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.

Why Event Storming?

John Hoestje Dev Methodologies, Opinion, Problem Solving Leave a Comment

My last Event Storming blog was like a stew I made by throwing in everything from the fridge and pantry. Maybe the stew was okay, but most of the individual ingredients got lost in the mix.

This time, I’m including the points to back my position as to why you should start using Event Storming now. Although, in my opinion, choosing Event Storming doesn’t take a lot of convincing to make it sound more appealing than other techniques.

So why should Event Storming be used in place of other more established domain modeling processes?

While it isn’t beneficial to always try out the latest and greatest whiz-bang gadgets, not keeping tabs on emerging and promising trends can prevent your team from becoming more efficient…

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.

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….

Distributed Agile Team

Distributed Team & Agile? No Problem!

Donna Beger Agile, Business, Dev Methodologies 9 Comments

Tools and Techniques for the Distributed Agile Team The Agile Manifesto asserts that co-location & face-to-face communication are essential components to a successful software development team. However, with today’s technology, co-location is just a click away. In this post, we’ll discuss online tools for the following Agile techniques: Scrum Pointing Poker Retrospective Teamwork in general When searching for tools, we …