Working Remotely As An Agile Dev Team: Tips & Suggestions

Lynn Brownlee Agile, Dev Methodologies Leave a Comment

With the recent news, many companies currently find themselves in the real situation of a sudden transition to a remote staff for the first time. With the snap of a finger, your team members suddenly lack the proximity to be able to function in the same exact way. Yet, work must be done and deadlines still need to be met.

In this blog, we introduce tips, suggestions, and takeaways for Agile software development team members to successfully work remotely or distributed for the first time.

How Relative Story Sizing Won Me Over

RJ Dela-Cruz Agile, Consulting, Dev Methodologies, Problem Solving Leave a Comment

Anyone who practices agile methodologies such as scrum is going to be very familiar with the practice of story pointing user stories (also known as poker planning). The good ole’ fashion 4, 8, 13, etc. Fibonacci sequences we assign to user stories of a sprint.

If you’re not familiar, it’s where the team gathers together to discuss the user stories to bring into a coming sprint and assigning each a number called story points. These story points are estimates that represent the level of difficulty and time it is expected to take to complete the story.

The team often will have discussions on whether a story is a particular story point number and argue their point of view until the team comes to an agreement to what story point it should be. I’ve done this type of work estimation for a long time that it’s natural for me… until we did something a bit different on a scrum team that I was a part of.

In this blog, we discuss a different way to assign poker points to user stories that could be beneficial to your scrum team – relative story sizing.

Web Development Business

Refreshing Your Scrum

Keith Shakib Agile, Consulting, Design, Dev Methodologies, Problem Solving, Soft Skills 3 Comments

Most of us now have some experience with Agile Scrum practices. Many of us have had years of practice on multiple processes. As a consultant, I have the opportunity to see many differences in how organizations implement and practice the most popular development process methodologies.

While the prescription for good practices is well-documented, many of us have lost our “mojo” at least once and seen many of the benefits of using the process decline.

In this blog, I will indicate some key points required to return to optimal agile performance. I will highlight three common pitfalls, some common causes of those problems, and reminders of how to get back to a high-performance Scrum implementation. Let’s dive in.

Agile Perspective

Tim Broyles Agile, Dev Methodologies 1 Comment

You may think of Agile as just another process. While this is incorrect (as it is a framework created to help developers create processes), there is a fundamental difference between this methodology and most methodologies that have come before.

Agile–done the way it was intended–is revolutionary. Fundamentally, Agile is an advocate of a bottom-up development process. I believe this is why it is often proposed with good intention, however then implemented with a top-down, fixed idea of what the Agile team (and hence the process) will be like.

If you take time to read the Agile Manifesto you will read statements like: ”The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” Just consider that for a second. The team has the power to keep what works and dispose of what does not.

There are some basic concepts that allow Agile development to be successful. In this post, I highlight the key parts of Agile that appeal to me (as a reluctant process advocate) and have enabled successful Agile development in recent projects…

user story mapping

Every Agile Software Project Needs a User Story Map

Rusty Divine Agile, Microservices Leave a Comment

In this blog, I share an example of a real-world, agile enterprise modernization project that benefited from a User Story Map.

I’m the team lead for a project to convert a business solution from COBOL to a .NET microservices architecture. Other than some interesting challenges with designing a robust microservices solution, the business logic is very straightforward – input files are processed, databases queried, output files are produced and dropped in a folder, and our goal is to match the output produced by the COBOL solution perfectly.

Yet, we lost our way fairly early on in the project because we had a typical prioritized backlog. Unfortunately, even on a straightforward, well-defined project with an engaged team, we still managed to veer off course.

Our project manager started asking questions about where we were in the project and where we were going. I struggled to answer those questions because I couldn’t make sense of all that was in our backlog. It was around this time that I took a spreadsheet and created our first User Story Map….