Tag Archives: Scrum

Scrum or Kanban

In one of my previous blogs I wrote about ‘Agility by delivering changes as ‘business as usual’

In that article I showed a picture with different agile methods and frameworks. On the team level I mentioned Scrum, Kanban and DevOps. I came across a blog post from Roman Pichler titled ‘Is Scrum right for your product?’. A nice article explaining when to use Scrum and when to use Kanban, by following a product life cycle from launch via product market fit till the end of life. I added DevOps to his approach in the same product life cycle and will use this to expand my own article. See the animated PowerPoint too.

During the first part of a product life cycle the uncertainty is high and the focus is on goal driven iterations for the first product launch and market fit product. During this part of the life cycle Scrum is a great fit to cope with uncertainty and product iterations developed by the whole team. During the rest of the product life cycle the amount of uncertainty and change gradually declines. Here Kanban is a good fit. User Stories will be realized in a continuous flow by one or more of the individual team members.

When a major product upgrade has to be delivered by the whole team Scrum could be a better choice for that goal oriented iteration, otherwise Kanban stays a good fit.

To avoid the error prone handover and to shorten the time to market the Development and Operations teams can be integrated. Kanban is a good fit for the DevOps team. When to start with DevOps varies.

See: Is Scrum right for your product?

Review: Scrum Magic. Ultimate training guide to the agile framework.

51xkemdtrllDoug Purcell wrote the book ‘Scrum Magic. Ultimate training guide to the agile framework‘ that will help you to pass one of the basic Scrum Master exams.

I would say that with this book you will get a lot of flesh on the scrum bones (as offered by the official Scrum Guide).

To set the scenery the author begins with the explanation of waterfall, agile and kanban and discusses the pros and cons and compares waterfall and kanban with scrum. 

After getting an eagle eye view of scrum including the roles product owner, scrum master, development team and stakeholders we follow the sprint lifecycle planning phase, execution phase, and closing phase.

  • Planning phase: sprint planning and estimation strategies including story points and the comparison with man-hours, planning poker, fist of five and user story best practices
  • Execution phase: daily scrum meeting with dos and don’ts and monitoring progress
  • Closing phase: sprint review with dos and don’ts and group roles, sprint retrospective best practices.

The author starts every time with a bullet list coming from the Scrum Guide and elaborates on the different topics using more detailed theory and own best practices, dos and don’ts and FAQs. You also get for each chapter the used sources (books, websites), and a quiz to help you study the material (in total you get 130 sample questions and a rationale for the answers.

In the appendices you find an overview of different agile certifications as well as project management certifications (the last is unnecessary). The explanation and reference of several agile related websites/blogs is valuable and will trigger you to have a look.

Conclusion

If you want to go for a scrum master certification this book is definitely worth to read and practice the questions and using the rationale to really understand and prepare yourself for the examination. If there is no need for certification this book will still be useful to get a practical understanding of using Scrum.

To order: Scrum Magic

Book review: Agile Project Management and Scrum v2

front-cover-webIn two of my previous posts I wrote about DSDM and UX Design and Agile Project Management and Scrum v2. This is another little book in the same style. And this booklet too can be read as an addendum to DSDM’s Agile Project Management Framework.

Andrew Craddock is the author of the book ‘Agile Project Management and Scrum v2‘.

The booklet starts with a comprehensive overview of Scrum based on the Scrum guide 2013 and an explanation of the Agile manifesto.

Next we get an overview the combined AgilePM / Scrum process framework. The project delivery context is based on AgilePM and the evolutionary development context is pure Scrum.

In this combined framework we see the following changes / additions in comparison with the original AgilePM framework:

 

AgilePM AgilePM/Scrum
Process Evolutionary Development Scrum Development
Product Prioritized Requirements List Product Product Backlog

 

Timebox Plan and Timebox Review Record Sprint Goal, Sprint Backlog and Sprint Review Record
Roles adding the PO, SM roles

An enhanced Scrum two-week Sprint contains some minor embellishments to the standard Sprint:

  • In comparison with a standard Sprint we now see a split in two parts: Refinement (7 days) and Consolidation (2 days).
  • Within the Consolidation part we see a Consolidation Scrum to confirm progress to date and to explain what will be ‘Done’ by the end of the Sprint.

A new event, the Project Planning Event, is added. This event takes place at the boundary of timeboxes and can be used, by project stakeholders, to influence the the work of the Scrum Team without compromising the way Scrum is used.

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All roles are explained within this combined framework with special attention for the Product Owner role including relationships and interactions with the Technical Coordinator, PM, Business Visionary, Technical and Business Advisors and the Development Team.

Final paragraphs explain the usage of multiple Scrum Teams, Regulatory, and financial governance, the usage of Barry Boehm’s Cone of Uncertainty and some optional techniques (MoSCoW prioritisation, Facilitated Workshops and Modelling).

Conclusion: For those who are using AgilePM in combination with Scrum this is a must read. It gives a nice overview of the changes and a good explanation of the PO role including all relationships and interactions.

To order: Agile Project Management and Scrum v2

This is the last post in a series of three. DSDM and UX design was the first and Agile risk management and DSDM the second.

Scrum Guide Refresh (version July’2016)

This evening I followed a webinar by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, the founding fathers of the Scrum Guide. They announced that they added, based on feedback, the following five Scrum values to the guide: commitment, focus, openness, respect and courage. During the webinar each value was explained and it ended with an overview of the official changes in de Scrum Guide.

Schermafdruk 2016-07-06 17.07.47

The official changes:

Scrum Values

When the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect are embodied and lived by the Scrum Team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and builds trust for everyone. The Scrum Team members learn and explore those values as they work with the Scrum events, roles and artifacts.

Successful use of Scrum depends on people becoming more proficient in living these five values. People personally commit to achieving the goals of the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team members have courage to do the right thing and work on tough problems. Everyone focuses on the work of the Sprint and the goals of the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders agree to be open about all the work and the challenges with performing the work. Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent people.”

I would say it is a great idea that they added these Scrum values to the official guide but I still miss pictures, drawings, etc. to explain. For me these pictures are much more valuable to understand than only words and it can make the guide shorter and much more easier to read.

To download the latest (July’2016) version of the Scrum Guide: Scrum Guide

To make suggestions for the Scrum Guide: User voice

Boekrecensie: Scrum wegwijzer

gunther-verheyen-scrum-wegwijzerGunther Verheyen, partner bij Scrum.org, is de auteur van het boekje Scrum wegwijzer. Een kompas voor de bewuste reiziger. Het boekje geeft je een compleet overzicht van Scrum, het raamwerk voor software/product ontwikkeling.

Het boek is onderverdeeld in vier hoofdstukken: het agile paradigma, Scrum, technieken versus regels en de toekomst van Scrum. Waarbij het tweede hoofdstuk Scrum de kern van het boek vormt.

In het eerste hoofdstuk neemt de auteur je mee in Het Agile paradigma. Hij geeft Agile de volgende sleutelkenmerken mee: mensgericht, dienend leiderschap, iteratief-incrementeel, succes en verandering. De overgang van het industriële naar het agile paradigma is echter geen geleidelijk proces. Met kleine stapjes ga je er niet komen.

Wil je als organisatie een hogere business agility bereiken dan houdt dan rekening met de volgende ervaringen: agility kan niet worden gepland of opgelegd worden en agilty kent geen eindtoestand. Agility gaat meer over het gedrag dan over processen en leidt tot een verandering van de cultuur.

Hoofdstuk twee Scrum rekent af met rigide, niet-praktische procedures, vergaderingen en andere zaken en biedt daarvoor in de plaats het huis van Scrum waarin het doel, het increment als dak van het Scrum huis gevisualiseerd wordt. Gebaseerd op een fundament van transparantie en gedragen door de zuilen inspectie en aanpassing. Binnen dit huis vindt aan de hand van principes, rollen en regels, creatie van het increment plaats door gebruikmaking van de inzet, passie en de energie van alle betrokken spelers. Deze spelers kunnen gebruik maken van het speelbord van Scrum (zie figuur). Scrum is nadrukkelijk geen methodologie maar een beperkt raamwerk waarbinnen aan de hand van beperkte voorschriften en regels, empirisch en zelfsturend te werk moet worden gegaan.

Het speelveld van ScrumIn het boek komen alle facetten van dit speelbord aan bod waarbij nadrukkelijk niet alleen stil gestaan wordt bij de definitie maar ook wordt ingegaan op het daadwerkelijke gebruik en het waarom achter het gebruik en het doel van de bijbehorende regels. Een voorbeeld. “Ieder item op de product backlog moet juist genoeg informatie omvatten om duidelijk te maken wat de intentie van het item is. Doelbewust onvolledig.” Waarom? “Perfecte precisie is namelijk onmogelijk voor een requirement, terwijl elke poging ertoe de indruk kan wekken dat het wel mogelijk is.“ En vervolgens. “Een product backlog item is een uitnodiging tot een gesprek” tussen product owner en ontwikkelteam om het item te verfijnen.

Het derde hoofdstuk beschrijft de te ondersteunende technieken waarbij nadrukkelijk aangegeven wordt dat Scrum een dienend en geen voorschrijvend proces is. De volgende technieken worden beschreven:

  • Visualisatie van voortgang
  • De vragen van de Daily Scrum (zie het als een kans)
  • Product Backlog refinement
  • User Stories
  • Planning Poker
  • Sprint-lengte
  • Scrum op grotere schaal

Het laatste, kortere hoofdstuk gaat in op de toekomst van Scrum. In de toekomst zal Scrum niet langer ‘Scrum’ genoemd worden. Wat we nu Scrum noemen zal de norm geworden zijn. Het boekje eindigt met een korte begrippenlijst en een literatuuroverzicht.

Conclusie

Goed geschreven, compact en prima bruikbaar als naslagwerk en ter voorbereiding op een scrum-examen. Maar nog veel belangrijker het biedt antwoord op de vragen achter het gebruik en het doel van de events, rollen en artefacten, namelijk waarom, waarom, waarom en dat maakt het boekje tot het Scrum boek als je je wilt verdiepen in Scrum!

Het boekje verscheen in November 2013 als Engelstalige uitgave getiteld Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion). Het is daarom jammer dat de auteur bij deze uitgave niet de kans gegrepen heeft om het stuk over het op grotere schaal toepassen van Scrum te herschrijven en ontwikkelingen zoals Nexus daarin mee te nemen.

Bestellen: Scrum wegwijzer

PRINCE2 Agile webinar recordings

Friday February 12th, I gave, on request of Fortes Solutions, the PRINCE2 Agile lecture twice (NL, EN). In total approximately 600 persons registered for these webinars. Due to the webinar system limitations we had to disappoint 150 people. I am sorry for that. The good news is that both sessions are recorded. In these 45 minute lectures I gave a brief overview of the new PRINCE2 Agile framework. The attached picture shows in a glance the overview of this new framework and showing the topics I discussed: PRINCE2 2009 version, Scrum, Lean startup and kanban, the behavior aspects, the usage of the Agilometer and the Cynefin framework as well as fixing and flexing of the six project control parameters.

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The first recording is my lecture in English and the second one is in Dutch.


If you want to know more about PRINCE2 Agile feel free to enroll for one of our PRINCE2 Agile training classes. The next one will start in April in Hilversum, Netherlands. See: Hedeman Consulting.

Review: Nexus Guide; Scaled Scrum development

The basics

NexusGuide_Mockup_nfv3-400This guide contains the basics of Nexus. Nexus is a framework to develop scaled product and software development initiatives by using 3 to 9 Scrum teams. This guide is Ken Schwaber’s answer for the ‘Scrum of Scrums’.

You can position this framework at the same level as the Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).

Summary

The Nexus Guide is written in the same style as the Scrum Guide from Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber. It’s a brief document of 10 pages giving an overview of Nexus and the corresponding roles, events, and artefacts.

It starts, see figure 1, with one Product Owner managing the Product Backlog. The Product Owner sets up the Nexus Integration Team. In this team we see Integration Team members as well as a Scrum Master.

Dia1To download: Nexus (QRC, 151223) v1.0

The first official event will be the Nexus Sprint Planning. The Nexus Integration Team together with representatives of the Scrum teams develop the Nexus Sprint Backlog. This backlog will contain all User Stories for the to be delivered Integrated Increment. During this Nexus Sprint Planning the work will be allocated to the different Scrum Teams. Each Scrum Team will have it’s own expertise area and have it’s own Development Team members and a Scrum Master.

Based on the assigned work each Scrum team will have it’s own Sprint Planning to build their own Sprint Backlog.

Every day the Nexus Integration Team and representatives from the Scrum Teams will have their Nexus Daily Scrum to discuss integration issues, dependencies and sharing information across the teams. Joined to this Nexus Daily Scrum the individual Scrum Teams will have their own Daily Scrums. The Scrum Teams will develop their parts and integrate and test their work with that of the other teams.

At the end of the sprint we have the Nexus Sprint Review demontrating, showing the Integrated Increment. This is a joined review with all team and replaces the individual Scrum Team Reviews.

An overall Nexus Sprint Retrospective focusses on inspection and addaption and consists of three parts:The first part is identification of issues impacting more than one Scrum Team. Part two are the individual Scrum Team Retrospectives and the last part focusses on actions to be taken.

Target audience

For those who wants to know how to scale up Scrum based development.

For everybody involved in developing products or software and the work to be done can’t be handled by one Scrum team only.

Conclusion

This Nexus framework shows that to develop products or software you need more than only the will and behaviour to work together as Scrum Teams. The role and responsibilities of the Nexus Integration Team brings a form of governance / facilitation to make sure every Scrum team is doing the right things, integration and dependencies are being managed and the Nexus delivers what the Product Owner wants. Still I want to challenge Ken and his team to expand this framework to include the embedding (Change Management, transition) of the Integrated Increment within the organization.

Recommended reading

Nexus Guide. The definitive guide to Nexus: The exoskeleton of scaled Scrum development. By Ken Schwaber, August 2015. To download: The Nexus Guide.