Agile reflections

Thoughts from an agile pragmatist



To QA or not to QA, that is the question. How Hamlet can inform team QA priorities.

Recently I’ve been working with an agile team that has been facing a couple of challenges with QA.   The challenge is not with the QA work,  that is generally of a good standard, but with resourcing problems on the… Continue reading →

Helping agile teams build a new product backlog? Think ‘packing list’

Roll back a few years and I was doing a awful lot of business travel from my UK home – mostly to the States,  sometimes to India and Europe.  To survive the travel grind I quickly evolved a bullet proof… Continue reading →

Agile release backlog grooming and the perfect cookie – it takes time!

One of the original views of ‘pure’ agile development proposed a model where agile teams would work on a project, delivering stories sprint by sprint, and continuing on that path until the product owner judges that sufficient business value has… Continue reading →

The Famous Five and agile backlogs (with apologies to Enid Blyton)

Following on from my previous blog post about how to resuscitate a large poorly managed product backlog, the next stage is focused on defining a pragmatic model on which to structure agile backlogs. General agile product management tutorials make reference to… Continue reading →

Struggling with a large agile product backlog? Ask a stranger for directions.

The other day a product owner colleague asked me for some suggestions about how to wrestle control over a large agile software product backlog that they had inherited.  The backlog had 300+ items, with entries going back over multiple years.  This triggered… Continue reading →

MVP or MMF? Know thy acronyms (KTA)

Just occasionally I get involved in a project meeting where the term ‘MVP’ is banded about, and although I’m not normally a pedant, for some reason misuse of this term seems to press my agile buttons and its very hard for… Continue reading →

“Mise en place” – what agile planning meetings can learn from great chefs

The sprint planning meeting is a key ceremony in the sprint process model, and ensuring that the right level of scrutiny is applied to the planning process is a vital factor in determining agile team success. Sprint planning happens on the first… Continue reading →

QA overhang – the nemesis of agile methods

One of the  key principles underlying agile methods is the concept of having a ‘releasable product’ at the end of each sprint.   The basic working assumption is that the product owner and sprint team agree the scope for a sprint,  with… Continue reading →

“It’s the product owner, stupid” – recognising agile business process risk

Students of politics will recognise the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” as the pivotal tag line from the Clinton 1992 presidential campaign.  Although the origins of the phrase have been lost in the myths of political history  it was seen… Continue reading →

Joining the dots… how the ‘daily stand up’ should be impacting your agile sprint planning

The ‘daily stand-up’ meeting is a key ceremony for agile methods.  Yet few teams realize that to make the meeting truly effective requires a shift in how work for the sprint is planned. The basics of the ‘daily stand up’… Continue reading →

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