Dr. Mitchell's Scrum Shack

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

Ian in the Dev Shed
Latest post: 15 November 2017

The Scrum Guide was revised in November 2017, and one of the changes ratified the practice of planning at least one "high priority" process improvement item into the Sprint Backlog. In this post, we look at why this change improves Sprint Retrospective outcomes and helps a team to inspect and adapt its way of working.

Read More..."Scrum Guide change: Planning Retrospective items into a Sprint Backlog"

Earlier posts

    1. What is a Product Backlog for, anyway?
    2. Zombie Stories: Conversations from Beyond the Grave
    3. Scrum Roles from a Lean Perspective
    4. Walking Through a Definition of Ready
    5. Three Sporting Fails for your Agile Interview
    6. Walking Through a Definition of Done
    7. Type III Scrumban: A Journey
    8. Managing Technical Debt
    9. The Empirical Product Owner: Innovation Accounting in Scrum
    10. The Product Backlog and Technical Debt
    11. Type II Scrumban: Going Straight
    12. Using a 'Technical Debt Register' in Scrum
    13. Gross Definitions: 144 Agile Terms You Simply Have To Know
    14. Why the Agile Enterprise must be an Innovation Network
    15. The Agile PMO
    16. Type I Scrumban: A Forensic Approach
    17. A Typical Sprint, Play-By-Play
    18. The Agile Crime Scene
    19. Risk Burn-up: Daring Deeds in DevOps
    20. Running Scrum Sprints in DevOps
    21. The DevOps Studio (PDF)
    22. Technical Spikes in DevOps
    23. Innovation Wars: Trump, Lean Startup, and Zero to One (PDF)
    24. By Bell, Book, and Candle
    25. Agile Scaling Frameworks: An Executive Summary
    26. DZone Scrum Refcard Update
    27. Sprint Goals in Practice
    28. Ordering a Product Backlog to Minimize Development Team Dependencies
    29. Counting Chickens: Undone Work in Scrum
    30. Is agile transformation at risk?
    31. Pull in Practice
    32. Choosing Metrics for Agile Practice
    33. Choosing Columns for Agile Team Boards
    34. Stabilizing Teams for Agile Practice
    35. Agile Transformation in Organizations that Suck
    36. Method Wars: On the Commoditization of Estimates
    37. Method Wars: Scrum vs SAFe
    38. Limiting WIP: Stories vs Tasks
    39. Sprint Retrospectives in Practice
    40. Your boss, the Invader from Mars
    41. Sprint Backlogs in Practice
    42. The Agile Response to a P1 Incident
    43. The Kanban Sandwich: A Bite-Size Recipe for Agile Work Flows at Scale
    44. Agile Teamwork in Practice
    45. Sprint Reviews in Practice
    46. Taking One for the Team: the Refactoring of Failure
    47. Definitions of Done in Practice
    48. Product Backlogs in Practice
    49. Confirmed or Busted: Are the Mythbusters Agile?
    50. Agile Estimation in Practice
    51. Sprint Planning in Practice
    52. Winging It: Going Live with Technical Debt
    53. Scrum Master: Servant Leadership in Practice
    54. An Agile Health Check: The Daily Standup in Practice
    55. Suiting Up for Agile Practice
    56. User Stories in Practice
    57. Product Ownership in Practice
    58. Why Stretched Teams do Scrumban
    59. Getting Real with Scrumban

    An archive of posts before 2013 is available here.

    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.

    This month's gargoyle is a beaver on the Parliament Hill Centre Block in Ottawa. The groundbreaking for the building which would house Canada's Parliament took place on 20 December 1859. Fire destroyed the original Centre Block on February 3 1916. Rebuilding started that same year. The new design was much like the original but expanded in size and pared down in ornament, more in keeping with the Beaux-Arts ethos of the time. There are a multitude of stone carvings, including gargoyles, grotesques, and friezes, which reflect the Victorian High Gothic style of the rest of the parliamentary complex.

    For previously featured gargoyles, go down to The Vault.

    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:


    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 seeĀ Agile Tom, the Scrum Shack's resident cat.

    I teach the Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master course fairly regularly. Classes are usually held in Aske Hall in North Yorkshire:
    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.