Product owner. Who?

Chooses the right things. Many customers of our consultancy services ask us for some brief and practical description of the role of the Product Owner. Here is our attempt to provide not just some theory, but some additional practical tips for this role as well. The Product Owner The Product Owner role is key [...]

Epical epic. How to write epics in Agile.

What is an epic, what to use it for and foremost how? Requirements. Small, large, technical, business, operational, researchable. And above all, plenty of them. During four years of ScrumDesk development, we have more than 800 requirements in our backlog. And these are only requirements that we have decided to implement without any further [...]

Hey ScrumMaster and Product Owner! Do not overdo it with perfectionism.

Story A: Joe I’ve known ever since high school. Incredibly nice, funny guy. The one you’d like to have in a team. Scrum was always an interesting topic for Joe and he’d read many books about it and showed a lot of interest. When I asked the team who'd wanted to be a [...]

Forty advantages of Agile vs. traditional approaches

Last year many people asked us about advantages of Agile comparing to traditional ways of creating products. Because of that we had a short brainstorming session and came up with this list of forty advantages of Agile: A customer gets value regularly even during the first weeks of development. Products are usable after first two weeks. [...]

Drugs and team spirit

Teamwork is a part of my professional life for last 20 years. In roles from a team member, team leader, to manager and mentor I had an opportunity to observe different team setups as well as different team dynamics and how it influences the final result. I always  has been curious about these hidden [...]

If I were you, I would attend sprint review. Make your sprint review great.

In the last week, I attended a couple of sprint review sessions. Some of you maybe call them sprint demo. Ok, simply to say, the meeting at the end of the sprint where you are supposed to show your sprint's achievements. In my case, all sprint review sessions had something in common. People were [...]

When to accept user story

When is the best to accept user story which is finished and who should accept them? In our Agile and Scrum Fundamentals training, people are (surprisingly) surprised when we present our approach of the acceptance of finished work. At the begging we often observe disagreements, but after few minutes of an explanation why we found [...]

The checklist for your daily standup, part IV.- People & Company

This article is the continuation of The Daily Stand-up Checklist for ScrumMasters, part III. The aim of this series of articles is to help ScrumMasters to prepare better for daily stand-up so it is efficient, productive and engaging. These tips are based on our observation of 100+ agile teams in their agile transformations. Daily standup and People Sickness? Vacation? ScrumMaster [...]

Storypoints, hours or #noestimate?

How to choose the best estimation unit in an appropriate time. Should it be storypoints or hours? Or even #noestimates at all? In Agile meetups, we often hear very strong opinions about estimation units. From some perspective, it even sounds like a religion. I. Religion: Storypoints Most of the people express an opinion that [...]

Daily stand-up checklist, part III. – Agreements, Definitions of Done & Ready

This article is the continuation of The Daily Stand-up Checklist for ScrumMasters, part II. The aim of this series of articles is to help ScrumMasters to prepare better for daily stand-up so it is efficient, productive and engaging. These tips are based on our observation of 100+ agile teams in their agile transformations. Agreements To get things working fast, regular [...]

The checklist for your daily standup, part II.

This article is the continuation of The Daily Stand-up Checklist for ScrumMasters, part I. The aim of this series of articles is to help ScrumMasters to prepare better for daily stand-up so it is efficient, productive and engaging. These tips are based on our observation of 100+ agile teams in their agile transformations. In the first part, we covered [...]

The checklist for your daily standups, part I.

The daily standup meeting is a fundamental ceremony in Scrum. Even if you do not follow Scrum, it has a huge impact due to the transparency it brings. Most of the Agile teams and ScrumMasters think the daily standup ceremony is the easiest part of Scrum. Well, should it brings you a value, you want to do [...]

10 ScrumMaster’s failures

We see ScrumMasters fail very often while supporting agile teams in their agile transformations. Based on stories of more than one hundred of ScrumMasters we think that following 10 ScrumMaster's failures are the top most important for agile teams. 1. Because of Agile People do not care about Agile or Scrum. They want a [...]

Roadmaps are here!

Do you take care of the complex agile project developed with one or more scrum teams?  Are your teams dislocated? Or do you manage product portfolio with the help of ScrumDesk? Now you can do scheduling of the project in ScrumDesk not just with releases or sprints. ScrumDesk Roadmaps are an easy way to plan and schedule [...]

Agile Estimation: Principles

An estimation has been questioned in software development for many years. How to estimate accurately & fast? And, is an estimation even necessary? Well, that is the question for thousands of bucks. Because estimation might be expensive. Especially in the age of changes. Time as an estimation unit is wrong! In our agile training, [...]

How to build product: Let’s start with the business

Agile development works very well in product development area. But to build a successful product is much more work than just gather requirements and implement them.  One of the trickiest thing in agile development is how to prepare requirements that are ready for incremental development while still delivering some value for the customers. Businesses [...]

How to prioritize in Agile II.: Business value prioritization

The first blog post about prioritization was focused on MoSCoW - prioritization of the backlog from the perspective of customers. This is not enough for the commercial company. You need to survive, to pay bills, to pay the next sprints. You have to think about features from the perspective of the company as well. Business perspective This [...]

How to prioritize in Agile I.: Customer’s perspective with MoSCoW

Prioritization is probably the most discussed part of development processes. Product backlogs are often quite complex with hundreds of requirements. How to find user stories in your story map which you should start developing first? Traditional approach The approach of traditional processes is simple. You have high, medium, low priorities. Ok, for some organizations [...]

How To: Business Model and the Product Strategy

Agile works very well in the product-oriented environment. It’s understandable, as Agile Manifesto as a key document of whole Agile stresses the functional product as one of the most important values. When implementing agile practices, Product development is very often reduced to: Description of responsibilities for Product Owner role, Request recording, Maintenance of backlogs, and, [...]

AGILE ToolboX, daily standup and Poker Planning cards

AGILE ToolboX is a set of simple tools that agile team can use to support agile planning, daily standups or retrospectives. Agile ToolboX runs in the web browser on any platform.       Cards Different card sets for backlog grooming, planning, team estimation or retrospectives. AGILE ToolboX supports multiple scales to estimate business value, effort or risk level. Teams can use Planning [...]

Webinar: Traditional versus Agile Management

Traditional versus Agile management is fundamentally different in the core principles. This webinar (in Slovak language) summarizes fundamental agile principles: Pull principle, a team pulls requirements and tasks to implement them. As late as possible, details are added as late as possible to do not produce waste working on features that will be removed [...]

Daily Stand-up forgot the rules!

Although Agile looks chaotic in practice at first glance, good agile teams take heed to the rules agreed upon in a team. Rules for the daily stand-up Rules for the daily stand-up should cover the following: Where will be the stand-up held? What time does the stand-up start? What is the duration of the [...]

Daily Stand-up done well II.

We approached the reasons for the regular meetings of the team in the first post. Another issue ScumMaster should consider is where the daily stand-up would be held. This topic is obviously more important for the non-distributed teams. The stand-up that has taken place without any changes in a team room is the common mistake [...]

Free webinar: Agile on their own for Russian speaking customers

We see a lot of people in Europe eager to know more about Agile. We see people who would like to know what does it mean to be agile, how to start with it and how to evolve into agile company. ScrumDesk company actively supports agile transition in Central and Eastern Europe region therefore we [...]

Grow your product backlog – the tree of requirements

You know that probably. Requirements are coming, coming and coming.  There is no time to stop and think about them. There is no time to organize them. There is no time to analyze your backlog so you know which requirements should be developed as next. Even more, many customers ask you of new functionality or defect fixes. In [...]

Webinar: Agile Estimation of requirements in planning

Agile projects apply different estimation approaches comparing to traditional project management. Even there is the discussion of estimation is necessary, agile teams are estimating requirements as clients often want to know effort. Timofey Yevgrashyn is experience Agile Coah, who supported agile transition of many teams. Currently he is focused on distributed and offshore teams [...]