Dr. Mitchell's Scrum Shack

Ian Mitchell, BSc Hons, PhD, FRGS
Agile Alliance Member
DZone Most Valuable Blogger
IBM Certified Enterprise Developer
SPS
PSM Level III
PST
Certified Scrum Master

Latest post: 17 September 2018


When we collect metrics, such as the velocities attained over a number of sprints, we ought to remember that critically important detail can exist in the variation. All too often we just forecast a delivery window and throw the texture of the available data away. The forecast will typically express a precision with limited respect for accuracy. Yet in truth, we don’t have to give stakeholders a single “precise” date for delivery in which we can express little confidence. We can do better, and show them the projected range from a thousand or more simulated scenarios.

In this post we consider the “Monte Carlo” method, a class of algorithms which use large-scale random sampling to generate reliable predictions.

Read More..."Monte Carlo forecasting in Scrum"

Earlier posts

  1. Projects and Products in Scrum
  2. Agile Patterns DZone Refcard (PDF)
  3. Scrum Events: Who sends out the meeting invitations?
  4. Scrubbing Sprint Zero
  5. Twenty Top Fails in Executive Agile Leadership
  6. Faking It: Estimates and Metrics in Scrum
  7. Agile Metrics: Lessons from your Headbone
  8. 20 Unagile Things to Avoid Saying and Some Better Alternatives
  9. Scrum Guide change: Planning Retrospective items into a Sprint Backlog
  10. What is a Product Backlog for, anyway?
  11. Zombie Stories: Conversations from Beyond the Grave
  12. Scrum Roles from a Lean Perspective
  13. Walking Through a Definition of Ready
  14. Three Sporting Fails for your Agile Interview
  15. Walking Through a Definition of Done
  16. Type III Scrumban: A Journey
  17. Managing Technical Debt
  18. The Empirical Product Owner: Innovation Accounting in Scrum
  19. The Product Backlog and Technical Debt
  20. Type II Scrumban: Going Straight
  21. Using a 'Technical Debt Register' in Scrum
  22. Gross Definitions: 144 Agile Terms You Simply Have To Know
  23. Why the Agile Enterprise must be an Innovation Network
  24. The Agile PMO
  25. Type I Scrumban: A Forensic Approach
  26. A Typical Sprint, Play-By-Play
  27. The Agile Crime Scene
  28. Risk Burn-up: Daring Deeds in DevOps
  29. Running Scrum Sprints in DevOps
  30. The DevOps Studio (PDF)
  31. Technical Spikes in DevOps
  32. Innovation Wars: Trump, Lean Startup, and Zero to One (PDF)
  33. By Bell, Book, and Candle
  34. Agile Scaling Frameworks: An Executive Summary
  35. DZone Scrum Refcard Update
  36. Sprint Goals in Practice
  37. Ordering a Product Backlog to Minimize Development Team Dependencies
  38. Counting Chickens: Undone Work in Scrum
  39. Is agile transformation at risk?
  40. Pull in Practice
  41. Choosing Metrics for Agile Practice
  42. Choosing Columns for Agile Team Boards
  43. Stabilizing Teams for Agile Practice
 Posts before 2014 are held in The Scrum Shack Archive

Agile Development in Practice
"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.

Recent video

  1. Comparing the Nexus Framework and the "Spotify Model"
  2. Servant Leadership Defined (on Scrum.org)
  3. Scrum in an Hour (on scruminanhour.com)
  4. The Agile Transformation Pattern (on agilepatterns.org)

DZone Refcardz


In collaboration with DZone, I've put together an Agile Patterns Reference Card which is available for free download from their site. Use it to take an empirical, evidence-based approach to the agile transformation problem.

Read More..."Agile Patterns DZone Refcard" (PDF)

The Doctor Is In...
Ian in Dev Shed

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.

I teach the Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master course fairly regularly. I also teach the Professional Agile Leadership course. See Upcoming classes

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.

Too much information about me


Hobbywise, I'm into Extreme Ironing. I've ironed underneath the ice-sheet of a frozen lake, and I've also gifted the world with the "fusion" sport of bog snorkelling + extreme ironing.

I do quite a bit of scuba diving in lakes and rivers, mainly in pursuit of antique bottles.

Cave diving is another interest, and I have traversed White Lady sump in the Dan-yr-Ogof system while training under the redoubtable Martyn Farr.

Of course, I have plumbed even murkier depths on public sector IT projects. This latter experience once lead to an outburst of Vogon Poetry; you can commiserate by reading it here.

Contact info


twitter: https://twitter.com/dr_ian_mitchell
linked in: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/docmitchell
mob: +44 (0) 7849694162


Gargoyle of the Month


Gargoyle on All Saints' Church in Gresford, Wales
This month's gargoyle is on All Saints' Church in Gresford near Wrexham. It is mainly of a very fine 15th century construction, and the peal of eight bells is renowned for its exceptionally pure tone. All Saints' has the most surviving medieval stained glass of any church in Wales. Henry VII paid for the large central east window. The church is remarkably large for a small village, and may have been a place of pilgrimage.

The church contains some very fine memorials, mostly for the local Trevalyn Hall branch of the powerful Trefor family. There are twelve misericords dating from about 1500. They have strange carvings, including a devil pushing two women into the jaws of Hell, an ape with a urine flask, and a fox with a bucket of excrement.

The church also houses the Gresford Stone, a Romano-British altar which was re-purposed as a building block during construction. It was originally used for offerings to the goddess Nemesis, who is depicted on one side, and was probably once part of a shrine.

For previously featured gargoyles, go down to The Vault.