Practical Scrum with Kent Beck

SD Times has started a series of Leaders of Agile webinars.  The last was on Continuous Delivery with Kent Beck facilitating a discussion with Jez Humble and Timothy Fitz.  The next in the series is on Practical Scrum which will, again, be lead by Kent .  I think it will be a interesting perspective coming from the person that brought us Extreme Programming and so much more.
Sign up, it’s free.

Modeling out Loud

I will be running a 6 hour long session at the Scrum Gathering in Cape Town in September titled Modeling Out Loud.  I’m now convinced that the Scrum tribe are weird.  They call these sessions Deep Dives.  Presumably, you need to carry enough oxygen to survive the session.
I think I’m going out on limb here because I will be challenging the value of Product Owners writing stories.  I’m also suggesting that when Product Owners write stories riddled with behavior then developers are disconnected from domain experts and you regress into a waterfall mode of execution fronted by a Scrum Board.  So be prepared to experiment with me and turn up your self-reflection to maximum level because we will challenge many assumptions.

Scrum Day: Happy, Tired, Inspired

It was a privilege in itself to be invited to speak at Scrum Day but my expectations were blown out the water.  Knowing some of the people behind the scenes made me realise, again, what can be achieved when you put a bunch of talented people into a room with a common purpose.  Although, I am pretty certain that these passionate people didn’t just share a common purpose – it meant everything to them.  And so, to all these wonderful people who gave up their time so we could learn a lot more, take a huge bow.  You deserve it! (PS: Can’t wait for next year!)  And if you’re looking for copies of the slides, then hop over to this page.
A few personal observations about this event:

  • smooth! very, very smooth!
  • Excellent speakers, excellent content, great questions.
  • Nice buzz.  Felt like there was something for everyone – from noobs to old war horses.
  • Adoption Challenges!  Seemed like this was a topic that came up in various guises during the day.
  • Sharing.
  • The magic wand / silver bullet was not in the building.
  • Professional event with a warm community feeling.

And a small note on my presentation since I heard the comment “So what’s agile design got to do with Scrum?”.  Short answer: everything!  Absolutely everything.  If you’re using Scrum do build software, then agile design is the best feedback loop that you have.  The fact of the matter is that code does not lie yet it is the most ignored area in Scrum.

Well, I thought it was ignored until Jeff Sutherland, in his keynote, answered that Scrum hands off all agile engineering practices to Extreme Programming.

And read what others have tweeted about #scrumdaysa!

Enterprise Scrum and Killing the Stickman

At the 45th SPIN meeting in Cape Town tomorrow, I will be sharing the “stage” with Karen Greaves.  Karen will be talking about the lessons she has learned in rolling out Scrum to a large enterprise.  I have a feeling that it is about scaling Scrum out to more than 10 people.  Karen has done this for 80+ people and I am certain that her experiences will reach an audience outside of Scrum circles as well.
I will also be giving a talk about Agile Requirements.  It’s about behavior driven stories that go beyond traditional, fully dressed used cases.  However, I will focus a lot more about the process and thinking behind this approach as opposed to the code behind the stories.

I always meet very interesting people at SPIN.  Please take 2 hours from your evening and join us for some great geek chat at the Bandwidth Barnyard at 6.30pm on 15 April.

Update. You can get the presentation here.  The size is optimized for iPOD and is quite viewable on your desktop as well.  The tiny bit of ruby code is included in the zip as well.