Hoe Agile zijn we eigenlijk bij ons bedrijf?

Ik krijg vanuit verschillende hoeken van bedrijven waarbij ik werk dezelfde vraag gesteld: ‘Hoe Agile zijn we eigenlijk bij ons bedrijf?’. Het is een nogal veelomvattende vraag, en ingewikkeld om te beantwoorden. Vanuit welk onderdeel van de organisatie stelt iemand de vraag? En is de vraag überhaupt te beantwoorden, als Agility betekent dat je eigenlijk nooit klaar bent met verbeteren?
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Working on a chicken: using animals for relative estimation

Some of you might know about this training method I use when I try to explain relative estimation. I start by explaining that it is really hard for human beings to do actual estimation. As an example I ask people to come up with the exact weight of a lion. We really suck at estimating this. But when I ask people whether a lion weighs more or less than a goat, we all know that a lion weighs more. I repeat this several times with different kind of animals. I also tell people that this is the whole reason why we decided to also use this relative estimation within estimating Product Backlog Items.

In training I also explain the (almost) Fibonacci sequence which we use for this relative estimation: 0, 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40 , 100 so called story points.

This week somebody from the client I currently work for really had a great idea: Let’s just keep using the animal kinds, instead of the story points. That really is a brilliant idea. So now we have a backlog full of animal-sized stories. We have chickens, goats, lions, elephants, mice, whales and we use this to explain how complex we think a certain Product Backlog Item is.

Next time I train people in the use of relative estimation, I will not even tell them about the fibonacci sequence; We will just start off with working on some chickens…..

Use of colors for your tasks: To color or not to color?

The use of a physical board in Scrum has the advantage of using post-it notes for the tasks needed to get stories done. While you have a multi-disciplinary team, these tasks are of different types of work;

  • You probably need some documentation writing to explain to the end-user how they should use the product.
  • You may need some testing of the product that you deliver
  • You probably also need to write some code
  • There might be some database work required
  • And maybe even some analyzing, some meetings, some support or maintenance work, some review and some demo preparation.

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