Garrigan Lyman Group was worried about losing the loyalty of its own customers. The agency was expanding rapidly and tackling more complex e-commerce, mobile, social media and video projects. Clients had no visibility into when new requests would be delivered. Development managers were having trouble tracking releases and matching resources to requirements. Teams needed a solution to prevent missing deadlines and ensure the quality of delivery.Objective
Chris “Whitey” Geiser, GLG’s CTO, knew that the agency could not afford to lose “customer equity,” the hard-won confidence that GLG could deliver innovative digital marketing solutions. So he and his team began looking for technologies that could help them centralize processes, manage development requests, and improve communications with clients.Results
Assembla has helped Garrigan Lyman Group win new business from existing clients. The solution has helped GLG evolve from helping clients with flashy but self-contained marketing projects, to solutions that work with the core of their businesses. It allows the company to collaborate better with clients and improve control of their development processes.
To see how GLG learned to work more closely with its customers,
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It’ about time to give the Product Owner a chance to fight back. With the help of Heiko Weltin I created a list as a base for the revenge. I hope you’ll like it:
- Create your product backlog without any prioritization. In the end you need all of the features before you can bring the product to the market.
- Only create the headline of your user stories and don’t add any additional content, even if the team asks. You can’t prepare everything for the team.
- Only use two types of priorities: “Urgent” and “Can be done later”. Anything else would be a waste of time.
- Always promise release dates and scope to your customer without talking to your development team upfront. You are a skilled estimator.
- Always add one task to a user story that keeps the team from finishing it. The Definition Of Ready (DOR) is for wimps.
- Insist in long running sprints of at least four weeks. If the team has more time, more features can be done.
- Only prepare as many stories as needed to finalize half of the sprint. The rest of the time it is the task of the developers alone to clarify the rest of the stories.
- Only meet once a week with the team and keep this meeting as short as possible. You don’t want to hang out with those sissies.
- Always answer your phone during any team meeting. Don’t leave the room as the team shouldn’t be able to continue the discussion without you.
- Never attend the daily scrum. Instead, talk to single developers afterwards. This makes it easier to build pressure on them.
What do you think? Do you have some additions to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments.
It’s about time to nag the product owner, isn’t it. Fortunately, there are plenty ways to do this. To help you in your quest to do so I created a list of 10 proofed ways to drive your Product Owner crazy:
- Five minutes before the Sprint Review is the right time to tell your Product Owner that your team wasn’t able to finish anything. It is even more fun, if this was a planned release. Transparency is for milquetoasts.
- Don’t invite the Product Owner to any Scrum meeting. He is a chicken and you are the pigs, right.
- Ignore the Sprint backlog and work on the features you like the most. Who cares about the Product Owner’s vision?
- Assign all tasks that were created during your retrospective to your Product Owner. He is the root of all evil and responsible for all the problems in the project.
- Don’t attend the Sprint Review. You already know how your product looks like.
- Never show the real product in the Sprint Review. Instead, prepare a nice and shiny power point presentation.
- Never talk to the Product Owner if you have questions about a feature. Instead, implement it based on your favorite assumptions.
- If it is difficult to establish a stable communication to your Product Owner, define someone in your team to become the so called Product Owner proxy.
- Always break your release date promises. Everyone loves surprises.
- Question everything that is in the product backlog and try to start lengthy discussions about as many features as possible. At least, that’s what your mother told you.
Try this out and post your experiences in the comments. If you have additional ideas, feel free to add them, too.
The new year has just started and it’s time for the next steps to rile your team mates. So let’s have a look at one of the activities in Scrum that can be easily sabotaged: the retrospective. Here are 10 proofed ways to wreck any retrospective:
- Keep the retrospective as short as possible. No need to invest too much time in this meaningless gathering.
- Only focus on negative events and ignore any positive things. This is the only valid path to improvement.
- Handle a retrospective as any other meeting. Sit around a table and just talk.
- Ignore the complexity of the system around you. There is always a cause and effect.
- Always use crappy material such as cheap post-its that easily fall from the walls or old pens that hardly write.
- Forgo a facilitator for your retrospectives. It is only a burden and will slow the whole “meeting” down.
- Don’t use any agenda and deliberately ignore the retrospective’s phase model.
- Directly start with defining what has to be changed in the next sprint. Everybody already knows what has to be done.
- Never check if the defined tasks of the last retrospectives were done or even had the desired effect.
- Never bring food to your retrospectives. Hungry participants will do anything to finish a retrospective as fast as possible.
What else could you do? I’m looking forward to your suggestions in the comments.
Now that the team is armed with new weapons, it is time to help the Scrum Master to fight back. If you didn’t read my first post on this topic have a look at the 10 things a Scrum Master can do to drive the team crazy blog post I wrote two years ago. Here we go:
- Get you own office, if possible in a different city or even country. Working at the same location as your team could be harmful.
- Count the number of finished tasks per team member and confront those lazy buggers with the obvious low performance.
- Try to restrict the communication with the team to Email only. You don’t want to hear their whiny voices.
- Don’t tell the team what you are working on. Transparency only applies to the rest of the team.
- Always cite the Scrum guide if members don’t stand to the Scrum rules. Continuous repetition will help raising the team’s understanding for this process.
- If a team member has a question, point them to Google. Google has all the answers, right?
- Ignore the Product Owner. It is his responsibility to create and maintain the backlog, not yours.
- Don’t attend the Sprint Review. It is a meeting exclusively between the PO and the team.
- Nurture your lack of interest about the product the team is building. This is something the PO has to take care of.
- Bring drums to the team’s office and play them like on a slave ship. Every good team needs a beat.
I’m looking forward to your additions in the comments
It’s been a long time since I wrote “10 things to drive your Scrum Master crazy” and it’s about time to give you some new weapons. So, here they are:
- Hide the SM’s beloved moderation markers.
- Play on your smartphone during the (planning) meetings, as long as they are not talking about YOUR tasks.
- Always lament about the same things but don’t change anything.
- Keep blaming and finger pointing everyone else except yourself for all the problems, you are only a victim.
- Ignore all agile values as they don’t apply to you.
- Simply ignore your Scrum Master, especially when he tries to coach you. Coaching is evil!
- Ignore the findings from your latest retrospective because you have more important stuff to do.
- Write as many things as possible on ONE post-it. Clustering is much more fun this way.
- Don’t put your tasks on the sprint backlog. Your Scrum Master is an evil micro manager. I swear. Transparency sucks.
- Ask your boss to put the Scrum values into the performance goals of every employee.
Scrum.org announced today that its Chief Craftsman, David Starr, will soon be joining Microsoft as Senior Program Manager in Visual Studio ALM.
Since joining Scrum.org in 2011, David has driven significant improvements in all of Scrum.org’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 Scrum.org 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, Scrum.org's co-founder and VP of Business Development. "David has made incredible contributions through his work at Scrum.org, and we will miss him at each and every Daily Scrum. As part of the Scrum.org 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 Scrum.org. 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 Scrum.org founder Ken Schwaber. David drives integrity, and that is essential to Scrum.org’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.
It's a new month, and now there is a new Scrumy feature for Pro users: The Scrumy API. Pretty much anyone who has asked us if we have an API recently has already been directed to that page and has been able to access it, but now we're sharing our secrets with the world.
For the uninitiated, an API is an interface that we give to you in order to access the data that we've stored for you in a convenient way. Essentially, it allows you to write your own programs that interact with your Scrumy projects. If, for example, you wanted a big red button that moves all your unfinished tasks into the 'Done' column, you could build that yourself with a few clever API calls.
The Scrumy API is divided into two separate parts: REST and Webhooks.
The REST API allows you to get data from your projects in XML or JSON form using simple URLs. You can also manipulate your data by POSTing or PUTing data to those URLs. You can read all about it at the REST API documentation page.
Webhooks are very different. A Webhook is a URL for an application that you have running on your own server which receives data from us. This means that any time you create or change a task, for example, we will send a piece of data representing the change on your project to that URL. A simple thing you could do with this would be to send a tweet any time you finish a task. Read more at the Webhooks documentation page. Also, the demo is set up to use webhooks, but it works a bit differently than your projects. The demo will allow you to enter 5 webhooks, but none of them will be active for more than 5 minutes. So, if you just want to see how webhooks work, feel free to use the demo, but unless you want to be a jerk, use an empty slot. Then you have 5 minutes to test your heart out.
So those are the big updates for now. If you find errors while reading the apidocs or feel that you could clarify something, feel free to update the documentation. It's a wiki for a reason. If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.