories in a training course recently. The approach is published in our “resources” page, alongside some other approaches that also work. But I told the class I would publish it here for easy reference, so here it is.   Its a simple…
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New Board Member – Paul Reid

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Paul Reid is joining the Software Education board. Paul is currently the Group Manager, Technology and Innovation at NZ Post, as well as a director of Maven. Prior to this he was CEO of the NZ Meteorological Service and prior to that he held a senior…
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Why so little good Agile?

Today I gave a talk at the  Government Test Professionals Forum conference in Wellington. I presented a case study about how the Farm Systems Division of Livestock Improvement Corporation have adopted Agile methods. I told the story of Team Awesome (they choose the name themselves), how their…
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Advanced Agile?

I was at an Agile Academy Meetup last night and the topic was “The Agile Journey and beyond”. It was great to hear about the Agile concepts and practices being applied, in real world scenarios – small and large organisations. But it was equally great to hear about how these organisations were using…
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Daily standups are for intra-team communications

I’ve been teaching a lot of Agile courses lately, and a very common point of discussion is the way the Daily Standup meeting is often abused and misused. Words like “micromanagement” are often used. The primary purpose of the daily standup is for the team members to communicate with each other…
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Requirements engineering versus Agile

I finally attended this yearly global and prestigious RE’10 event where academics and industry got together to listen and exchange ideas. Much to my surprise, there was a large disconnect between academia’s ideas of requirements engineering with much talk about automation that requires careful…
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Agile BI and data warehouses

I have done a lot of data conversion projects and a lot of building of reports on financial information.  But when participants in my courses ask about data warehouses my advice is a little more limited. I usually tell people that data warehouses sound like a good idea and that every company should…
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What makes a “good” story

This morning I received an email that asked how a team will know their stories are good enough? This question is one that frequently comes up in classes, and the right answer (of course) is “it depends”, which probably doesn’t help you much. So – what does it depend on?  Here are my thoughts … .
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Non allegiance

Anyone who has attended a Software Education course will be familiar with the most common answer we give to questions:  ”It depends”.  (We do then try to provide a context for what it depends on). We are strong supporters of the context driven approach to all aspects of software engineering – there…
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What to look for in system testing

Previous readers of this blog will have noticed the intellectual firepower and sheer passion of the contributors who share their views on testing. They will also have noticed the blatant and shameful lack of authority with which one contributor (me) replies to questions and issues around…
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