Estimation uncertainty in software projects is often not driven by the difficulty of the problem we are trying to solve, but rather by the health of our codebase, the quality of process, and how much discipline we have in our management practices. If you want to improve your estimates, then agile and #NoEstimates thinking can have the biggest impact on your team’s success.
Education is a vital ingredient in transformations, and it should be one of the first steps you take in moving to agile. Regardless of anyone’s level of agile experience, everyone should go through the same training because the real value of training isn't the lesson plan; it's the shared experience. Everyone across teams having the same foundation is essential.
#NoEstimates is a challenge to the traditional thinking that estimation is essential to agile development. Ryan Ripley believes there are more interesting tools available to help us determine what value is and when we could realize it, while still staying aligned with the businesses and customers we serve. Learn some other ways to deliver value to your customers.
There is no question that agile has gone mainstream. If you aren't already using at least some agile methods, you soon will be. TechWell took a look at which topics the growing agile community cares most about and put together a list of the most popular AgileConnection stories and interviews of 2016. From failing Scrum teams and successful agile communication to facilitating feedback and simplifying user stories, we've curated the content you need to read as we head into a new year.
The experience of implementing agile in a company of thousands of employees differs widely from that of a company of hundreds. Although the risks can be greater, the rewards can be, too. If you work in a small company that is interested in transitioning to an agile workflow, consider these strategies for implementing agile in small organizations.
The core of the Scrum framework for managing product development is the three key roles: ScrumMaster, product owner, and the development team. This triad is what makes Scrum so successful—when it works. However, it is the absence of these three roles that is the root cause of the majority of unsuccessful adoptions.
The Scrum Guide was updated recently to make values an explicit part of the framework: commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect. When these values are embodied and lived by the team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and build trust for everyone. Is your team practicing them?
Making the transition to agile can be difficult for teams that are used to working in large groups and reporting to a single manager. Kris Hatcher suggests a new way to work: in smaller teams called code factories, which are created to stick with a specific product throughout its lifetime.
Managers who want high-performing agile teams may think this involves finding people who all possess every required skill. But in addition to that being unlikely, it would also be a bad idea; it's the mix of perspectives that really gives benefit and value to the business. Instead, find experts in individual skills who can collaborate well together.
You can use analytical methods to assign business value to a user story, of course, but another way is simple estimation. Allan Kelly describes an estimation exercise that combines the Scrum tool of planning poker with a TV show format to add some fun. You end up with enlightening conversation and revealed requirements.