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

Upcoming classes

I'll be teaching the official Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master class (PSM) in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on November 21-22 2019. Click here for more information and to register.

Latest post: 5 May 2019

A couple of years ago I blogged on Innovation Accounting in Scrum, and the bringing of empiricism to Product Ownership. On Tuesday I gave a presentation on this topic to the Agile Northants UK meetup. There was a pretty good Q&A afterwards. The session was recorded and is available here.

Abstract: 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.

Full disclosure: I was reimbursed for this talk with a pepperoni pizza. It arrived about ten minutes in.

Read More..."Presentation; Innovation Accounting in Scrum"

Earlier posts

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

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.

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 in the garden of the Villa d'Este, Tivoli.
Gargoyle of the Month

This month's gargoyle is in the garden of the Villa d'Este, a 16th-century villa in Tivoli near Rome. Commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, the villa is renowned for its Italian Renaissance garden and fountains. The land was purchased in 1550 with work eventually beginning in 1560. Vast amounts of earth were excavated and used to build terraces; a variety of arcades, grottos, niches, and nymphaeums were also constructed. The nearby river Aniene was diverted to furnish water for the complex system of pools, fountains, and other water features. In line with the aesthetic principles of the Renaissance, the garden was compartmentalized into units 30 metres across. The villa is a UNESCO world heritage site.

For previously featured gargoyles, go down to The Vault.