The focus of the 4th lesson was on the product owner side. The preparation and organization of the work on the product is crucial for the success of product development. In small groups the students walked trough the whole process of creating a good vision and preparing & organizing the product backlog.
We started by building a product box to foster the ideas. It brought creativity and fun into this exercise and allowed to establish the foundation for a great vision. Here are some impressions of the product box exercise to build the vision:
From the vision we moved on by highlighting those requirements that represent our product differentiators.
The students then, starting from those requiremetns, created user stories and placed them into the Product Backlog. To structure it we used requirements and Minimal Marketable Features (MMFs). The MMFs are used to build minimal sets of functionality (by grouping together user stories ...
Embrace to fail fast! Product Owner @riskmanagement Most people are afraid to fail. Shame, is the core of the fear of failure, as psychology research (see Dr. Brené Brown @TED) concluded, which is quite intuitively understandable. Fearing failure is helping you to fail, it does nothing else than that. In ...
Embrace failing fast!
Product Owner @riskmanagement
Most people are afraid to fail. Shame is at the core of the fear of failure, psychologists say (see Dr. Brené Brown @TED). The problem with fearing failure, though, is that it does nothing but help you fail.
In our western culture, shame is a driver to get others to do things. By using shame and guilt as tools, we do not only burden us with an emotional baggage that is wearing us down emotionally, but we also create a lot of dysfunctions as we hide mistakes in order not to be blamed.
In the second lesson I built awareness among the students that a common goal, good communication and teamwork is crucial for the success of a project. Therefore we played the agile42 Scrum Lego City Game.
We formed three teams, who worked together to build a Scrum Lego City.
In fixed timeboxes and with a clear vision, the teams made 3 sprints in order to build the city. They made a Sprint Planning and an estimation but the first sprint was a disaster. A lot of half done User Stories, there where no real integrated results and a lot of wrong assumptions about what was expected.
Why? Because they only worked together as individuals but not together as a team. Everybody was doing what he thought would be best. No right communication and no common understanding ...
Again our famous Scrumtisch took place on November 10th, 2011 at the Cafe Hundertwasser in Friedrichshain.The Scrumtisch is interesting for everybody who wants to discuss Scrum, share problems and find solutions.
Andrea Tomasini started the meeting with his impressions of the Scrum Gathering in London and as usual topics were chosen by the group. The following issues which were discussed:
- 3 teams but how many backlogs
- My teams do not like cross-functional
- Team changing at every sprint, what to do? Scrum is empowerment...
- How to trace dependencies between stories in the product backlog
- Planning meeting is too long, estimation is hard
3 teams but how many backlogs?
- stable and performing
- people shuffling every sprint
- The management decide how to sort things: sometimes the team has 2 to 3 members
- 20+20 ...
How long is your backlog? Many Product Owners I coached are obsessed by the length of their Product Backlog. While the fact that I only encountered three female Product Owners in my whole career, might explain parts of this phenomena, there is more to explore about this. A newbie Product ...
How long is your backlog?
Many Product Owners I coached are obsessed by the length of their Product Backlog. While the fact that I only encountered three female Product Owners in my whole career, might explain parts of this phenomena, there is more to explore about this.
A newbie Product Owner is often frightened about his backlog being too short. Having 15-20 User Stories ready for the next Sprint Planning is often hard for a beginner. After a while, it turns into an obsession, as a long Product Backlog gives a feeling of safety.
Guys, and the few Gals out ...
We honour Ralf Kruse as Awesome Coach of the Week 44, 2011!
My first pair-coaching endeavour with Ralf was arguably the toughest setting I’ve ever been in for an agile transition. We started training teams who had basically been told by their management that all the specialisation they had accumulated over decades would be unneeded in their bright future, using Scrum... And this was an engineering company producing mechanically and electronically complex and innovative goods for a challenging small market. The setup couldn’t have been worse, and within a few days Ralf and I developed this image of standing back to back, shielding each other from the mud we were ...
Envision a vision for a better PO I want to point out that a vision is a necessity. The Product Owner is not going to do a good job without one. The product vision is not part of the Scrum framework. Nonetheless it is often mentioned in the Scrum literature ...
Envision a vision for a better PO
I want to point out that a vision is a necessity. The Product Owner is not going to do a good job without one. The product vision is not part of the Scrum framework. Nonetheless it is often mentioned in the Scrum literature as something that is a prerequisite.
In my experience, most companies lack a vision for their products. On rare occasions, there existed a product vision, but it led a gloomy existance in a dusty drawer.
A good product vision is short, concise, broad, understandable and most important - engaging! With a ...
Having moved to Vancouver, Canada to share the magic that is agile42, I was surprised to meet another foreign agile coach in Vancouver. Marius de Beer, from South Africa, had also identified with the beauty of Vancouver (his wife liked the city) and decided to settle down here (his wife ...
Having moved to Vancouver, Canada to share the magic that is agile42, I was surprised to meet another foreign agile coach in Vancouver. Marius de Beer, from South Africa, had also identified with the beauty of Vancouver (his wife liked the city) and decided to settle down here (his wife really liked the city). Over the intervening months, I've had the pleasure of working more closely with Marius, and see something very special in him. Therefore, this week Marius is our Awesome Coach of the Week.
Marius has worked with agile for nearly a decade, and has been coaching ...
Software is getting more and more complex and a lot of projects fail. The students experienced this problem simple exercise: The marshmallow challenge. The students had to build a tower out of spaghettis, cover-tape, a string and with a marshmallow on top in a fixed timebox of 18 minutes.
Well, the exercise worked out as expected. Three of four teams had no tower at the end. Pretty comparable to real software projects :-)
I gave them a complex environment with fixed circumstances and rules. Instead of trying and failing fast and often, they discussed nearly until the timebox was over or they added the marshmallow in the last second and the tower broke under the weight.
After also some other interactive sessions like the well known ball point game the students got the message and learned:
- Assumptions lead to wrong results - proof them fast and often
- Build your ...
The article „Agil zu werden ist nicht schwer, agil zu sein dagegen sehr...“ (in engl. "Becoming agile is not so difficult but staying agile can be...") by Marion Eickmann was published in the magazine www.objektspektrum.de on October 20th, 2011.
Becoming agile is not so difficult, but staying agile can be. The introduction of agile practices such as Scrum and Kanban may seem simple at first glance, but is not trivial. The reason for this is that the transition to agile methods are not only changing processes within the company but also the "mindset" of all participants. Teams have more responsibility, management style will change from "Command and Control" to "Agile Leadership" and also the strategic management has to support "Agile Change" with the right communication strategy. But how is it possible to introduce all these changes successfully? The answer ...