Monthly Archives: February 2012

Dealing With an Overwhelming Amount of Work

I located a job as an Agile Coach working at Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.  I worked with a group of internal coaches, offering both training and coaching for the nearly 500 teams that were experimenting with the Scrum framework inside the organization. My directive there was to observe teams in action and offer help when asked. Observing Team Behavior Pretty soon I was invited by a Product Owner to observe his team’s stand-up. This team sensed that something wasn’t right with their Scrum implementation and he was seeking advice. They had also recently lost their ScrumMaster and people were … Continue reading

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Getting healthy

Always hurting from something During my first rolfing sessions, I ask my therapist if I can help her set up her table. She turns down the offer, which is relieving. My back hurts and I move with care and intention, trying not to fire off the twitch muscles. After my 6th session, I’ll learn how light the table is when she leaves me with it and goes on retreat. Moving it around really is no trouble, as she insisted.

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Admitting to the Real Date

We established a trusting relationship at vianet with our customer. We invited them to each Sprint review and planning ceremonies. They checked out and deployed our code from our servers in to their environment. Negotiating the Date It was the end of fall and our customer said they needed the work finished by the start of spring. Everyone wanted some buffer in case something delayed deployment and we agreed to finish development by the middle of winter. This date was written in to the contract drawn up by lawyers and signed by both sides. The rate that we were now … Continue reading

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Reassigning Points to Validate Estimation

Keeping a Good Agile Estimation Practice As part of our Scrum practice at vianet, we spent time as a team tending to the Product Backlog. We played planning poker and kept all our stories sized. We knew the entire size of the Product Backlog. Every Sprint we looked ahead and refined some User Stories. Our velocity was stable and we could predict what User Stories would fit in a Sprint. The total size of the Product Backlog and the number of Sprints left projected that we would not hit the date promised to the customer. Verifying the Estimates The Product … Continue reading

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Keeping Progress High and Questions Low

Everyone Wants to Know Status Vianet established a cadence around Scrum and soon our customer, stakeholders, executives and others would ask how the current Sprint was going. The people asking questions numbered more than we had on the team. The questioning increased as a Sprint neared its end. I asked if people could hold off with the questions until the end of the Sprint. It had become too much of a distraction for the team. Designing Good Retrospectives A friend suggested that I read “Agile Retrospectives” by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. The book was recommended to me to help … Continue reading

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