Agile teams measure the velocity of their sprints. It helps them to plan and track their progress and provides insight for product owners to plan product releases. Can teams also use velocity data when they want to improve themselves? Several authors have written about velocity and shared their concerns on measuring velocity to improve the productivity of teams.
The 2014 Edition of The Shallot - the online magazine which conducts deep analysis of the state of the information technology industry - has been released.
Separate ideal and current versions of Definition of Done can be used in agile teams. The purpose is to expand Definition of Done to grow in maturity and quality. This can be implemented on physical boards as well as on other electronic Agile Tools like Jira.
Scrum of scrums can be used to scale the daily stand-up meeting when multiple teams are involved. Its purpose is to support agile teams in collaborating and coordinating their work with other teams. Several authors have shared views on scrum of scrums, with experiences of using them.
Random retrospective activity generator "Retr-O-Mat" now available as printed edition, contains 50 activities from various sources.
Mike Cohn explains why sometimes it is worth to present unfinished product backlog items during the sprint review meeting.
Agile retrospectives help teams to find and do actions to improve continuously. There are different ways to do follow up on the actions and to evaluate if actions are leading to better team performance and more value delivered to customers.
When adopting agile teams can use (external) coaches and mentors. But teams can also develop themselves by having team members mentoring and coaching each other. Team members can learn skills and abilities from other team members in multidisciplinary teams, enabling the team to grow as a whole and become self-organized.
Experimentation using for instance lean startup can help you learn about your customers and find out which features and product would be valuable. The value however comes from building products and actually delivering them to customers. You need to find ways to balance between experimentation and delivery.
A report on recent commentary by Mike Cohn, Thomas Cagley and others on the topic of team self-assembly and sustaining successful self-organising teams.
Adopting agile is an organization change which involves management. It is said that management buy-in is crucial for agile to succeed and that a lack of management support can be a barrier in agile transformations. There are different ways for management to support agile in enterprises.
Would better user stories improve software delivery? Gojko Adzic thinks applying small changes to the way teams manage their user stories can have a huge impact on the actual outcomes of their software delivery. He announced that he wants to write a book about improving user stories if at least 5000 people show that they are interested by pre-registering themselves in January.
Agile coaches can coach in pairs instead of coaching individually. Each coach will focus on different aspects of coaching. As every coach has specific experience and skills they can complement each other. Two coaches can collaboratively help individuals or teams to learn and improve when adopting agile.
Organization prefer to establish and nurture stable teams, as reported earlier this year in the InfoQ news developing stable teams, and dealing with dysfunctions. But sometimes there are reasons why the composition of a team or of teams needs to be changed. If changes in team composition are needed, how can they be done?
“Many team and their product owners believe that the team's unique job is to deliver more and more story points, but we consider this to be a complete misunderstanding of the relation between the team and the product owner” said Damien Thouvenin and Pierrick Revol. They ran a sprint planning game on investing time to produce stories, investigate issues, reduce technical debt, or do training.