Give a Boy a Hammer…

“If you give a boy a hammer, he will suddenly find that everything looks like a nail.”

In some ways, this is how Agile is being applied in the industry today. It doesn’t matter what problem you need to solve, hit that nail with a Hammer. You want to get better predictability? Hammer. Quicker time to market? Hammer. You want to improve employee morale? Hammer. Continue reading “Give a Boy a Hammer…”

On Tweaking Estimates

As Product Owner for the project, I get to field a lot of interesting questions. I woke up this morning to the following question from one of my teams:

Hello Mike,

In our current sprint, we have planned 8.5 user story points. But after task breakdown we can see for a couple of user stories, actual story points differ from the estimated story points. What is the correct course of action in this case? Do we need to update product backlog for revised user story points? Then we can say the team is working towards achieving 11.5 user story points! Also, since our [project gate commitment] is nearing, should we reexamine the estimates in the product backlog, and revise them for the remaining user stories?

Continue reading “On Tweaking Estimates”

Weaponized Scrum (Part 1)

The following is an Experience Report I presented at Agile 2009 in Chicago (Part 1 of 4).

 

Abstract

Scrum provides a framework for managing agile development projects.  It encourages transparency at all times, which helps reinforce the cycle of trust that must exist between development teams, management and the customer.

Over the course of two years, our team had used Scrum to successfully deliver three revisions of our product with a degree of predictability that had been unattainable prior to adopting the agile method.

When the projected schedule of our next project didn’t align with the business needs of the organization, we found ourselves on the fast-track to conflict.  And we had given them all the ammunition they needed to turn our gesture of trust into a weapon of unimaginable destruction.

Continue reading “Weaponized Scrum (Part 1)”