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: 15 January 2019


Many Scrum practitioners will have experienced situations where a struggling Product Owner has wanted a team to action ad-hoc work immediately. Some Development Teams are tempted to reserve a buffer, each Sprint, to accommodate any urgent and unplanned work they are expected to do. Yet what this buffer effectively does is to formally reduce transparency. In this article we look at how work can be traded out of scope in an emergency, while the Goal itself remains achievable and intact. In agile practice it is matters of scope, rather than time or quality, which indicate where a team’s contingency ought to lie.

Read More..."Expedite! Handling Unplanned Work in Scrum"

Earlier posts

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


This month's gargoyle is on the Cathedral Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, in Gloucester, England.

Gloucester Cathedral lies in the north of the city close to the River Severn. It was founded in 678 or 679 as an abbey, although In 1058 the Bishop of Worcester, Ealdred, rebuilt it in the Norman style. It has since received comprehensive Gothic and Perpendicular additions. The vaulting in the choir vaulting is notably rich, and the east window still contains some medieval stained glass.

The cathedral houses the canopied shrine of King Edward II, which became a site of pilgrimage. The cathedral abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII.

For previously featured gargoyles, go down to The Vault.