Dr. Mitchell's Scrum Shack

Ian Mitchell, BSc Hons, PhD, FRGS
Debrett's accredited trainer
Agile Alliance Member
IBM Certified Enterprise Developer
Certified Scrum Master

Upcoming classes

  • 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.

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"

Earlier posts

  1. The Agile Manifesto from a Lean Perspective
  2. Sprint Reviews with Kanban
  3. Daily Scrums with Kanban
  4. Sprint Planning with Kanban
  5. Presentation; Innovation Accounting in Scrum
  6. Becoming Agile: Evidence Based Management
  7. When Done is Too Hard
  8. Expedite! Handling Unplanned Work in Scrum
  9. A Digital Service Canvas for Government and Enterprise
  10. Flow Optimization at the Sprint Boundary
  11. Monte Carlo Forecasting in Scrum
  12. Projects and Products in Scrum
  13. Agile Patterns DZone Refcard (PDF)
  14. Scrum Events: Who sends out the meeting invitations?
  15. Scrubbing Sprint Zero
  16. Twenty Top Fails in Executive Agile Leadership
  17. Faking It: Estimates and Metrics in Scrum
  18. Agile Metrics: Lessons from your Headbone
  19. 20 Unagile Things to Avoid Saying and Some Better Alternatives
  20. Scrum Guide change: Planning Retrospective items into a Sprint Backlog
  21. What is a Product Backlog for, anyway?
  22. Zombie Stories: Conversations from Beyond the Grave
  23. Scrum Roles from a Lean Perspective
  24. Walking Through a Definition of Ready
  25. Three Sporting Fails for your Agile Interview
  26. Walking Through a Definition of Done
  27. Type III Scrumban: A Journey
  28. Managing Technical Debt
  29. The Empirical Product Owner: Innovation Accounting in Scrum
  30. The Product Backlog and Technical Debt
  31. Type II Scrumban: Going Straight
  32. Using a 'Technical Debt Register' in Scrum
  33. Gross Definitions: 144 Agile Terms You Simply Have To Know
  34. Why the Agile Enterprise must be an Innovation Network
  35. The Agile PMO
  36. Type I Scrumban: A Forensic Approach
  37. A Typical Sprint, Play-By-Play
  38. The Agile Crime Scene
  39. Risk Burn-up: Daring Deeds in DevOps
  40. Running Scrum Sprints in DevOps
  41. The DevOps Studio (PDF)
  42. Technical Spikes in DevOps
  43. Innovation Wars: Trump, Lean Startup, and Zero to One (PDF)
  44. By Bell, Book, and Candle
  45. Agile Scaling Frameworks: An Executive Summary
  46. DZone Scrum Refcard Update
  47. Sprint Goals in Practice
  48. Ordering a Product Backlog to Minimize Development Team Dependencies
  49. Counting Chickens: Undone Work in Scrum
  50. Is agile transformation at risk?
  51. Pull in Practice
  52. Choosing Metrics for Agile Practice
  53. Choosing Columns for Agile Team Boards
  54. 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.

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.

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.

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

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

linked in: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/docmitchell

mob: +44 (0) 7849694162


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.

Gargoyle on the Chapelle Saint-Fiacre in Radenac, Brittany
Gargoyle of the Month

This month's gargoyle is on the Chapelle Saint-Fiacre de Radenac in Brittany. The chapel may have Templar or Hospitaller links and is understood to have been built on the initiative of the Order of Saint John. Its construction spanned several eras. The main nave, which is in Gothic style, dates from the end of the 14th century. The west facade of the side nave is richly decorated with a semicircular ribbed door, surmounted by an arch with escutcheon and crown. In the transept, fixed to the wall, stands the tombstone of one of the lords of Lantivy in knight's habit. 

To the north, in the oldest part of the chapel, is an arched door topped by a semicircular tympanum with a bas-relief of Saint Fiacre. A nearby fountain, which dates from the end of the 17th century, was offered by Mgr de Guémadeuc, bishop of Saint-Malo, in thanks for his healing.

For previously featured gargoyles, go down to The Vault.

Ian Mitchell,
Feb 15, 2021, 3:12 AM