The case against iteration based re-estimation

I’ll say up front that I have some major issues with the idea of estimation in agile processes. There are plenty of alternatives to traditional time/manpower estimation which are at least as useful in delivering real, useful results. However, if you are working in a context which values estimation, Adrian Wible has some interesting points …

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What Developers Need to Know About Agile

Stephan Schmidt writes Agile is mostly driven driven by managment and consultants, seldom bottom up by developers. I found this very odd, and completely contrary to my own experience. From the perspective of someone who first encountered agile approaches in the form of Extreme Programming the problem is almost always how to explain the obvious …

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Cheap Certified Scrum Master Training

In tough economic times with a lot of people out of work and employers cutting back on training budgets few can afford the kind of big-budget, fancy hotel courses which were the staple of corporate training even just a short while ago. So Tobias Mayer has started a no-frills way to get “certified scrum master” …

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Handling Absence in Scrum Teams

We don’t use scrum as such, but we still face the issue of team-member absence during fixed iterations. It’s a tricky one to deal with, especially as absence comes in both predictable and unpredictable forms. InfoQ has a nice summary of some of these issues and some solutions. There is till no “silver bullet” for …

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The difference between Scrum and XP

We had a small discussion at work a few days ago about the difference between Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP). My take on the distinction is that Scrum is essentially a management technique, while XP is essentially a development technique. They certainly have a lot of overlap, but the different emphasis leads to some different …

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What to Do with Left Over Stories

Back to thinking about stories in the agile software development sense. For the first time this iteration we have reached a situation where two stories were left incomplete at the end of the iteration. I could give a bunch of excuses about changing priorities during the iteration, but the point is that agile processes are …

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Notes from a Tool User

I have recently discovered a new blog to follow: “notes from a tool user”. The author, Mark Levison has plenty of opinions on agile software development. Standout recent articles include: Agile/Scrum Smells Test Driven Development vs “Plain Old Unit Testing” Estimation Tools, Tools, Tools Mythbusting – Collective Code Ownership