Dr. Mitchell's Scrum Shack
Ian Mitchell, BSc Hons, PhD, FRGS
Scrum: I'm holding a number of official Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master classes (PSM) throughout 2021. These are being taught remotely on-line. Click here for more information and to register. You can also register on EventBrite.
Enterprise Change: Organizational change is not merely a technical challenge: it is a cultural one. In partnership with Debrett's, I offer training courses on the soft skills for enterprise transformation, and how to apply them within an empirical framework for organizational agility. Please contact me for more details.
The Doctor Is In...
Have a question about Scrum or agile practice in general? I hang out in the Scrum Forum and I'm a certified trainer. Post a query there and I'll help if I can: scrum.org/Community/Forums
If you're after an overview of Scrum and what it's about, you can have a look at my presentation Scrum in an Hour. There is also a companion text, The Agile Buddy Guide. For the low-down on many topical issues, you can see Agile Tom, the Scrum Shack's resident cat.
Latest post: 8 October 2019
An agile team will consider every aspect of their work in terms of its empirical outcome, and there is nothing in their way-of-working which they cannot challenge. Moreover, inspection and adaptation is fundamental to both agile and lean practice. In this article we examine how a Scrum Team which implements kanban as a strategy might use flow-based metrics to inspect and adapt their process.
Read More..."Sprint Retrospectives with Kanban"
The DevOps Studio (PDF)
Posts before 2014 are held in The Scrum Shack Archive
"Agile Development in Practice"
I was asked to pull the In Practice series together into a book, so I have. Here's the blurb:
The development of complex systems is fraught with difficulty. Many organizations have taken the vocabulary and outward form of agile practice, but without sponsoring the deep change that agile adoption genuinely requires. The benefits they hope for escape them...and their projects continue to fail. All too often, nothing really changes at all.
This book tells you what agile practice is really about, and how to achieve it. The essential components of an agile way of working are laid out chapter by chapter. The book concludes with a concise treatment of the agile transformation problem, and shows how to leverage agile patterns and practices in order to resolve it.
You can buy it at amazon.com. ISBN 978-1-908552-49-5, 260 pages.
Becoming Agile: Evidence Based Management: It's critically important to understand that measurement is strategic in nature. Senior executives are accountable for the value an organization provides and for corporate reputation. If the measurement of value is poor, then the outlook is grim. However, if the understanding of value is challenged and curated in an empirical way, with a timely focus on quality outcomes rather than circumstantial outputs, then it becomes possible to survive and thrive. Continuous improvement is enabled. Management, in other words, has to be evidence-based. This is of essential concern where an agile organization with an innovation capability is to be cultivated. In this presentation we introduce four key value areas executives might wish to focus on: Current Value, Unrealized Value, Time to Market, and Ability to Innovate.
Innovation Accounting in Scrum: In Scrum a Product Owner can be described as a "value maximizer"...but how is value calculated? In this presentation we consider how empiricism ought to underpin any assessment, and at how the discipline of "Innovation Accounting" can challenge predictive value assumptions.
A little information about me
I'm Chief Scientist at proAgile Ltd. Agile transformation is my bag. I tweet and blog quite actively about this. I'm also the curator at agilepatterns.org.
I teach the official Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master class quite regularly. Additionally I'm an accredited trainer with Debrett's, and coach the soft skills needed to make organizational change effective.
Too much information about me
I do quite a bit of scuba diving in lakes and rivers, mainly in pursuit of antique bottles.
Scrum in an Hour
Welcome to "Scrum in an Hour", a brief introduction to the most popular of agile frameworks.
This material actually lasts 50 minutes, and is intended for use as a one-hour "brown bag" or "lunch and learn" session with a few minutes at each side for attendees to assemble and disperse. Anyone is free to use it.
There are no pre-requisites for this video, although it may be helpful to print out and distribute a few copies of The Scrum Guide for occasional reference during any session you might arrange. Alternatively you may prefer to download and configure a version of The Agile Buddy Guide if you wish to reinforce organizational sponsorship for change.
The presentation is aimed at a very general audience, from managers and business stakeholders to developers and other technical types.
Downloads and Resources
- The Agile Buddy Guide is available to help team members on their agile journey (DOCX format). Transformation Teams may configure it to suit the organization's context and to evidence sponsorship of an agile vision.
- An example vision for agile practice can be downloaded, there is also an alternative vision with a lean focus and another for agile-by-default bimodal IT (DOCX format).
- The companion video presentation Scrum in an Hour can be used to further socialize agile change in "lunch-and-learn" or "brown-bag" type sessions.
- In addition, there is a PowerPoint presentation (PPTX format) aimed at senior managers and potential sponsors
- A step-by-step guide to transformation (DOCX format) which may be printed out and used as supporting material.
- A worked example of an agile transformation cycle is available (PDF).
- There is also an example RACI matrix for agile transformation (XLS format).
- An example agile health check for assessing the general progress of a team is also available (XLS format)
- An example Transformation Backlog can be downloaded.
- There is an example transformation heartbeat status summary (DOC format).
- An example increment status summary is available (DOC format).
- An overview of how an organization's Project Management Office (PMO) can apply oversight and governance is available here.
- A schematic of an example onshore-offshore team structure can be found here (PDF).
- The Agile Suitability Matrix can be used to ascertain how well a programme, project, or other initiative is suited to agile practice.
- Guidance on recognizing products, features, and value streams is available here (XLS format).
Gargoyle of the Month
This month’s gargoyle is on Cologne Cathedral in Germany. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe, and the towers for its two huge spires give it the largest façade of any church in the world.
Construction began in 1248 but was halted around 1560 and did not restart until the 1840s. The site had already been occupied by several previous structures, possibly including a Roman temple built by Mercurius Augustus. From the 4th century on, however, the site was occupied by Christian buildings. By 1473 the south tower was completed to the belfry level and crowned with a huge crane that remained in place as a landmark of the Cologne skyline for 400 years. The building was completed to the original Medieval plan in 1880.
For previously featured gargoyles, go down to The Vault.