Tag Archives: agility

progress – the story so far

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An infographic capturing the progress to date of my own product – this “photographic image inspired agile story telling blog”.

The tag cloud app on the iPad scans the page and creates an image of words.

Another infographic in a few months will show as a snapshot in time what progress has been made with this personal product of mine.

Similarly, in any Sprint operating within a Scrum development framework, it is vital to understand the progress being made with the product development against the goal for the iteration. Progress is assessed on a daily basis, against the Sprint Goal which is agreed between the Product Owner and Development Team during Sprint Planning at the start of each iteration.

As the iteration progresses, the plan is adjusted on a daily basis to ensure the team as a whole is aligned and understands what is needed to meet the Sprint Goal at all times. The plan is inspected on a daily basis by reviewing the Sprint Backlog to assess the progress towards the Sprint Goal. This continues throughout the iteration with the Development Team working closely with the Product Owner to adapt the Sprint Backlog to continually  meet the Sprint Goal.

The actual product or software Increment produced in any Sprint is reviewed at the end of iteration in the Sprint Review to understand what has actually been completed in the Sprint. Completed means that all work needed to meet the expectations of the Product Owner are “done” as specified in the Definition of Done including the acceptance criteria describing the functional aspects for each Product Backlog Item.

The Increment is inspected in the Sprint Review which provides an opportunity to gather feedback from the broader internal or external stakeholder community. Adaptation is then made to adjust to the overall Product Backlog which documents all the ambitions for the product in the future. The adjusted Product Backlog is adapted based on changed market or customer input, or simply to keep the product on track with product release plans or overall product vision.

help agility grow

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Playing around with a new f1.4 lens in corn fields somewhere near Heidelberg led to this shot.

The depth of field that the lens achieves is amazing with a very fine line of focused ears of corn and a sea of unfocused harvest in the background reaching as far as the horizon.

The fields were actually still quite young and a pale green shade.

Then, thanks to a touch of editing on an iPhone, the fields quickly grew to a mature golden yellow and the image became the new reality of the farmland scene.

Talking of growth, the question will always arise on management’s role in an agile transformation.

The answer is simple, while getting there is not.

It’s all about helping agile grow, and enabling an environment in which all agile teams can flourish.

That will mean amongst other things ensuring the values of commitment, trust, transparency and courage, to name just a few, are lived every single day.

Management’s role also extends to mentoring and coaching, and helping the team to help themselves.

This is certainly true for the role of scrum master, but also for senior management as they nurture and grow a truly agile company environment.

up front and transparent

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Playing around with the exposure led to the ownerless straw hat (our coach), floating above the clear glass bottles (our team).

More from design town antwerp on Flickr

As agile coach, trainer or scrum master it’s important to bring the team into the foreground.

Whether with stakeholders, customers, or simply helping them recognise that it is the team that counts.

Help them to be transparent with one another, as only through that openness and honesty will they truly operate as a single unit.

You can achieve this by acting as an extra pair of eyes, an observer one step removed from the main group.

Provide the team the space they need and help them through the tougher discussions. Use your observational skills to highlight key incidences and provide objective feedback to help them improve.

Remember, you don’t always need to immediately have an answer, help the team to find the answer themselves by guiding them with open questions and bring them closer together as a single unit.