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: June 9, 2017

Misunderstandings of agile practice, and what is meant by it, are found in many organizations. This can become clear at a very early stage, including during a job interview. How should you respond to an interviewer with a botched understanding of what an agile way-of-working entails? Also, if the job is clearly not worth pursuing, what is the most sporting way to throw it and get out of the room?

Read More..."Three Sporting Fails for your Agile Interview"

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

    An archive of earlier posts 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 is a gargoyle on the Church of St Michael and All Angels in Buckland Dinham, Somerset, England. A Grade I listed building, the church has a nave, chancel, south chapel and south porch which date from around 1200. The north chapel was added in 1325, a further chapel to the north of the chancel and the west tower being added in 1480. The church underwent restoration in the late 19th century. The tower contains six bells.

    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.

    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.