Awesome Coach of the Week: Jens Hoffmann

We honour Jens Hoffmann as Awesome Coach of the Week 22, 2011!

31 May 2011
Scrum, StrategicPlay, agile, Awesome Coach of the Week
awesome, awesomecoachoftheweek, coach

Jens Hoffmann is an “integrative thinker, complexity wrangler, service designer, project team whisperer and team coach.”
(taken from his Twitter profile)
I first met him in 2009 at a boring conference where he facilitated a get-to-know session with 100 people—using LEGO®!

15 Years of Experience in Scrum

We started to talk in the break, continued in the next break (my talk about PRINCE2™ and Scrum was in between so I had to interrupt) and then through the rest of the day... Did I mention it was a boring conference?
Jens is the coach with the longest experience of using ...

Scrumtisch June 2011

Virtual Tour of an Embedded Agile Team

25 May 2011
Scrumtisch Berlin

Hello together :-)

The Scrumtisch Berlin proudly presents Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

Topic of the Scrumtisch

Virtual Tour of an Embedded Agile Team

Embedded systems development holds challenges that include software tightly coupled to evolving hardware, an end customer who usually cannot interact with you, and a long period of infrastructure building before any business-value features are built. These challenges have convinced many embedded developers that Agile is not for them. This presentation takes you on a virtual tour of an actual Agile team developing software and firmware for a safety-critical embedded system. We follow their first iteration. We’ll look at ...

Awesome Coach of the Week: Liz Keogh

We honour Liz Keogh as Awesome Coach of the Week 21, 2011!

23 May 2011
agile, Awesome Coach of the Week
awesome, awesomecoachoftheweek, coach

Liz Keogh is a passionate lean and agile coach and trainer and one of the most prominent UK members of the agile and lean community. She's become famous for her work on BDD, which in my opinion is driven by her amazing language skills: Liz is a wordsmith in the true sense of the word...


I first met Liz at the 2009 ScrumGathering in Munich. She was teaching a group of geeks how to write Haiku. I had not done this before and it was great fun; as well as a good way to think about how we ...

Is A Backlog Waste?

Why does your project need a product backlog? Or, does it actually need one, and why? A discussion on Twitter led me to these ponderings... As always, I'm very interested in your thoughts!

19 May 2011
backlog, bdd, lean, pull, waste

Is A Backlog Waste? Yes. A backlog is inventory and inventory is waste. Simple question.

Does that Help?

No. Depending on your system, some amount of waste will be necessary to be able to keep the flow. Where would you pull stories from if there is no backlog? Directly out of the product owner's mind?


If you need a backlog and how much of it depends mainly on two factors:

  • the experience of your team and the product's stakeholders (including the level of trust between them), a.k.a. the maturity of your system, and
  • the context ...

Awesome Coach of the Week: Ken Power

We honour Ken Power as Awesome Coach of the Week 20, 2011!

17 May 2011
Scrum & XP, agile, Awesome Coach of the Week
awesome, awesomecoachoftheweek, coach

Ken Power is a passionate agile coach from Ireland. We worked together in the ideation phase of the ALE network, played games at Play4Agile and met at the AgileCoachCamp Norway and two XP conferences.

Active Listening

This is Ken, with emphasis on the intensity of his eyes. Even in this picture where you see him intentionally diverting your attention from them his eyes still dominate the image.
I first met Ken in a world cafe about agile coaching at the XP2010 conference in Trondheim, Norway, and he impressed me with his listening skills. I hadn't heard of Active Listening ...

Life Lessons With A Marshmallow?

One marshmallow, 20 pieces of spaghetti, a bit of string and some tape. How can children learn agile leadership and life skills with those items you ask? Welcome to the Marshmallow Challenge!

12 May 2011
General, Scrum, agile
agile42, dave sharrock, marshmallow

(Upper Lynn Elementary, North Vancouver, May 11, 2011) The challenge was on today for Mrs Horner’s Grade 3 class to learn a few life lessons and have fun while doing it! The students were asked to build the tallest, freestanding structure with a marshmallow on the top made only using spaghetti, string and tape. Who would have thought a marshmallow weighed so much? And so the learning begins.

Active parents Dave Sharrock, agile42 Coach and Doug Jaremchuk who consult in Lean and Agile methods felt that the Marshmallow Challenge was not only beneficial for corporate executives, but also a ...

It works better with your own checklist, right?

In many cases checklists help; but other people feel patronized by too detailed checklists. People stop thinking about what is the intent behind them and ask “why does it make sense to do it in this way?”

11 May 2011
Scrum, agile
agile, checklist, scrum

If people have to find their own actions based on the expectations and requirements, they really own their solution. Checklists they create are seen as a tool that helps them to do their work instead of being patronized by others. If people have a clear understanding of the expectations and are empowered to take the right actions, they can adjust their solutions to the current situation and needs more easily.

Checklist example

For instance, if a team has to use a strict template for a certain type of document, to provide information for maintenance for support, they will always deliver it in ...

TDD / ATDD in practice

Follow up to the last Scrumtisch

10 May 2011
Scrumtisch Berlin
agile, atdd, scrum, scrumtisch, tdd

Hello everybody,

the last Scrumtisch was about TDD and ATDD. I got a lot of Feedback, that it would be nice to have a practical session on that topic too.

Andrea Tomasini and Richard Lawrence agreed on having such a session next week:

Date: 19. May 2011
Time: 17:00 - 19:00
Place. Klosterstr. 71, Berlin (at Hypoport)

NOTE: Please bring your laptop!!

Please let me know if you are coming


Awesome Coach of the Week: Marc Bless

We honour Marc Bless as Awesome Coach of the Week 18, 2011!

6 May 2011
Scrum, agile, Awesome Coach of the Week
awesome, awesomecoachoftheweek, coach

Marc Bless is a passionate agile coach and one of the most prominent German members of the agile community. We met at and organised conferences and coach camps together, created games and funny business.

Agile Principles Analyser

Marc has been coaching teams in a company developing medical devices for a few years now. With this experience, he analysed the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto and published his findings in a series of 12 blog posts, starting here. We find this work concise and intriguing.
This is how Marc reacts if you do not understand the agile principles:

Agile in ...

Ask the Team!

There are some questions asked by Product Owners and they have a simple answer: “Ask the team!”

5 May 2011
Scrum, agile
burn down, product owner, team, user story

There are some questions asked by Product Owners

... and they have a simple answer: “Ask the team!”

Story good enough for the Sprint

When a PO ask: “Is the user story good enough, that it can be taken in the sprint?” or “Does this user story have enough acceptance criteria?”

The answer to this question is “Ask the team!”

The team will work with the story, so the story has to be good enough that the team can work with it. For a story to be good enough for the sprint it has to be small (6 to 10 stories ...

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