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

Latest post: 19 April 2018

The idea behind a "Sprint Zero" is that, where initialization demands time and effort before any empirical demonstration of value can be provided, it should still be accounted for in terms of a Sprint of some kind. The weakening of empirical process control, and the delayed delivery of value, might reasonably be identified as negative outcomes of such an approach. There is also a danger in norming the idea of a Sprint which does not actually yield a product increment. Sprint Zero has been discouraged by Scrum.org, and its use criticized by two of the signatories of the Agile Manifesto. In this article we consider these issues and look at some better alternatives.

Read More..."Scrubbing Sprint Zero"

Earlier posts

  1. Twenty Top Fails in Executive Agile Leadership
  2. Faking It: Estimates and Metrics in Scrum
  3. Agile Metrics: Lessons from your Headbone
  4. 20 Unagile Things to Avoid Saying and Some Better Alternatives
  5. Scrum Guide change: Planning Retrospective items into a Sprint Backlog
  6. What is a Product Backlog for, anyway?
  7. Zombie Stories: Conversations from Beyond the Grave
  8. Scrum Roles from a Lean Perspective
  9. Walking Through a Definition of Ready
  10. Three Sporting Fails for your Agile Interview
  11. Walking Through a Definition of Done
  12. Type III Scrumban: A Journey
  13. Managing Technical Debt
  14. The Empirical Product Owner: Innovation Accounting in Scrum
  15. The Product Backlog and Technical Debt
  16. Type II Scrumban: Going Straight
  17. Using a 'Technical Debt Register' in Scrum
  18. Gross Definitions: 144 Agile Terms You Simply Have To Know
  19. Why the Agile Enterprise must be an Innovation Network
  20. The Agile PMO
  21. Type I Scrumban: A Forensic Approach
  22. A Typical Sprint, Play-By-Play
  23. The Agile Crime Scene
  24. Risk Burn-up: Daring Deeds in DevOps
  25. Running Scrum Sprints in DevOps
  26. The DevOps Studio (PDF)
  27. Technical Spikes in DevOps
  28. Innovation Wars: Trump, Lean Startup, and Zero to One (PDF)
  29. By Bell, Book, and Candle
  30. Agile Scaling Frameworks: An Executive Summary
  31. DZone Scrum Refcard Update
  32. Sprint Goals in Practice
  33. Ordering a Product Backlog to Minimize Development Team Dependencies
  34. Counting Chickens: Undone Work in Scrum
  35. Is agile transformation at risk?
  36. Pull in Practice
  37. Choosing Metrics for Agile Practice
  38. Choosing Columns for Agile Team Boards
  39. Stabilizing Teams for Agile Practice
  40. Agile Transformation in Organizations that Suck
  41. Method Wars: On the Commoditization of Estimates
  42. Method Wars: Scrum vs SAFe
  43. Limiting WIP: Stories vs Tasks
  44. Sprint Retrospectives in Practice
  45. Your boss, the Invader from Mars
  46. Sprint Backlogs in Practice
  47. The Agile Response to a P1 Incident
  48. The Kanban Sandwich: A Bite-Size Recipe for Agile Work Flows at Scale
  49. Agile Teamwork in Practice
  50. Sprint Reviews in Practice
  51. Taking One for the Team: the Refactoring of Failure
  52. Definitions of Done in Practice
  53. Product Backlogs in Practice
  54. Confirmed or Busted: Are the Mythbusters Agile?
  55. Agile Estimation in Practice
  56. Sprint Planning in Practice
  57. Winging It: Going Live with Technical Debt
  58. Scrum Master: Servant Leadership in Practice
  59. An Agile Health Check: The Daily Standup in Practice
  60. Suiting Up for Agile Practice
  61. User Stories in Practice
  62. Product Ownership in Practice
  63. Why Stretched Teams do Scrumban
  64. 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.

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:

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 of the Month

Ludlow Castle gargoyle, via Wikimedia Commons
This month’s gargoyle is from Ludlow Castle, a ruined medieval fortification in the town of Ludlow, Shropshire, near the Welsh border. It stands on a promontory overlooking the River Teme, and was one of the first stone castles to be built in England. It was further extended in the later medieval period with a Great Tower, outer bailey, and additional building.

Ludlow Castle was chosen as the seat of the Council in the Marches of Wales, effectively acting as the capital of Wales, and it was extensively renovated throughout the 16th century. By the 17th century the castle was luxuriously appointed, but fell into disrepair following the Civil War.

The architecture of Ludlow reflects its long history, retaining a blend of several styles of building. English Heritage notes that the ruins represent "a remarkably complete multi-phase complex" and considers Ludlow to be "one of England's finest castle sites".

For previously featured gargoyles, go down to The Vault.