Skip to content


Product Backlog Refinement Checklist

Scrum Expert - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 16:22
Product backlog refinement (or grooming) is an important activity in Scrum projects where user stories are prioritizes, right-sized and estimated. In his book “Agile Reflections”, Robert Galen provides some hints about how to verify that that product backlog grooming has been done successfully and that the right requirements information is available for the next sprint. 1. Sprint planning is incredibly crisp, short and easy; usually taking 2 hours or less for a 2-week sprint. There are NO architectural or design discussions within the meeting—the relevant parts of these discussions having occurred earlier. 2. As a daily occurrence, team members are talking about epics and stories targeted for 2-3-4 sprints in the future. As a result, everyone is naturally aligning with the Product Owners’ vision. 3. The team easily contributes new stories to the backlog which represents non-feature based work; for example: testing artifacts, non-functional testing work, refactoring, automation development, performance tuning, research spikes, etc. Everyone views it as a shared responsibility. 4. The team has a feel for where the product is going long term and maps efforts, designs, theme suggestions, and trade-offs towards that vision. 5. Each sprint’s goal is easily derived from the backlog; i.e., there is a sense of thoughtful and meaningful story collections or themes that easily surface from within the backlog. From time to time, think of these as “packages” for customer delivery. 6. The Product Owner includes team feedback (bugs, refactoring, improvement, testing, etc.) in EVERY sprint – in some percentage of focus. They [...]
Categories: Communities

Agile Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa, August 22-23 2016

Scrum Expert - Thu, 08/18/2016 - 09:57
Agile Africa is a two-day conference for Agile and Scrum practitioners that takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Agile Africa is an annual conference where African software professionals meet to listen to leading international and local speaker discussing better ways of developing software. In the agenda of Agile Africa you can find topics like “Alignment at Scale”, “Attack Strategies for Taming Legacy Code”, “Exploring the Options with PopcornFlow”, “Making Retros Work”, “Leader transformation – a side effect of an agile transition”, “Fish ponds and Agile”, “Specification by example”, “Travelling light – The pros and perils of lean documentation”, “Behavior Driven develop your Agile Projects”, “Requirements Engineering for Agile Product Owners: Hunting Value with Structured Conversations”, “Product Owner Vision and Challenges: Managing Agile projects and organizational objective”. Web site: Location for the Agile Africa conference: Wanderers Club, 21 North Street, Illovo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Categories: Communities

Agile Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, September 12-13 2016

Scrum Expert - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 09:00
Agile Prague is a two-day conference focused on Agile and Scrum and that takes place in the capital of the Czech Republic. The Agile Prague conference is running in two parallel tracks in two days, where you can choose from the variety of talks for managers, Scrum Masters, product owners and try agile practices in practical workshops for testers and developers, share the know-how, discuss in the open space. In the agenda of the Agile Prague conference you can find topics like “Potentially Shippable is no longer good enough”, “Going from Scrum to Kanban”, “From total punk to two-week release cycles”, “The four levels of Scrum”, “Rebooting a stalled Agile adoption”, “From Taylorism to Agile organization”, “Improve your communication skills dramatically without saying a word”, “Growing Agile Organizations”, “How to improve software project estimates – The #NoEstimates view”, “Architecture with Agility”, “Agile Innovation – Product Management for turbulent times”. Web site: Location for the Agile Prague conference: OK System Conference Center, Na Pankráci 125, 140 21 Prague 4, Czech Republic
Categories: Communities

Facilitating Product Backlog Refinement

Scrum Expert - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 20:33
It can be complicated to involve the whole team to facilitate product backlog refinement and take part in requirements discussions. I would like to suggest a structure of the PBR (product backlog refinement) meeting that will encourage everybody to speak up and share their ideas on functionality. This presentation explores what facilitation techniques to use for discussion, what prioritization and estimation models are applicable for business requirements, what documents and metrics can help us to make accurate planning and how to track the results of this meeting. Video producer:
Categories: Communities

SwanseaCo, Swansea, Wales, September 12-13 2016

Scrum Expert - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 09:15
SwanseaCo is a two-day conference that takes place in Swansea, Wales. It discusses Agile development, Scrum project management and Software Craftsmanship. The conference includes keynotes and presentations, a discussion panel and time between sessions to network and connect with fellow Agile software developers from around the world. In the agenda of the SwanseaCo conference you can find topics like “Refactoring Legacy Code”, “Meetings or Discipline, It’s Your Choice”, “Agile Remotely”, “Organizational Wide Agility”, “A Toolset for Creating a Potentially Releasable Product Increment”, “User-Story Point estimation: a new approach”, “An Insider’s View Of Agile In The Public Sector”, “The 7 unmentioned challenges of Scrum”, “What Is Continuous Inspection, Anyway?”, “Level Up Your Tests”, “Managing Global Teams: Lessons Learned”, “Surrender the Illusion of Control”, “Spreadsheets are Code”, “Software Craftsmen Need to Stop Coding so Much”, “Lean UX and Agile Development Taking the Public Sector to New Levels”, “Bringing Agile Concepts to Operations”. Web site: Location for the SwanseaCo conference: Liberty Stadium, Landore, Swansea SA1 2FA, UK
Categories: Communities

Agile on the Beach, Falmouth, UK, September 1-2 2016

Scrum Expert - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 09:00
The Agile on the Beach conference is a two-day conference focused mainly on Scrum project management and Agile software development that takes place in Falmouth, on the beaches of Cornwall in UK. In the agenda of Agile on the Beach you can find topics like “Testing in a Continuous Delivery World”, “Build In Quality”, “The design and implementation of cyber-dojo”, “How we implemented TDD in Embedded C/C++”, “Accelerated learning with Mob Programming”, “Keeping distributed agile teams face to face”, “Ship fast!”, “Incredible Agile Teams”, “Agile values and principles – for non software development teams”, “Introduction to Continuous Delivery”, “Being Agile in Business”, “Can Guinness help you estimate?”, “Effective Customer Interviewing”, “The Death of Continuous Integration”, “Value Led Agile Delivery”, “The Geek’s Guide to Leading Teams”, “Making Mad Men more Agile”, “User Story Mapping for Fun & Profit”, “My Kanban Diary”. Web site: Location for the Agile on the Beach conference: Falmouth University, Penryn Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, United Kingdom
Categories: Communities

Agile Open California South, Irvine, USA, September 15-16 2016

Scrum Expert - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 09:00
Agile Open California South is two-day conference that provides Agile and Scrum practitioners in Southern California an opportunity for learning and networking. Agile Practitioners and newcomers come together for two days to discuss, examine and otherwise brainstorm the most timely and relevant topics in Agile development today. The Agile Open California South conference follows the open space format for conferences. Open space is a simple methodology for self-organizing conference tracks. It relies on participation by people who have a passion for the topics to be discussed. There is no preplanned list of topics, only time slots and a space in the main meeting room where interested participants propose topics and pick time slots Web site: Location for the Agile Open California South conference: University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
Categories: Communities

Forming Agile Teams Workbook

Scrum Expert - Wed, 08/10/2016 - 16:21
As stated in the Agile Manifesto, Agile software development is about “Individuals and interactions”. The importance of having a performing team where individuals collaborate is an essential factor for the success of software development projects. In his “Forming Agile Teams Workbook”, Jesus Mendez provides some tools that offer an alternative-proven way to add more structure, transparency and visibility to formation of Agile teams. The approach proposed in the book is based on the famous Bruce Tuckman’s group development theory. This model says that team undergoes various stages during their life: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Adjourning. Based on the practical experience of the author, the book proposes tools for the Scrum Master to help teams getting organized and structured, before navigating to the “Storming” stage of the Tuckman’s theory of group development. Adopting Scrum practices is not always easy and this book open the discussion on all the issues that might occur during this stage, with the daily stand-up meeting for instance. This book is easy to read and well-structured, offering a detailed description of the proposed activities used in team formation. Many tables and figures help also in understanding clearly the proposed concepts. An appendix provides step by step instructions for using the tools and exercises mentioned in the earlier parts of the book. I will recommend this book not only to Scrum Masters and coaches involved in the early stages of Agile projects, but more broadly to every software development (project) manager that wants to improve the cohesion and [...]
Categories: Communities

Agile Alliance Announces Collaboration with IIBA

Scrum Expert - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 17:28
The Agile Alliance and the International Institute of Business Analysis have announced a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines their collaboration on the development of value-add publications, events and engagements for the benefit of the practitioner community and the broader business analysis and corporate community. The proliferation and evolution of Agile techniques and approaches is rapidly reshaping the place and the role of business analysis professionals. This new collaboration will provide opportunities to advance how business analysis contributes to the success of projects using Agile approaches. Agile business analysis is about increasing the delivery of business value to the stakeholders. “The goal of this strategic alliance is to support BA practitioners and their organizations utilizing Agile approaches in being more efficient and delivering better results more effectively,” says Stephen Ashworth, President and CEO of IIBA. “Working together, IIBA and Agile Alliance will further explore the integration of business analysis practices with Agile approaches, share ideas and seek opportunities to support the evolution of Agile business analysis through industry events, joint research and white paper development initiatives.” An important initiative of this new collaboration is the development and publication of a revised edition of the Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide, which was first published in 2013. The revised edition will provide guidance and insight on the effective practice of business analysis in an Agile context both at the practitioner level and enterprise level. The revised extension will include new techniques and approaches and will involve the engagement of volunteer subject matter [...]
Categories: Communities

Amadeus Consulting Offers Tool To Address Scrum Planning Gap

Scrum Expert - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 17:21
Amadeus Consulting has announced the availability of its process tool, ID-GEM for Agile development projects. ID-GEM is a framework that enables organizations to align business value objectives early in the application development process, avoiding the “planning gap” that occurs when development teams jump straight into the “features and functions” phase of development. ID-GEM helps reduce software project failure rates by addressing the need for better front-end planning. Amadeus offers ID-GEM at no charge as a way to give back to the community. Regardless of the development methods used, a project’s business value needs to be determined before assigning sprint tasks. Rather than spending time on the front-end – planning out the entire project, Agile development teams can use ID-GEM to work with business stakeholders to ensure the final output meets the business requirements before initiating the sprint process for developing features and functions. ID-GEM is available now at no charge through a “Process-as-a-Service” model from a hosted web service. The service is initiated via a short questionnaire that matches ID-GEM process guidelines with organizational objectives, values and application-type characteristics. Once the questionnaire is completed, a customized PDF of the ID-GEM Framework is created and delivered to the end-user. ID-GEM then serves as a repeatable process for organizations to use in each and every software project planning process.
Categories: Communities

Agile Nomad for iOS Released

Scrum Expert - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 16:25
Incrementor has released Agile Nomad, a new cloud-based iPad application to increase collaboration and effective communication among agile project team members using approaches like like Scrum, XP or Kanban. Agile Nomads can easily adapt to various project situations and this mobile app is designed to allow them to think, capture and process material in highly flexible ways. For example, project teams can share their content in a traditional, text-based approach, but also via voice recording, images and video recording. The hardware capabilities of a mobile device are highly integrated with this iOS app. Team members can dictate requirements or attach images they took during workshops or meetings without any typing. Because the material is captured in the cloud, they become available to the rest of the team right away. Version 1.0 of the Agile Nomad is now available in the Apple AppStore as a monthly subscription service of $8.99 and $89.90 yearly.
Categories: Communities

Chief Craftsman at tapped to improve Microsoft’s Visual Studio product line News - Tue, 07/31/2012 - 13:58 announced today that its Chief Craftsman, David Starr, will soon be joining Microsoft as Senior Program Manager in Visual Studio ALM. 

Since joining in 2011, David has driven significant improvements in all of’s programs, and has dedicated himself to helping teams around the world improve their software development. David is leaving his post as Chief Craftsman for to help Microsoft continue improving Visual Studio to support agile software development practices.

In discussing his new role David said, “There is a saying that the tool sets the rules. As unfortunate as that statement is, it is true for many organizations who don’t yet value people over process and process over tools. I look forward to delivering products that encourage good agile practices with a focus on better people interactions and higher quality software. Creating features for a product that is used by millions of software developers is humbling.”

"It is with mixed emotions that we bid David farewell," said Alex Armstrong,'s co-founder and VP of Business Development. "David has made incredible contributions through his work at, and we will miss him at each and every Daily Scrum. As part of the team, David has been directly helping to improve the profession of software development. We are excited that he will be able to continue to do so with a company as central in the software development universe as Microsoft," Armstrong continued.

“I have been privileged to work with the thought leaders at The Professional Scrum Trainers and others in the Scrum community are some of the most committed and talented people contributing to our craft,” said Starr.

“I will miss my interactions, heated discussions, and finally resolutions with David.,” said founder Ken Schwaber. David drives integrity, and that is essential to’s mission and to the well-being of our profession.

Asked about the significance of Microsoft’s choice, Armstrong summarized, ”By bringing a Scrum practitioner with David's unique mix of talents into a leadership role on its flagship ALM product, Microsoft is clearly telegraphing its commitment to supporting Agile and Scrum teams. Agile’s influence in software development has been increasing steadily over the past decade, and this seems to be a clear demonstration of the trend continuing.”

You can read more about David’s future plans on his blog.

Categories: Communities is Hiring - Looking For an Experienced Marketing Manager News - Fri, 07/06/2012 - 16:42 is seeking a talented, driven, and seasoned Marketing Manager to join its Marketing team to help lead its growth.
Categories: Communities

Suspending Scrum Extensions News - Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:05 is suspending the Scrum extension program, effective immediately.
Categories: Communities